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Chris Hansen

THT: Threnody - released!

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Fonze said:

I'm not the leader here, but I'd imagine that you could certainly help! We do still need maps.

However, depending on what you mean by you're "still learning" (I mean, we never stop learning) it may be advisable for you to try and team up with another, more experienced mapper. Idk, see what Chris thinks.

On the other hand, no matter if you do/don't map for this project we could really use some playtesters to give these things a go to make sure they are all top-notch come release.

Thank you for your interest here; I look forward to your contributions!

I am still learning when it comes to design (trying to NOT make it look and play amatuerish lol) If Chris feels I should team up with a more experienced mapper then thats fine with me.

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Hi GregLafitte.

Thank you for your interest in our project. I took the liberty to check out two of your maps for 32-in24. I'm sorry to say it, but if that's an indication of what we can expect from you then I would be hesitant to include a map from you. It simply does not match the level of quality we currently have in this project. BUT! I'd like to see what else you can come up with and prove me wrong :) I can't with good will reject your offer to help without having seen what you're capable of in terms of singleplayer maps. So, my suggestion is that you take your time - we're in no hurry here - and make the best SP map you can and we'll take a look at it. If it shows potential, but doesn't live up to the level of quality we have, then we can always tune it like we did with joe-ilya's "Rockage". Or perhaps you'll take us by surprise and present a killer map that is fun and good looking. I choose to believe in the latter! :) And remember: This is a tribute project for Ty Halderman. It would be good idea to not just cook up a random level, but to actually study his maps and his history in this community so that there's some sort of theme to your map that salutes him in some way.

But as Fonze said, you can also choose to team up with someone from the beginning or help us playtest maps. Any help is greatly appreciated!

If you have any more questions or doubts in any way, you can always post them here or in a PM to me.

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Hi thanks for the feedback, those 32in24 maps I did was kind of rushed because i didn't have much free time at that point,I decided I would like to playtest for this wad.

Edit: I will do some research on his work and try to make a map to honer him, if the map is not good enough quality to even tune up then I will playtest instead. Anything to help :)

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Hey guys! I've finally finished up my map. It took longer than I wanted to finish this up, but that's because it turned out to be a lot larger than I initially planned :P.

First off, download it here: http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/ty/mek-typroj-fomalhaut-v1.wad

A couple of things to note:
- Final map name is "Fomalhaut"...unless you guys want me to change it.
- I used a track from TNT; I can't remember which but it should be readily apparent which it is after listening to it.
- If someone wants to make a new track for it, or suggest a better one, lemme know.
- Should be COOP ready, but I haven't tested it for balance. I didn't add DM starts, but I can.
- I did a couple of test runs on UV and made sure it was 100%-able.
- Difficulty drastically spikes for the latter half of the map, so lemme know if that's too much of a jump.
- I've included a patch for a fixed version of STEP2. Because I forgot halfway through the map that STEP2 is a broken texture in a lot of ports (except not in ZDoom).
- I have the sky set to use the TNT space sky, but that can be changed if its needed in a different slot.


That should about cover it for now. Give me some feedback and I'll get on updating it as soon as I can :)

By the way, after the map is ready to go, I will set aside some time to do another attempt at the INTERPIC. And I also really want to clean up the TNT sky in a couple of places too (sorry I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes). I might get slowed down a bit on that stuff though because it looks like my mouse is getting ready to die on me (left-click isn't responding like it should, and it made finishing up the map a pain). So barring mouse death, I'll get on those graphics...but otherwise, it'll have to wait until I can get a new mouse :P

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Damn! Sounds like I need to get the old desktop up-and-running again (hopefully virus-free this time). I'm thrilled to hear that your map is done, Mech, and I look forward to trying it, as well as the recently updated maps, out as soon as I can! Hopefully within the next couple days, if everything goes smoothly.

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Excellent, Mech! I don't have the time to play it now, but I promise I'll get back to you. Perhaps even with one of my trademark hilarious FDA's!

Thank you also for looking at the graphics stuff! And quick, order a new mouse asap so we can see some of that magic from you! :)

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It's nice you're not giving the Double Barrel Shotgun too quickly. That's always a nice thing because it encourages using more rockets and plasma. I haven't found the difficulty to be a problem. Well, except for the trap in the area with a switch that raises a bridge to the exit (behind the red door I think?). Suddenly there's a horde of Chaingunners, Cacos, Revenants and Mancubi... that's where the only death occurred because I got stuck in a corner with no way out.

