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datacore

[Doom] Endless Torture

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Been playing this on a server last minutes, and i really loved it .
* Maps are nicely done (Eventhough it's not the best thing i've seen, i have to admit it's Very good) :)

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First impressions, based on E1M1-3 + E1M9, are of an entertainingly claustrophobic techbase crawl. Texture choice is mostly consistent with classic E1 but your layouts are generally more enclosed and higher-pressure. Sometimes it feels like the smaller spaces aren't doing the monsters any favours in actually presenting a threat to the player. The maze/puzzle aspect of E1M3 as the player searches for the secret exit works well on a tight layout like this, whereas it might get annoying on a larger or more open map with longer distances to run back and forth. I'll play through more of it later; after four relatively enclosed levels I'm hoping that things open up considerably in later maps/episodes.

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Okay, further impression upon reaching the end of episode 1: the close quarters are starting to get just a tad monotonous (it feels like the largest and most open area I've seen yet was the one to the east of the start in E1M7) and I think the short range at which the Barons of Hell are encountered in E1M8 kind of robs that scene of some of its menace and grandeur. They make their entrance with little fanfare in a room that could have been placed just about anywhere else in the episode, and the fight is another close-quarters chaingun dance.

Datacore, can you point me to the levels within episodes 2 through 4 that you feel best demonstrate the variety that's on offer within this WAD? You've got a very individualistic style that's in evidence all the way through episode 1, and I know a mapper doesn't reveal all his tricks that early, but one of the things the first episode doesn't do is convince me that there'll be a greater breadth and variety of gameplay on offer as I continue to play.

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FDAs for E1M1-M3, recorded in PrBoom-plus -complevel 3. Simplistic, vanilla-styled maps; also beginner-esque, because they tend to be very cramped, rectangular, straightforward in combat and generally very easy, and too much time was spent waiting instead of fighting (waiting on lifts, backtracking etc). Some stairs were insanely steep, which makes a problem if you don't have freelook. You should be aware that doors made of SR door action with a tag cannot be activated by monsters AND cannot be operated in the middle of their movement (until they fully end their open-close sequence), and a better way to make doors is to use DR door action with 0 tag, these doors can be activated by monsters and operated anytime in the middle of their movement. Some of the details in the maps were nice in their simplicity (crate at the beginning of E1M3), and the maps were generally OK, fun-enough for their "small budget". That's what I've played of the megawad so far. Congratulations on making this a full megawad, by the way. I hope I won't get too burnt-out to play it all; I'll try, though. Keep up the good work.

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More FDAs, covering the rest of Episode 1. My impression hasn't changed, the maps keep showing the same traits, same appeal and same faults, repeated in the same ways over and over. Adding simple details that end up looking good because of "cute vanilla-esque-ness", that's your strong side. I liked the occasional barrel traps too, shamely they were all trivial to avoid - I hope you'll play with them in more creative ways, because they're pretty much the only thing that spiced up the generic-ness of the maps. Layouts and interesting challenge are a weak side of your mapping, though. The ever-present rectangular-ness and orthogonality feels dull after a while, and occasional rounded corners or curved corridors really don't help, because there's still visible orthogonal basis - for a true non-orthogonality, you would have to build the layouts differently. Other problems (mentioned in my previous post) persist, too. Anyway, I've enjoyed the maps for what they are, mostly. E1M8 was terrible, though. All of its fights were tedious and bland, it didn't really account for pistol start gameplay, and even then - chaingunning Barons seems to be nothing more that teasing player's patience, instead of a proper final challenge. Maybe you remember (from the last time when I was giving you feedback) that I'm kinda allergic to homages / tributes / unoriginality, and this E1M8 was entirely a homage, with a bad gameplay on top of that, which is why I disliked it.

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Out of curiosity - do you watch my FDAs / do you think it's good that I recorded them / would you find it useful if I recorded more ones on the next episodes? I don't know, perhaps you'd say no, and then I wouldn't record them, I'd play in my preferred port instead, and I'd limit my feedback to using words. But if you wanted them, I'm willing to record.

