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Gifty

[Classic-Style Megawad] Hell For Leather, Episodes 1+2

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Today I've played all 9 maps (bar MAP01, which I've played before) from pistol starts in Zandronum.

I was excited. Your design skill is top notch, in many particular aspects where I almost always see mappers make flaws, you just excel. Namely: Actually fun and dynamic pistol starts where I feel a need to search for new weapons AND enjoy the fighting meanwhile. Using monsters in a way that's efficiently threatening AND suitable for casual relaxed gameplay at the same time. Keeping the observant/experienced player "informed" of what's happening, enough to allow him to prepare and face the challenge in fairness. Aesthetical + layout + gameplay style that's fully up to par with franckFRAG's one (who I thought was a sole master of it) when it comes to stock texture usage, progression mechanics, architecture and thing placement. And finally, immunity to temptation of filling every place with filler monsters for filler fights - in places where emptyness would work better than that, you actually do it and keep the place empty.

Not that there weren't any flaws - I'm actually going to point them out - but I totally consider this mapset to be Cacoward material, for the level design and gameplay quality accompanied with "good classic feel" as I've perceived it.

Now a little error report - almost all of them are minor, some maybe not at all errors:

MAP02 - This switch not only looks buggy in Zandronum (like the MAP01 one), but the door-opening action is applied to the red trims on its sides, which is superfluous.

MAP03 - This edge of a staircase has so low ceiling that Hell Knights cannot pass under, noticeable when you pick up Chaingun and then in the end of the map. Maybe this was intentional (or unintentionally beneficial), though.

MAP04 - Misalignment in blue key room.

MAP05 - I had to abort my playthrough after I pressed this switch and went through the teleporter, as I couldn't find out what to do next.

MAP07 - Not a bug, but threat of these Lost Souls was really easy to neuter by camping in the place where I am in the screenshot, because the ceiling will make any charging Lost Soul stop in place, even if the Lost Soul was on ground when it started charging.

MAP09 - This staircase was too steep for the demons to climb, which was kind of a shame, evading their gang became much easier.

Final text screen - The text didn't fit on the screen at all, given that I don't play in high resolution as you probably do, where the letters may be smaller and/or screen may be wider.

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Holy crap, thank you! I was not expecting this kind of praise. I also appreciate the in-depth critique, I'll try to put together a small patch in between working on the new levels.

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Lock up your children! The Carnal Software™ office computer has been cranked up to excesses of 800 horizontal pixels to give you the clearest possible picture of these new and vulgar atrocities. COMING SOON®™

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That's an awesome trailer! I love some good old Ministry :)

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Hundreds of cold pizza slices and lukewarm cans of NAME-BRAND COLA™ were sacrificed to bring you Episode Two of the Hell For Leather© expansion. "The Kiss Of Judas", a new full-length episode from Carnal Software© is available for download HERE, or on the original post of this internet bulletin board. Our light-speed servers are standing by to dispense ladle-sized loads of sticky, sweet violence onto your hungry hard drives! (our paywall is currently down for maintenance; users are presently entrusted to abide by the honor system when downloading this new triple-A release)

Note: Episode 1 has been updated with some very minor changes and fixes. A more substantial patch is to come. Carnal Software© and any affiliated commercial enterprises take full credit for any fun experienced by its userbase, but is not legally accountable for any non-fun suffered while using Carnal©-affiliated software products.

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Cool episode.

I think I ran into a bug though.

A switch on MAP03 can't be triggered because there's a linedef in front blocking it. I had to idclip into the wall a bit to pull the switch, otherwise I'd been stuck there.

I'm talking about this switch:



Same thing almost happened with the switch behind the yellow key door too, but I could squeeze into the sector behind the door just enough to pull the switch.

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That's weird, I never ran into trouble when testing those switches; what port are you using? Also, you're referring to the yellow key switch on map05, right?

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Gifty said:

That's weird, I never ran into trouble when testing those switches; what port are you using? Also, you're referring to the yellow key switch on map05, right?


I'm using gzdoom.

