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antares031

Struggle : Antaresian Legacy (now available in /idgames)

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I need to remember that I have to try to make some demos for the new maps that I still need to play, and most probably I'll replay the whole thing while I'm at it :P

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A bit late to the party, but I decided to check out beta 5 just this past week and I am absolutely blown away by this mapset. Best thing I've played in years and a really fresh experience while still staying true to the dynamics of the classic game in a sense, at least in my opinion. The new weapons and monsters combined with your mapping style (great layouts! and some of those "fast starts" are really Resurgence-esque) provide exactly the kind of fast-paced action that hits the sweet spot for me. I have to say I am especially in love with the assault rifle, my favorite go-to weapon in all even remotely dangerous-looking situations.

 

A package of FDAs for all available maps in beta 5 is in the attachment. Some maps have multiple demos, v1 means a failed attempt and since the maps were pretty long I usually had a small break before the next attempt v2. There are a few maps which I don't finish but instead die with one or two monsters left, at least map32 (killed by decorations...), map19 (no ammo left to kill the final boss?) and map21 (died at the exit, ammo a bit too tight for my liking). Didn't really give map25 a fair shake yet, seems like a rather demanding map and didn't really have the time to tackle such a behemoth.

 

tldr; I am enjoying the hell out of this and can't wait to see what's in store for the last handful of maps! Should be a slam dunk cacoward winner whenever it finishes.

Struggle_FDAs_Veinen.zip

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9 hours ago, Veinen said:

 

 

I really appreciate these FDA files that cover the entire wad! I'm currently watching the demo file of MAP07, and I've finished editing previous levels, based on your playthrough. I'll make sure to watch the other demo files as well, since FDA provides really valuable information of gameplay.

 

I'm glad you liked the custom weapons and monsters I made with DeHackEd. This wad has received lots of major & minor changes, since the first public release, and I'm still working on adjusting the balance of gameplay, so there will be some more changes in the final version. Currently, pistol will get a slight firing rate boost, and turret statues will get longer delay between each shot. Not to mention that I'm going to add a custom palette during the pain state for better visual, and I want to gather some opinions about it.

 

Again, thank you for your demo record files! :)

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haven't played it all yet, but wow. Really nice work!

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I've started recording the whole thing and, so far, I've got 6 maps uploaded. I'm playing UV + Pistol Start with saves. I died a lot lol, but most of my deaths were mostly because of my really sloppy playing lol Still, from the last time I played the wad, things seems a lot smoother now, I think it's due to the balance changes you've made and my skill that improved a bit haha

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Deadwing said:

I've started recording the whole thing and, so far, I've got 6 maps uploaded. I'm playing UV + Pistol Start with saves. I died a lot lol, but most of my deaths were mostly because of my really sloppy playing lol Still, from the last time I played the wad, things seems a lot smoother now, I think it's due to the balance changes you've made and my skill that improved a bit haha

 

 

I remember that you were the first one, who brought FDA feedback for this wad, during the days with early beta version. This wad has been changed a lot in gameplay mechanics, compare to the older version, thanks to the opinions I had from various players. Even the next RC1 will receive some balance changes, such as slightly faster firing rate for pistol, slower projectile speed for blue energy bolts, and slower firing rate o... oh, this could be a spoiler. :P

 

Anyway, thanks a lot for those demo recordings! :) I'm going to make some minor changes in those levels, like placing a radsuit for an escape lift around the yellow keycard.

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Posted (edited)

I just finished the whole thing. First of all, what an amazing experience! Struggle is a very unique and fun megawad, which shares a lot of quality that makes the whole experience remarkable:

 

- The "old west" weapon set: At the same time it brings new elements to the table, it is still faithful to the original Doom. The new and more powerful weapons makes killing the demons a lot more rewarding. Due to this, monsters are less bulky, which speeds up the gameplay, enhanced also by the enemies faster projectiles. In other wads I would complain about numerous circle-strafing and door fights which happens here, but here I didn't mind because of the stronger weapons and the well designed setpieces, which enhances the pacing and sometimes you'll just want to blast things through.

