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printz

[Doom 1] Phobos Tunnel

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Hello, I've decided to release a Doom 1 level. But before I put it on idgames, I'd like to post here it for playtesting.

Here's a screenshot


Vanilla Doom
Level: E1M1

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FDA, recorded in PrBoom-plus -complevel 3. I've died once, but the map wasn't hard, I just didn't pay much attention. The map was thoroughly 1994-ish. Texturing felt random and many combinations of colors/textures looked unpleasant. Layout was cramped and spaghetti-like net of corridors, which is unappealing design in principle, due to lack of freedom, lack of space to move, and lack of any distinctive impressive architecture. Gameplay was as straightforward and average as a map of this kind could provide. The map was at least playable, though. Visuals: 1/5. Level design: 1/5. Gameplay: 1.5/5. Final rating: 1/5.

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Thanks for the patience anyway!

The level looks 1994-like because I started it many years ago with WinDEU, and only used Doom Builder 1 to finish it later. Good thing you didn't fall for the crusher trap (the red niche from which the demon emerged), yeah? Did you suspect it will be so, from the blood?

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That switch is actually a "patch" on a wall. It hides something, but probably not for you :)

Anyway the last bit of your recording left me concerned. I was using something like -timedemo so I wasn't able to see it carefully: you quit when you were trying to pull a switch that lowers the lift in the diamond-shaped room (the one with radiation and grates)? The switch was failing?

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Old level I think, pretty sure I've seen at least some rooms before. But yeah, nice map with somewhat tight ammo balance and lots of cool ideas. I especially love how in the blue circle flat room after you lower the blue key, you activate the lift and only then take the teleporter, not the other way around. Very oldschool thinking there. Hope to see more like this.

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printz said: you quit when you were trying to pull a switch that lowers the lift in the diamond-shaped room (the one with radiation and grates)? The switch was failing? [/B]

Yes...

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Anyway, thanks a lot for the patience to retry so many times and for discovering the bug…

Regarding the map being cramped: I find it is a way to make the simple Doom 1 monsters more threatening. In 64-wide passages, imps become as dangerous as hitscanners, as you really have to take cover or retreat, you can't just dance. Some of my favourite levels are cramped, such as the Crusades episode (again Doom 1). Barons and Hell Knights tend to be placed quite often in cramped passages!

EDIT: I've updated the wad and also added an AutoDoom demo as DEMO1 :) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5103936/forum-posts/doom-wads/phobostn.lmp

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printz said:

Regarding the map being cramped: I find it is a way to make the simple Doom 1 monsters more threatening. In 64-wide passages, imps become as dangerous as hitscanners, as you really have to take cover or retreat, you can't just dance. Some of my favourite levels are cramped, such as the Crusades episode (again Doom 1). Barons and Hell Knights tend to be placed quite often in cramped passages!

All true, but: Narrow passages are the dullest form of level design (even worse than square rooms), specially when an entire map consists of them. Taking cover and retreating in a long linear narrow path is too easy and gets tedious too quickly, and gameplay entirely centered around it is far less fun than "just dancing" around monsters, IMO. Ever-present lack of movement freedom strikes me as unfun, too. All in all, I prefer to see as few of them as possible.

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