No, refering to the switch behind the yellow key door in map02. The one that lowers the lift to the exit.

Edit: I just checked with prboom-plus, and it also happens there. Also, music doesn't work in prboom-plus, I get the default Doom2 music.

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Kudos on another release!

I had played a couple maps when ep1 came out (still on the big playlist), played map 7 of ep2 just now for a random taste.

My thoughts, too difficult on HNTR. Since this has a more oldschool vanilla style to it, it would be cool if it could be played with a more vanilla Doom style of combat difficulty as well.

Is every pwad going for high difficulty, even on lower skill settings? Also for some reason on my first attempt I had a plasma gun, but on my second attempt I didn't have it when I got to the big bad by the yellow key. This might go against convention, but why not have two plasma guns in the map in case you miss one? And more rockets would be nice.

In general it threw a little more meat in my way than I'd like (and why no super shotty?), but I do love the style of the map, the design and flow of the level is top notch. I'll give this all a proper playthrough sometime, I just think the levels could shine a bit more if they didn't only cater to the hardcore lots and lots of monster killing crowd. But still, I'm sure the difficulty will be fine for a lot of seasoned pwad players, and congrats on the impressive work.

And to be fair, I did pick one of the later maps. Though I did die on the first map of ep1 too. Even there you can end up wandering around, running out of the little shotgun ammo and having to rely on a pistol. And being gunned down by a shotgun guy while trying to manage lots of imps. Also with a quick look at ITYTD, it doesn't seem much different from HNTR.

I'd just say more guns sooner, more ammo, give me some tools to kill these fools. Plus that makes it faster paced. I know tailoring all the difficulty settings is extra work, but sloppy players are out there too. :D

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Needs more BUMPADUMPADUMP

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@janvknn: This wad is for ZDoom-based ports. The problem you're describing is a typical zdoomism. So, you should not play in PrBoom-plus, and you should use the "Default" preset in "Compatibility Options" - particularly, the "All special lines can block use" option should be set to "No".

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Damn dawg, those screenshots look juicy as hell. Which port/settings are you using to get that look like in the third one? Looks like there's some kind of grain filter or something.

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Just finished running through this, another really fun episode. I really like how the map design encourages an aggressive play style, and the number of looping and branching paths gives multiple options. Some of the later maps I had to dig out the automap, but on the whole you do well leading the player where they need to go and signposting the various goals. And the whole look of it is such a perfect blend of clean old-school simplicity and complex layout.

Interesting that you are still holding back the SSG, I think it makes for much more interesting gameplay myself, I find myself juggling weapons a lot more and running from encounters that i'd normally just blast from around a corner. One thing I would say is that the rocket launcher and plasma rifle didn't see much action, which is a shame. There were points on the last couple of maps maybe where there they would have come in handy, and while there was ammo for both it was never enough that i felt I could use it freely rather than save for special occasions. Particularly on the last map there were barons I had to leave behind, enough shells to shotgun them but life is too short for that :)

Anyway, top work again, cool music too. Only bug i found was this chaingunner stuck in a wall:


Are you planning to put these wads together at some point? With a 3rd episode perhaps?

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rileymartin said:

Damn dawg, those screenshots look juicy as hell. Which port/settings are you using to get that look like in the third one? Looks like there's some kind of grain filter or something.

I did some futzing in Gimp to make the shots look older; I was always interested in how the original press shots for Doom had these whacked out colors and a hazy, ancient look to them.

mouldy said:

Are you planning to put these wads together at some point? With a 3rd episode perhaps?

Yep! I think by the time episode 3 comes out, I'll have thrown all the levels into a real megawad, as was intended. The only hangup is I'd also like to have vanilla compatibility by this point, but I don't think the episode system will work with vanilla Doom 2. I might have to make a vanilla-specific version with death exits at the end of each chunk.