Visually, well, it's amazing. As always. :)

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Yea I wanted the SSG to be one of the latter weapons you get just for that reason. Weapon progression in general is kind of weird in this map since the SSG and Plasma require a bit of exploration to get, and your really going to want both (or at the very least the SSG). I made sure the RL was put directly on the player's path though since that's kind of what I designed the gameplay around.

That bridge-switch control trap might need some fine tuning...guess we'll see what everyone else says.

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Does that require an additional resource wad or something. I'm getting HOMs and a weird all-skull sky in prBoom+.

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lol, I'm going to edit my version of that texture resource to remove the zombie/teleport sounds. Jesus. It's really unbearable.

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Great looking level, Mech! But I don't think that comes as a surprise to you ;) You've got an impressive ability to create stunning architecture with impeccable lighting! And the size of it... pheew, almost took my breath away. I mean, I got lost several times and did a lot of backtracking trying to figure out where to go next. This especially applies near the end of it when you've unlocked a lot of areas and it gets harder and harder trying to remember where to go and what to do. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I actually think you managed to create an intricate level with a logical progression. It's just a little hard for someone like me, that's all. But it wouldn't be any fun if everything was walk in the park, would it now :)

I recorded a FDA, but I won't link it since it's a very boring one. I get killed after picking up the yellow key because I kinda forgot I had picked up both the RL and BFG. Those would have been a tremendous help clearing out all those Cacos, Imps and Demons :)

Up until that point I wasn't sure if I was entertained or not. I moved around very cautiously, as I had a feeling that this level would punish the slightest mistake anytime, anywhere. Because I slowed down so much and dragged things on, I had a lot of time to marvel at the scenery. But it also got me thinking, that perhaps certain parts of the level, while looking incredibly cool, also kinda feels a little sterile or desolate in some weird way. I thought about it afterwards and I think it stems from the fact, that you're a bit cheap when it comes to using flickering lights, torches, animated textures or moving sectors in general. That's somethin I miss in this level: Something that brings it a bit to life when there isn't any action going on. What I'm saying is, that I think the level could benefit from some more mood, so to speak. Sometimes it feels like I'm "playing" your screenshots and not playing the actual level. But having said that, make no mistake: It's a beautiful level and picturesque level that I only wish I would be capable of making in such a relatively short time! Respect.

Now, I only have one problem... where the hell do I fit this mastodont in together with the rest of the levels!? LOL!

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Chris Hansen said:

Now, I only have one problem... where the hell do I fit this mastodont in together with the rest of the levels!? LOL!


I didn't play the level, but if it is very very big perhaps the right place is as second to last level, just before the final boss battle.

BTW, do we have a final boss battle level?

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Yeah, that's a possibilty. But it's got a heavy tech theme to it, so I feel like it belongs in what I call episode 2. Episode 3 levels are the ones with a similar theme to your map.

And no, we haven't got a boss level. I don't think we've discussed it yet. Personally, I'm not so sure about whether it's needed. As long as we have a map in the end with a suitable epic batlle, then I'm perfectly fine with that. And in my eyes, Sky Pillar is the best contender so far for that spot.

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Thanks for your feedback Chris! I would actually enjoying watching your FDA even if its boring; I can gleam ideas from them based on how you approach the map.

The desolate nature of the map was something I was kind of going for, and its why it feels a bit empty for the first-half of the map. There are some lighting effects, but a lot of them are kind of subtle. I spent a lot more time on moody static lighting then dynamic stuff since that was the aesthetic I was going for. I'm not sure how or where I could add a bit more life to the map, but it's something I will think about :). And if you have specific ideas in mind, lemme know!

Concerning map placement, I originally was gearing the map to be somewhere in the middle of the set (so around MAP15 or so). Of course that all really depends on how it compares with all of the other maps and how the theme is being structured. It looks like you guys are going for a more traditional tech>gothic>hell approach. So maybe it could fit in at the end of the techbase run, or the beginning of the gothic run? I can alter the gameplay to fit in an earlier slot if that's needed.

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I understand, Mech. And there's no need to change anything. It was just some thoughts I had, but when you put it like you do, then I can totally see what you had envisioned with the map :)

As you can see in the OP, I've placed the map in the middle - after dobu's map and before Z0k and Fonze's map. The list in the OP is how I think the order of the maps should be, but I'm all ears if you guys don't agree. It's difficult trying to get them ordered correctly based on difficulty and theme. If it was just one of them, then it would be relatively easier.

Here's the demo. It's boring, but you asked for it! :)

Also, I forgot to mention that we need to find another midi for your map. While the one you've picked doesn't nessecarily suck, it's just too short and simple for such a big level. It gets a little to repetitive. I thought about Paul's "mechanical illuminations", but maybe it's a bit on the short side too.