 

- Very unique visuals: Mixing up unique type of textures and the peculiar mapping style by antares, there's a lot of interesting and beautiful landscapes, unique architecture designs and very well designed battle setups. There are numerous maps that focus on indoors layouts, which I love and is rarer nowdays. Struggle also feels a bit retro when relating to layouts, and some players might relate some epic moments to the classics such as Alien Vendetta and Hell Revealed, but this time with a much better and more interesting monster placement, where grinding is usually low and you'll never feel bored.

 

- New and more powerful enemies: Although dehacked has it limitations when trying to design new and interesting enemies, Struggle introduces some very interesting foes. Some might be your typical dehacked variant, where the new foe just throws many projectiles into the player, but others bring new elements to the table, such as the commando motherfucker guy and the Antaresia, with a predictable projectile pattern which will trick the player a lot through the journey. Some might not like the changes to the original monsters, but I think it's fine, and not every new change needs to be a "super well thought and balanced mechanic".

 

- Exploration focused levels: More than just following a single path and getting into the next setpiece, several levels here are non-linear and require some navigation skills. You'll have to look at the automap several times, memorize health and ammo locations and key areas. It's oldschool and I love that kind of stuff.

 

It's an epic journey which will eat up a lot of hours, which is impressive due to how well the visual were taken care and it was all one-man made. The last level (25 on beta 5) is fucking epic and will make the whole journey worth it. If I would point something negative, it would be some levels in the first episode which feels that repeats too much some ideas introduced before. Looking here at my playthrough, I think I got that feel more on maps 8 and 13.

 

Can't wait to see how the final levels will develop and end the whole journey :D

 

Level-to-level comments:

 

1 - Very strong entry level, where introduces well the new gameplay and its elements. Some people might not like the switch thing, but I think it works well and it's not usual to find that kind of stuff haha

 

2 - A short level which introduces cool non-linearity and memorable layouts, such as the berserk area and the Blue key area trap.

 

3 - This one wasn't much memorable, but it has a cool entrance and outdoor area. It also does well its job in building up the pace.

 

4 - The first level with a large outdoor area, bringing up new textures to the table and a epic and intense finale.

 

5 - Amazing song! :D Very memorable map focusing on nukage techbase. It introduces the replacement for the plasma gun and the powerful cyberdemon. Due to how powerful the new rocket launcher is, the new cyberdemon is also a lot more deadlier, shooting faster and stronger rockets. Once you get used to it, you won't have much problem to deal with him, although there's isn't many cyberdemon's in the megawad.

 

6 - A level which starts very claustrophobic but it builds up into something much more interesting, giving some hints to where Struggle wants to go.

 

7 - Back on techbases, and a very intense start area, where you'll be back several times. This also has a E2 feel on it, but with Struggle own identity. Also, meet the new Spiderdemon, which a very initeresting mix of hitscan + projectiles attack.

 

8 - A standard tech-base level. It plays really fine, but doesn't introduces much new nor builds things up.

 

9 - Main theme here is the lack of lighting/darkness. Some really intense battles here and an interesting end.

 

10 - A welcome change of pace and a very unique level. Natural landscapes + caves + hellish structures. My favorite from the second batch.

 

11 - Another amazing level. Unique setting (open volcan-like hole where the player navigates through destroyed pieces of a building) featuring a very strong and diffcult start, a clear goal and epic setpieces.

 

12 - Loved that one too. A very strong indoor map with some really cool archtecture elements, with tracks, cool large indoor areas and an epic finale.

 

13 - That one features a cool outdoor area where you'll be slowly crawling through. Not as memorable as the others levels, though.

 

14 - Another amazing song! Very strong level mixing up outdoor and indoor areas featuring some plataforming and nukage areas.

 

15 - One of the key levels of the journey. The first level which also will feature some slaughter elements. Some people might not like much that last battle, but I think it works well, especially for a change of pace.

 

31 - Surprisingly, the secret level isn't really secret :P A proper payback for the build up of the last level: A huge hellish journey featuring lots of exploration, some slaughter setpieces and very beautiful landscapes.