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PrBoom-plus -complevel 3 is an Ultimate Doom Doom.exe compatibility with static limits removed. It doesn't catch bugs like VISPLANE/DRAWSEGS/static limit overflows and multi-patch middle textures crashing the game. But it would catch game-breaking zdoomisms or boomisms if they came in my way. I'll record this way, OK.

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I'll probably go and (video) record this WAD sometime later and provide some feedback.

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The 3th and the 4th episodes are less claustro than the 1 and 2. I think they are better than the first and second episode.

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Some more FDAs, and I'm not sure if I'll record any more. As I've tried to explain in my previous post, your basic style is all about the same things again and again. Uncomfortably cramped rooms, mostly rectangular, with basic and straightforward fights, generally too much ammo, some very tedious fights (notably any fights involving Barons), and recurring homages (even if subtle) make this mapset feel like a low-quality remix of Ultimate Doom. I'm not really enjoying it, unless I'm in a special mood for stuff like that - but generally, it's not good how the whole wad is uninspired. Details are OK (not great), but the wad lacks ideas, style, and polish. E2 was suspiciously similar to your Hatred Removed, then I've realized they're the very same maps - that was rather underwhelming, too.

All in all, you would improve a lot of things. Bumping into anything is generally uncomfortable for the player, so that you would accustomize the size of rooms and corridors to work better in this regard - that alone would help your maps to feel much better. While at that, you would also incorporate more varied architecture than basic rectangular rooms and long hallways (both are bad), to spice up the environments with something unique and nontrivial, preferably in every level. Then rethink gameplay, considering that it's supposed to give an efficient (intense + balanced + meaningful) challenge to the player, and not just stuff he will spend some time shooting at. Ideally, all monsters should be selected and placed with that premise in mind, serve some purpose, even if a small one. Avoid placing enemies that take a lot of time to kill while giving minimum challenge, and particularly avoid placing hordes of them. Give the player a possibility to kill all monsters quickly and comfortable enough, while feeling challenged at least a little. That's the optimal situation for good level design, at least I think so.

Thanks for making your maps, anyway. You would be able to improve, and I would like to encourage you to try it. Good luck.

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When i have done "Hatred Removed" i had thought do a Megawad with 4 episodes, but because i had not the time, i have put aside this project . But recently i wanted make all the episodes and i changed the name of this episode.

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I really like these maps personally. They're very akin to the original doom I thought, although the first episode was much lower quality than the others. I can tell your mapping skills increased as the wad progressed. I'd highly recommend you redo episode 1 and make the rooms a lot less square and more abstract. And also try to add more varying floor heights, which you did well in the later episodes.

Overall I really enjoyed it and kudos to you for being able to make a whole megawad. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.

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Just got to e3m7, love the Quake reference!

- Oh damn the wasn't just a reference, it was the entire level haha

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E4M8 is easy to break. If you jump into the central courtyard without pressing the bridge-raising switch first, you get stuck there.

EDIT: E4M7 has this alcove that's 56 units tall, which is exactly the height of the player and most monsters. There is a door in the alcove, but neither player, nor monsters will be able to pass through it, because doors open up to 4 units below the ceiling, so that the remaining gap will be only 52 units tall. The zombiemen can't walk out, and you can't grab their ammo. It doesn't break the game in this particular situation, but better be aware that such a thing can happen (this looked like a design oversight).

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For some reason "Cybernetic Nightmare" won't start with Doomsday Engine! It says loading but nothing happens. The other three episodes work like a charme! Any ideas?

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Cool, I'll be doing this WAD on my Doom WAD Playthrough series as long as I don't get stumped anywhere along the way. Keep an eye out on my Youtube channel as I will post my blind playthrough of it there.

Edit: I got stuck on E1M7 after hitting the double brown switches in the northeastern section and checking the rooms in the northwest where the chainsaw was. Where do I go from there, I didn't know what to do.

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*Checks inside Doom Builder*

I'm such an idiot, it was there all along with the imps in the northeast section which I did not bother exploring. :)

I can finally resume recording this episode now.

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wyland said:

For some reason "Cybernetic Nightmare" won't start with Doomsday Engine! It says loading but nothing happens. The other three episodes work like a charme! Any ideas?

I took a look at the problem seen in the first map of this episode: http://dengine.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2002#p13395

@datacore Please let me know what your intention is here or whether this is simply a mistake in the map.

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