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Got my desktop up and running again and guess what the first thing I did was? Download PrBoom+ and make a demo for this new level ^^

Here's my blind FDA for the map, Mech. Now that my desktop is up and running I have no excuse to not do TWID for the week so I gotta do that and then try and get to these other two recently updated maps (can't wait for skypillar), but after that I'll get another, better and hopefully more amusing demo for you.

As it is, my demo ended in a most unfortunate manner to a group of chaingunners that shouldn't have killed me, but I guess it was only a matter of time. 28:30; 'bout half the monsters remaining. Fuck it, just numbers at this point anyway >.<

I was a little confused at the relatively early BFG in comparison to the PG, or the SSG which I didn't get to I guess. But it worked for the map so that's cool, though now that I have some pre-knowledge of the first half of the map expect my next demo to make more use of that thing.

Health and ammo felt good for the most part. I prolly should have used the BFG/plasma gun more so I didn't run out of bullets before I died, but that's against my nature so I guess oops there. Ran backwards a few times in the FDA to find some health after a stupid error, or series, but there was just enough leftover health to be useful, without giving me too many second chances. So that was cool. I also liked the balancing of ammo and its general placement.

One thing I'm really not a fan of in general (though I didn't mind it here) is lots of bonus pick-ups right next to each other. It's a great way to blind the player for a second or two. Still, not a problem here from what I've seen so far.

One thing I gotta mention was your use of the new STEP texture... it didn't show up. Not a big deal, but I'd like to know if I missed something somewhere or if that was a genuine mistake.

This map had a couple tough traps from what I've played so far, but very few in what I played. Not a bad thing, of course, but that first big one was a surprise, lol. The map started off really easy, which was good because I needed a warm-up, but damn it did kick in with some good stuff :) I haven't made it to the bridge area yet, but there were no drastic difficulty spikes from what I played so far, though that room with the revs would've been tough without the BFG since the door didn t want to open for me at first, lol. But yeah, monster placement was nice. The PE in the BFG secret could have used a friend :)

I really liked the layout and design of the map so far. I got a bit confused at a couple spots, so I apologize for those spots in the demo, but obviously it wasn't anything I couldn't figure out (what do I need; a giant green arrow pointing to the switch?! Heh). I really liked the somewhat non-linearity of the map and the optional areas provided nice rewards.

The detail-work here was great as well and I really dig the lighting. Maybe a couple spots could have used less static lighting, but it still looked great as-is! Texturing was also very well-done.

As for placement of this thing in the overall wad; I think where it is now is a good place for it. Maybe I'll change my mind after I finish it, heh, but for now it'd feel right to exit dobu's map into this, then exit this into Z0k's and my map.

As for the music, sounds like Hangar to me ^^ which I went and looked up because I couldn't remember it's name (which is "More") and apparently it's based on a Judas Priest song, which is funny because I was strongly leaning towards a Judas Priest song before deciding to go with Kevin's "Death's Bells" remix. All that b/s aside, I don't have many midis to offer but I do have a few Judas Priest, Rage Against the Machine, Kiss, Korn, System of a Down, Metallica and a couple Black Sabbath midis to choose from if any of them spark your interest.

Once again, sorry for the long, failed (and probably not too entertaining either) FDA but it was a blind run so hopefully that alone will make it useful for you. Great job, once again, on both the level and the skies! I look forward to finishing this thing soon.

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Thank you both your for demos, and thanks for the feedback as well Fonze :D. I've already made a list of things to change after watching both of them, so they were helpful. I'll be looking forward to another one from you Fonze, if you get a chance to do another one.

So I was surprised that both of you figured out the BFG secret so easily. That was meant to be more of a sneaky secret, but I can never really tell what's well hidden until someone plays the map :P. Hopefully a BFG that early isn't a huge problem since cell ammo is limited until you grab the RK and open up some of those areas. I do need to make that BFG secret room have more opposition though, I agree.

One thing I'm a little unsatisfied with right now is lack of good cue for the path opening up the YK. Specifically the part after you drop down and press the switch which builds the stairs leading directly to the YK (with the Cacodemons that fly in from the opposite wall). After watching the demos it feels like there's not a strong enough connection between that switch and the path opening up to the YK. I'm thinking of solutions for this, but do you guys have any thoughts there?

Among other things, I'm planning on adding a few more incidental fights and maybe a couple more traps as well. That will hopefully liven the map up a little bit more in certain spots. I noticed that you played on a lower difficulty Chris, and I can better understand your criticism of the map feeling a little stark. Currently I've only tested it on UV and there's more going on in that difficulty (actually thanks for playing it in a lower difficulty!).

