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Zulk RS

Wads with heavy stories?

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As much as we all love Doom, I think we call all agree that its story wasn't one of its many selling points. With that said, I want to know if there are any wads that have great plots to them. Instead of having only 3 text screens that try to put some logic behind the madness, I'm looking for wads that have interesting, well written and well developed plots.

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Urban Brawl's story is (quite deliberately) full of cheesy clich├ęs, but it works pretty well nonetheless.

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Going Down has both awesome gameplay and great story. The story is mostly told through the gameplay - but I consider it a story, and a heavy one. That's actually why I like the wad so much. Most plot-oriented wads have mundane or subpar gameplay, and Going Down is The Exception.

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That was my problem with Hadephobia. They set a goal to create a wad with heavy emphasis on the story, yet most of it was boring "you enter a base, kill monsters, find a train, ride it, etc". There was not much point in reading the *.txt since it mostly just described what was happening in the maps anyway.

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For the most part, good megawads and good levels do tell a story, they just do it without words -- personally, I think Doom and Doom 2 were fairly good at this too. Mostly, that story is one of isolation and decay -- what else is there to tell, really? But some megawads have a really nice flow from one level to the next that sort of tells the story of how you're traveling from one place to the next, like TVR and many parts of Hellbound and Resurgence, etc.

And then there's the levels that imply that there's a strong story to be told but leave you with the mystery -- Misri Halek, Mucus Flows, Jenesis map 15, Swim with the Whales, stuff like that.

I think A.L.T. combines both of these aspects of storytelling, plus the intermission texts, to create the best story ever told in a Doom wad.

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I think I do am making a good attempt at telling a story without words. Or maybe only a half good one , as I have to explain the story afterwards. Or maybe I don't but if I didn't you wouldn't be interested.

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Town Infection sort of had a story, albeit a cheesy one. And Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl seems to be the most story involved wad so far.

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purist said:

Hadephobia is heavily story based. No promises on the quality of the plot though!


i kind of skimmed some levels from this tonight and it looks interesting! kind of surprised i hadn't heard of it and i will definitely look further into it.

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Not Jabba said:

I think A.L.T. combines both of these aspects of storytelling, plus the intermission texts, to create the best story ever told in a Doom wad.


i def agree that A.L.T. has a strong implied story...but i'm not really sure what it is. like i don't think it looks like much at all when written down. not that that really takes away from the experience. but i guess thinking about some of that stuff as being a "story" per se can be really reductive. it's often why "story wads" are more boring design-wise.

i guess "environmental storytelling" is the term most people use here, but i think even that doesn't really do justice to that kind of thing. it's hard to describe what it even is to feel a "story" told through the experience of playing something, outside of an abstract feeling. it's actually a problem that a lot of people struggle with in games in general outside of the world of Doom mods, and why there are so few games that effectively marry mechanic-based and narrative complexity together in an interesting way. so it's quite an achievement if anything can do that, really - which is why it's also so unsurprising that little really does that.

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Caleb13 said:

DTS-T has pretty a good story, though first 10 maps or so are rather weak. It is unique in that many dialogues are actual voice-over, which really adds to the atmosphere.


Every map is weak, not just the first 10.

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Caleb13 said:

DTS-T has pretty a good story, though first 10 maps or so are rather weak. It is unique in that many dialogues are actual voice-over, which really adds to the atmosphere.

http://forum.zdoom.org/viewtopic.php?t=34430


I agree, i just played it again, and like someone said with good story comes decent mapmaking....so beware, but theres no denying its fun as hell.

I really liked hellbound...it made me feel immersed and followed the plot of doom 2..in a way.

also hellground...im not one for story so much as for atmosphere...check out hellbound and hellground if youre into atmospere. they really blew me away.

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Piper Maru said:

Plus there's a massive sector penis. Fortunately, it's not a hostile monster you have to fight.


Heh, yeah. DTS-T was one of the most innovative and memorable WADs in years, though it is obvious that many players didn't like some of the puzzle maps. Still, I was pretty sure it would win a Cacoward. But in the end, it wasn't all that surprising it didn't - after all, Cacowards are controlled by certain "our mapping is superior to everybody else and if you don't agree you're wrong" clique of mappers...

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Caleb13 said:

Cacowards are controlled by certain "our mapping is superior to everybody else and if you don't agree you're wrong" clique of mappers...

No. Demand for quality level design comes from person's aged experience with playing wads, not from his ego. Kmxexii in particular is very tolerant and unbiased, and his review of DTS-T seemed fair to me.

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I dunno, from my experience "quality" gets boring after some years of playing. Most modern-style "good" wads fail to catch my imagination: I can play them without too much annoyances, note that they are "professionally" made and that's it, after that typically I have nothing else to talk about. Then I click on "random file" on /idgames, get some crappy ugly-looking unbalanced 1994 map and suddenly I feel like I'm actually having an experience of some kind. I've already seen meticulously aligned textures, well thought thing placement, carefully tested levels, etc many times. Not really impressive anymore. Crap is king.

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Caleb13 said:

Heh, yeah. DTS-T was one of the most innovative and memorable WADs in years, though it is obvious that many players didn't like some of the puzzle maps. Still, I was pretty sure it would win a Cacoward. But in the end, it wasn't all that surprising it didn't - after all, Cacowards are controlled by certain "our mapping is superior to everybody else and if you don't agree you're wrong" clique of mappers...


It has some nice ideas and themes, but really bad executed. Many levels would be bad even for a 95's wad, and this is from... 2012. Most of the levels feature the same big/flat areas, string corridors layouts with a boring gameplay. I can appreciate the effort as this is a one-man megawad, but still I really dont get why this wad is praised so much. Somehow Fragport (another megawad made only by one person) has the same flaws of this wad.

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scifista42 said:

No. Demand for quality level design comes from person's aged experience with playing wads, not from his ego. Kmxexii in particular is very tolerant and unbiased, and his review of DTS-T seemed fair to me.

Er... you do realize that your post and that review only reinforces my point (raw mapping skill uber alles), right? Just like Memfis said - many maps with really nice visuals are being made, but you forget them the next day. And you can say pretty much the same about the "let's see how many weird-ass custom monsters and weapons I can cram into my mod" crowd, too. But I still remember many places and even voiceover lines from DTS-T even after 3 years, and apparently I'm not alone. Just sayin'. But, it is the sad (?) truth that new DTS-T players should jump directly to Apostruct hub, because that's where all the interesting maps begin.

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Caleb13 said:

Heh, yeah. DTS-T was one of the most innovative and memorable WADs in years, though it is obvious that many players didn't like some of the puzzle maps.

Bad Day L.A. was an innovative and memorable game. Lulu was an innovative and memorable album. Human Centipede was an innovative and memorable movie. But getting mentally scarred for years to come somehow doesn't always equal to an enjoyable experience.

Still, I was pretty sure it would win a Cacoward. But in the end, it wasn't all that surprising it didn't - after all, Cacowards are controlled by certain "our mapping is superior to everybody else and if you don't agree you're wrong" clique of mappers...

Oh, you mean the dreaded cabal of "people with taste". Disgusting.

Memfis said:

I dunno, from my experience "quality" gets boring after some years of playing. Most modern-style "good" wads fail to catch my imagination:

Everyone loves the occasional Killing Adventure and anyone can feel bored by objectively good maps that lack flair or certain je ne sais quoi, so I can see your point. Then again, shunning quality and polish, because they're indicative of (ugh!) modern standards is a little extreme. Perhaps a sign of overexposure and boredom. Like when you've seen so much porn that only mature interracial midget amputees get you hard anymore. Not that I know anything about that.

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