PsychoGoatee said:

Difficulty

I totally get what you mean, the exclusivity of a lot of ultra-hard pwads pisses me off, too, and I think sometimes subverts the satisfying flow that Doom is meant to have. What I was aiming for with this wad was a natural curve up from Doom 2's difficulty, similar to Final Doom, or the progression of Thy Flesh Consumed up from the rest of Ultimate Doom. It's a weird balance, though, trying to make it accessible but also rewarding for really seasoned players. I wanted to be sure to include difficulty settings, but they were a little rushed. I think by the time the third episode is completed and everything's collected in one file, I'm going to revisit a lot of the monster balancing and also polish up some of the music and graphical stuff. In the meantime though, I'd keep trying on ITYTD, it should be fairly doable.

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Gifty said:

Yep! I think by the time episode 3 comes out, I'll have thrown all the levels into a real megawad, as was intended. The only hangup is I'd also like to have vanilla compatibility by this point, but I don't think the episode system will work with vanilla Doom 2. I might have to make a vanilla-specific version with death exits at the end of each chunk.


Not pure vanilla, but I'm pretty sure that Doom Retro supports multiple episodes in Doom 2 or at least plans to. The most-Bestest vanilla-ish-est port in my opinion.

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That's good to know! I'm a fan of that port, considering testing on it in the future.

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P.S. This looks absolutely awesome. Gonna give this a go as soon as I finally get a day/night off. Judas Priest fan I take it? I can't wait to hear what the 3rd episode is called. "Sad Wings"... of something? Blaze of Glory?, Going down in Flames? I got ate Alive? All Guns Blazing? Jawbreaker? Sin(ner) after Sin? Just nothing "Turbo" please. :P

This just needs some custom weapon graphics with leather sleeves and maybe gloves like trailblazer.

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Gifty said:

I'd also like to have vanilla compatibility by this point,

In that case learn what zdoomisms are, how to avoid them, and start eliminating them from your maps. I gave one example of a zdoomism in my pre-previous post - that in classic ports (but not in ZDoom), all special lines block attempts to press use on a linedef behind them.

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Ugh, I'm stupid. Both links in the OP went to episode one, that's fixed now.

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this pack needs more fuckin attention.


these are insanely fun, probably some of the funnest packs ive played in a while. just straight doom packs.

think...doom...the way tnt did.


soundtrack rules. layouts rule. perfectly difficult. its a good one.

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okay gifty...shoot me straight...in the secret level (map 09) is there a way to get across the lowered platform with the teleporter in the middle after you hit the two switches...its right over the bridge through the blue door.

going on about an hour now like "what the hell is happening?"

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WHOOPS, I was 100% certain I had fixed that fiddly bridge in testing, apparently not. The double switches are supposed to raise it. I've reuploaded with a fixed version, maybe noclip across in your current save file.

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Gifty said:

WHOOPS, I was 100% certain I had fixed that fiddly bridge in testing, apparently not. The double switches are supposed to raise it. I've reuploaded with a fixed version, maybe noclip across in your current save file.


thats what i figured was going on, im running all over the map like "why was there two switches!" if i find any other little...shall we say..."eccentricities" in the maps i will be sure to shoot them over to you.


i am having a lot of fuckin fun playing these maps. i am a quicksaver...like overly quicksaver and i keep forgetting to quick save because i am so involved haha, so thanks for the stress relief after a rough day.



ALSO, i just noticed the exit of level 09 takes you back to map 03. i would change it to the appropriate map. i cant remember what level i elft to go to map 09, but i would make sure it takes it to the one after. even though map 03 kicks ass. i think its supposed to take you to map07

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Jeez, that's another thing I was certain I had fixed. Kids, this is what happens when you do all the testing yourself. :P (Just updated with a fix, it is indeed supposed to go to map07)

Thanks a bunch dude, I'm really glad you like the maps. A lot of my free time over the past year has been spent working on this megawad and it's really gratifying to finally have it out (bugs and all) and to finally have people playing it.

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i know the feeling, going on two years with my pack, and im way the fuck behind but i cant wait to get some feedback on it.

i really do enjoy em though, just fun as all hell. so keep it up and bring this thing into a megawad and pull an award haha. its got that perfect classic feel without being too cheesy (like the other throwback packs.)

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