Oh and regarding the missing step texture. PrBoom+ doesn't seem to like multiple TEXTURE1 entries, so that's why it didn't show up. I thought PrBoom+ would merge them upon loading, but I guess not? At any rate, the step texture will have to be added to the resource wad at some point so it'll show up (I hope that's not a problem).

Map placement looks good to me, and again I can alter it if you guys want to place it somewhere else. Also I am open to options for a better music track. So feel free to suggest some! I will make updates to the map in the coming days; might wait on my new mouse to arrive. Speaking of which, I have a new mouse ordered and on its way, so I should be able to do some more graphic work soon :)

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Some more FDAs for Mechadon's map ( v1 ) : here
( PrBoom 2.5.0, UV )

Man, this level is a sight to behold.
I had a couple HOMs here and there apparently due to STEP2-related problems ( I ended my first FDA as soon as I saw HOMs and thought that I was using an outdated texture wad, but it seems that's not the case ), but aside from that the map is absolutely gorgeous. I loved the Espi-esque STARTAN usage and texture alignment, and I'll certainly replay the map to see all the little details that I've probably missed.

Gameplay-wise, this is pretty interesting too. A lot easier than the latest map I've played from you ( the behemoth in 50 Shades of GRAYTALL ), although some of the big encounters can be troublesome if you aren't prepared - or if you didn't find the BFG. The only thing that bugged me is that there are some Demon packs that can be easily killed from above or afar. You'll see what I'm talking about while watching my second demo. But it's not that much of a big deal. :)

Great layout. Some players will definitely get lost, but you already have many visual hints for the keys and the colored doors so I don't think you should change anything here.

The BFG9000 secret had me thinking for a while. :)
Really cool. I agree that it needs some more opposition before it though. Add another Pain Elemental before the last switch and you're good to go !

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Awesome demo Wilou, thanks a lot for recording it! It helped me out quite a bit and I've already made some updates based on your play :)

I decided to go ahead and make the updates to the map while the demos were fresh in my mind. Here's a hefty and unorganized changelog.

Grab the map here: Fomalhaut v2. My current host is down at the moment so this is a backup link.

Thanks for the feedback and demos guys, lemme know if you have more :D

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Thanks for updating your level so fast, Mech!

It's also really nice to see some new faces in here helping us playtest some of the levels. Much appreciated!

BTW, how would people feel if I messed around some more with joe-ilya's "Rockage" which is currently set for the map02 spot. I think it's a bit too hellish for episode 1, so I'm going to try and make it look a bit more like the other maps. While I think we could get better consistency between the maps, I also don't want to stray too far away from joe's original map. I guess the simplest answer is just to go ahead and let you guys be the judge of it. Did I just answer my own question!? :)

EDIT
New version of sepTYtex with Mechadon's fix to STEP2.
http://www.windward.dk/TDR/Ty_tribute/sepTYtex2b.zip

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Wait a sec, is that gonna affect STEP2 for all of us? If so, I'll have to check WormHell to make sure we didn't use it differently. Then again, I have no idea what the changes were to it so maybe my reaction here is moot.

To Mech: it occurs to me that I never got the yellow key, though I know what area you're talking about. Perhaps I didn't get far enough for that, but for the part leading to the switch that let loose the Caco's and company, it did have me a bit confused for a sec. But given that I'm not entirely sure that I'm even on the right page here I'll just have to wait til my next play through to figure that out.

Which I will do; I had a ton of fun with the first ^^ Might be a couple days before I can make the time, but I'll crank another one out here soon.

Depending on how much these maps have all changed I may put out my (now semi-)blind FDA's for them because they'll be of most help to y'all, but I really want to get a nice, finished one for each if I can. We'll see about that, lol, (failure to something stupid hurts the pride more than 10 minutes in, heh) but Ima try.

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Fonze said:

Wait a sec, is that gonna affect STEP2 for all of us? If so, I'll have to check WormHell to make sure we didn't use it differently. Then again, I have no idea what the changes were to it so maybe my reaction here is moot.