 

32 - The first boss of the journey. Not a very hard one, but it fits really well in the wad with some really cool vistas.

 

16 - Back to techbases, but now with a cool little twist. A non-linear level where each patch has a different sub-theme. Very large level with lots of exploration, very good.

 

17 - Loved the mini-city! Another strong large non-linear techbase featuring lots of exploration and an awesome music.

 

18 - The initial shot remembers me a bit of the map 14, but it actually plays and builds up into something different. Also, the new and (thankfully) overpowered BFG is introduced, very fun weapon to use, especially when you can one-shot multiples of those bulky hexen monsters haha

 

19 - Time to find the another teleportation device. A new boss also is introduced here. Thankfully it's a very different level from map 15, and the teleport area feature a different setpiece too.

 

20 - Back to hell to finally put an end to the invasion. Intense and difficult level, lots of beautiful vistas. Surprisingly, green is the main color here, when you would expect blue haha

 

21 - After the large and epic levels from the second episode, it seems things will slow down from here, which is a good decision, IMO. Still, this level is surprinsingly difficult and should not be underestimated. Also, finally we dive into the antaresia theme.

 

22 - Another shorter level which works well for pacing things up.

 

23 - A hellish town open-level with a strong start. Not much to say here, but I think it adds up to the pace and it works as a nice transition to the next map.

 

24 - An underground temple that introduces the last enemy (so far), and a very difficult and annoying one hahaha Great level, very beautiful architecture.

 

25 - Back to open area with a difficult, long and intense starting fight. Some slaughterish but fun fights at the end haha

 

26 - Like the previous two levels, this is also a good build-up and things are now really getting "back" serious. The Dome area is definetly the final goal and some of the hardest battles of this megawad, which is deserving due to how well made that area was.

 

27 - The closest to slaughter gameplay you'll find here. Not a very large level, but really fun and difficult. Beware the arch-villes hehe Some setpieces will need some actual thinking (instead of just trying and fail) so the player gets to effectively solve them.

 

28 - One of the most impressive maps I've played architecturally. As expected, there's lots of slaughterish-lite/slaughterish setpieces here, which honestly fits really well. Some of these setpieces are really really hard, though (fuck arch-villes lol). But it's definetly a worth journey and payback for the previous maps. I can't even imagine how much time it should've taken to make something like that haha Amazing map for an amazing megawad.

Edited by Deadwing

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9 hours ago, Deadwing said:

I just finished the whole thing. First of all, what an amazing experience! Struggle is a very unique and fun megawad, which shares a lot of quality that makes the whole experience remarkable......

 

Much appreciated for the playthrough of whole levels, including those from pre-RC version, and highly detailed review about the wad, Deadwing! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the wad in overall. I'll make sure to adjust some elements, based on the playthrough videos on Youtube. One of big differences in the next release candidate version is that now you can fire BFG without reloading sequence, if you keep pressing the fire button. Keep in mind that you still need to reload it, if you don't hold down the fire button, but I guess that this will give more options to players against a giant slaughter moment; whether you spam the BFG as fast as you can, or perform precise strikes against more preferable monster formations for better ammo efficiency.

 

The MAP29 is about 30% done, and I think I'll be able to release the next version in the late June, with this speed of progression. I still need to place some more monsters for the cooperative gameplay, but I guess it won't take a long time to finish the job. As long as everything is going all right, the final version will be uploaded to idgames in this year, after 3 years of development, and a couple of months of development for scrapped megawad project. (FYI, several levels in the early episode were salvaged from the scrapped project long ago, like MAP03 and MAP05, with minor changes in details and gameplay.) Again, thanks for the review of the current version. :)

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Awesome! Can't wait to see the final levels! It'll be interesting to see that BFG change :D

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Agree with Deadwing. This wad is great. I haven't hit a map I don't like & most have their highlights which I'll list (first 15):

 

01 - Meeting the Cacospectre.

02/03 - Not as sure about a highlight but I enjoyed them. 

04 - The big fight near the end, and really much of the outdoor area.

05 - The fake door beyond the yelliw door.

06 - First foray into Antaresia.