I just double-checked. You and Z0k use it in "Wormhell" and I've used it in "Manly Hatred". There might be other maps, didn't check. But in both cases, there were no issues with it because Mech's STEP2 is actually called STEP2FIX. I should have probably have noticed that and mentioned it before I updated sepTYtex :P I'll go through each map and replace all STEP2 appearences with STEP2FIX. I guess that's the right thing to do, agree? :)

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Ah ok, cool. Sure thing man; but I think I'd rather go ahead and do WormHell simply for the fact that the most recent version was updated since our last correspondence on it and that's with my laptop: sitting, collecting dust in some locker at Geek Squad. I just don't want to comb through the map later to find out what I added after I updated things last, which I'm already starting to forget and in a couple more weeks the knowledge will be totally gone, heh. Perhaps it's mental laziness, but it keeps things simple for me which allows me to keep better track of them.

Also, it'll save you some time; you got studying to do! Damn kids playing your Doom when you should be studying and taking care of your kids. ;p (see, just get a mouse and keyboard small enough and now your a good dad)

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Of course, Fonze. I didn't mean, that I would make the changes immediately, but when we are close to an alpha release :) On a related note: It's cool to overall see people take responsibilty for their maps and not just dump them there and forgot all about them. We've actually got team members that want to update their maps!

That leads me to "Rockage". I took a look at it again and made some more changes. More detailed lighting and a less hellish appearence is what it sports now. Download here (load it with Doom 2 and sepTYtex2b.wad).

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Ah! I forgot to mention that.

I think you're thinking on the right lines to tune Rockage up a bit further to make it fit the theme of its placement. I can't wait to take a look at it! Since it was a small one I'll prolly knock that out first, then jump to the rest of these maps. Hopefully that'll be my thing tomorrow night, but if not then Sunday night.

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Played through your map Mech (ver.1 unfortunately—didn't see that you updated it)

Phenomenal stuff, as per usual. While you have a nice organic flow for the white canyon in the beginning and caverns towards the end (bolstered by fantastic lighting), your base building absolutely steals the show—I spent quite a bit of time ogling your texture combinations and details. It's like your bases are wrapped in layers, where one wall or ceiling gives way to another, and another, and another, combining and meeting other walls in other areas. It's really fascinating and cool stuff—especially since I've been working with vanilla textures forever, it's cool to see how you interlock them together. Very complicated, but at the same time, extremely elegant and refined.

So regarding gameplay stuff, (I dunno if you fixed any of the things) I think it should be easier to notice the jump to the switch that lowers the YK gate down. Something like adding lights above or some kind of design on the floor to indicate the switch is over there (you have lamps near the switch but they come across background noise). I think you'll be happy to hear I didn't find the BFG but found the map to be perfectly playable without it. The only two places I struggled at were the chaingunner nest near the middle of the map and those damn dark caves at the end. The former was because I had no armor and 50% health (and the chaingunners were very quick to the draw) and the latter was just a brutal encounter when you have the revs, pinkies, and cacos running around in the dark. I'm not sure the caves can be adjusted; just wanted to say it was a whole league of difficulty above what the rest of the map was (the first 10-20 minutes were fluff in comparison).

Also, I'd recommend removing the two 32-tall METAL boxes on the ceiling you have at the entrance of the complex, as (at the end) I was backpedalling away from the revs and got trapped between the MIDGRATE and metal box (where the stimpack is) and ate some rockets. Plus aesthetically I didn't think they fit in with the natural curvature of that area :P Overall great stuff. I was especially impressed with COMPBLU usage in 1 or 2 places; your architecture will never not be worthy of praise.

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Ok I'm gonna make one really long post here for all four maps (assuming I get through all of them tonight). I'm gonna come back and edit this throughout my time tonight to add in each one that I get through so I hopefully forget less >.<

Rockage
By: Joe Ilya and Chris Hansen


Demo

I really liked the new theme to this map! The texturing you've done, Chris, looks great!

Ammo balancing felt perfect for my playthroughs tonight.

I felt like there could have been a tad more health in/right before the real red key room with the four chaingunners from tough angles. That was probably the toughest spot of the map, but all-in-all it was a very easy map that would fit a MAP02 spot.

Oh, and pardon the extra couple minutes at the end of the demo, I had to take another look around at the level, which I also spent looking for secrets as well (and inspecting the "generator"-thing). Final length was, I think 8-something. But that demo likely isn't important as there's really not much to show. Maybe if I made all the runs one long, continuous demo so the failures could be seen as well but being such a short, easy map there's just not much worth watching. Though the HK and imps from outside did try to sneak up on me on that last one. The one before just an imp came right as I walked into the real red key room, got perforated, and retreated. Guess what happened ;p



Ok, Sky Pillar v2 will be next...

Yup, that got far... Sorry fellas, had a bad fail at Sky Pillar almost 30 minutes in, then I cracked open a bottle and next thing I knew it was today, heh. Have to try again...

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