07 - Great hub design. And the final boss (first Mastermind).

08 - Archvile popping mid-level in area with the lava. And the exit hall trap.

09 - Cacospectres! And don't run for the exit too fast...

10 - This is an entirely different theme, nice to see every once in a while.

11 - Seeing that a Mastermind can be resurrected! And big battle when you shut down the resurrector.

12 - Teleporting into a monster closet - better hurry out! And railroad.

13 - Target practice! It's a tough start too.

14 - Main outdoor area always a hub for almost any part you've explored. And back to the start for the end!

15 - A small section here for most aesthetic 'themes' in the wad. The massive end battle, circular area and time spawns reminiscent of The Final Countdown (Map05 of Lunatic).

 

These are just a few tidbits out of each level that stuck with me most, far from comprehensive thoughts (almost all positive). And really so for a one man megawad! This should join Resurgence, Going Down, and Valiant for modern 'one-man classics'.

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Posted (edited)

never had so much fun playing a game in years

thank you very much for your hard work

 

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Congrats on the release! I've been looking forward to this for the longest time.

I'll make sure to check it out soon enough :D

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Congrats Antares, creating a 32 map set single handedly is an absolutely incredible achievement. Kudos :)

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Congratz for the release, @antares031! :D

 

I'm sorry for not being able to play the two remaining levels yet, but I'll do it as soon as I can >.<

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This is also hosted on ZDaemon for coop/survival play:

 

Broken Glass Breakfast - Struggle RC1 - zds://37.247.54.67:10603

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2 minutes ago, damo2k said:

This is also hosted on ZDaemon for coop/survival play:

 

Remember to load the optional wad, STRG_M28.wad, if you're using ZDaemon sourceport. Otherwise, MAP28 will suffer heavy framerate drop issue.

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13 minutes ago, antares031 said:

 

Remember to load the optional wad, STRG_M28.wad, if you're using ZDaemon sourceport. Otherwise, MAP28 will suffer heavy framerate drop issue.

 

Already have hehe! 

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I think this is a little ridiculous for a pain effect:

 

63yAP7V.png

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Heh wow. That actually looks really cool on its own tho.

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Congrats, antares !
Very nice job.

I had a quick look at the beta version earlier in March. The very first map I played was map 32 I think, I just couldn't wait to see the pretty blue maps displayed on your various screenshots :)
To be honest, the map was indeed very pretty and blue and all but I didn't like that map's gameplay very much. I think maybe I got overwhelmed by the amount of new weapons and items that I was unfamiliar with - the weapons all looked very cartoony (even for Doom), and I was irritated by the high-pitched screams of the blue Ophidian variants. Never really took the time to play again...

Gave the wad another try when you released RC1, and this time I started with map 01 (as I should have).
I'm at map 14 now, and man, it's a ton of fun. After actually taking the time to get used to the new weapons and enemy changes, according to a smooth and carefully-designed curve over the first 4 or 5 maps, I can definitely say that I'm having a blast playing this.
While I still find the weapons a little too cartoony, I've grown fond of them somehow. The dual-handling automatic pistols are immensely fun to use, since they sound powerful and actually mow down low-tier monsters and even Demons like nobody's business. The hammer is a lot more enjoyable to use than the standard Berserk fist, and the Grenade Launcher, while being awkward to use at first due to the firing delay, is a worthy replacement for the old RL.
On the other hand, I don't like the slower reloading delay on the SSG, but maybe it's only due to the fact that you used the classic SSG sprites and that gets me confused and angry. You should use another sprite set IMHO, there are plenty of good SSGs here and there (you may wanna try looking at LegenDoom for instance).

I still think the Antaresia has annoying screams, too.... Heretic's standard Ophidian SFX would sound a lot better IMHO. Or anything but ear-piercing screeches. :)

Aside from that, great job on the maps themselves !
You have a distinctive style to your work, and so far these maps are a nice blend of adventure, casual Doom II combat (albeit with heavily-modified gameplay), exploration, surprise monster closets, and crowded fights.
Really cool stuff overall. Thanks for sharing this !
 

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