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obake

s-IMP-le level (zdoom in Hexen format)

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Using advice from Dobu, I have been practicing mapping under certain limitations. This map, called s-IMP-le is one such limited map.

It is, however, still in zdoom in Hexen format (just as an extra reminder). The map is super short and can be beaten in less than five minutes, and the only type of monsters you'll face are regular imps. There is a catch to the level, though, one which makes it more intense than one might expect. Also, jumping and crouching are not needed.

The file size is 6 MB due mostly to the Myuu track (his music is well known for being used in Creepypasta videos.) I got tired of the usual Aubrey Hodges PSX tracks and decided to mix things up. Plus, unlike from what I've heard about Hodge's music, Myuu's tracks won't set off copyright alarms.

Some screens:




The level itself:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/t1st72162x6zgdl/iom.zip

I'm mighty interested in receiving feedback from the community, especially Dobu and other experienced mappers. I know the zdoom format doesn't exactly seem to fit constrictive limitations, but I've really worked hard to improve my skills on this one. I might update the post with a vanilla version of the level at some point if enough interest is shown.

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Good execution on this map. I like that you stayed focused and concise here, knowing what gimmick you wanted to roll with and working on it. The visuals are smooth and clean, far from being scattershot like your NOVA 2 submission (not that it's always a bad thing, mind you). Couple things:

- The bullet clip pickups are entirely useless as the shotgun is basically the only weapon you'll use. It would've been better to provide armor or health bonuses, as the map is very quick to kill you if you're not careful.

- The arrangement of imps is great! You keep them present on all sides at a variety of heights, making the player feel surrounded and pressured at all times. I think a couple spots could use 1 or 2 less imps, but that's mainly because I kept getting killed trying to clear out their cubbies :P

- There's a couple of incidental geometry oddities that stick out like a sore thumb. For instance, the wall next to the steps outside of the house have a couple of bumps in them that serve no purpose other than to make the wall look weird. Similarly, the wall above the door to the house is recessed a little bit, which also makes it look weird. There's a time and place for weirdness, and not having those walls be perfectly flat and congruent with their neighbors only serves to make the map feel slightly more amateurish. When you indent walls, there should generally be a purpose to it.

- Good job experimenting with the lighting near the blue key. That little cramped hallway felt a lot more sinister mainly due to the darkness.

- I noticed a couple imps teleporting in silently in the top right, which is kind of a no-no since death is so easy to come by in this map. They should definitely warp in like normal, or maybe even trickle out of the walls as a more naturally means.

I think you're getting better at mapping; there's no reason for you to call it quits. There were no textures or enemy placements that made me think "what in blue blazes is he doing?" like with Hated Attic. There's some good ideas in your maps sometimes, and I think you may be getting better at communicating them when you try and focus on conveyance more, like with this concept.

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dobu gabu maru said:

Good execution on this map. I like that you stayed focused and concise here, knowing what gimmick you wanted to roll with and working on it. The visuals are smooth and clean, far from being scattershot like your NOVA 2 submission (not that it's always a bad thing, mind you). Couple things:

- The bullet clip pickups are entirely useless as the shotgun is basically the only weapon you'll use. It would've been better to provide armor or health bonuses, as the map is very quick to kill you if you're not careful.

- The arrangement of imps is great! You keep them present on all sides at a variety of heights, making the player feel surrounded and pressured at all times. I think a couple spots could use 1 or 2 less imps, but that's mainly because I kept getting killed trying to clear out their cubbies :P

- There's a couple of incidental geometry oddities that stick out like a sore thumb. For instance, the wall next to the steps outside of the house have a couple of bumps in them that serve no purpose other than to make the wall look weird. Similarly, the wall above the door to the house is recessed a little bit, which also makes it look weird. There's a time and place for weirdness, and not having those walls be perfectly flat and congruent with their neighbors only serves to make the map feel slightly more amateurish. When you indent walls, there should generally be a purpose to it.

- Good job experimenting with the lighting near the blue key. That little cramped hallway felt a lot more sinister mainly due to the darkness.

- I noticed a couple imps teleporting in silently in the top right, which is kind of a no-no since death is so easy to come by in this map. They should definitely warp in like normal, or maybe even trickle out of the walls as a more naturally means.

I think you're getting better at mapping; there's no reason for you to call it quits. There were no textures or enemy placements that made me think "what in blue blazes is he doing?" like with Hated Attic. There's some good ideas in your maps sometimes, and I think you may be getting better at communicating them when you try and focus on conveyance more, like with this concept.


Thanks so much for the review! I purposely had the silent teleporting imps because I thought they would be scary, but I see what you mean now, how the players circumstances and the level layout don't make tricks like that scary as much as just annoying or cheap.

I'll definitely post two revised versions of the level (one zdoom in Hexen, the other vanilla), with all of the edits you suggested. Thanks for the compliments on the architecture, layout, and theme. I was very careful selecting textures this time, making sure nothing clashed with one another unpleasantly.

Again, thanks for the feedback, and God bless! :)

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An Obake level without custom monsters?! This is bull crap; I'm outta here!

Heh nah, in all seriousness, I'll give this thing a go when I get the chance. Should be over the next few days.

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Nice level. Imo you should leave the bullets I used a lot the pistol to finish the imps, I had to change front many times as the imps surround you very well and it's easy to not to 1-shot them and so waste some shells. I can understand why you used the silent teleports here but they work better when you can't see where the monsters appear.

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Wow Obake, what a screwed up level you have provided us with!

The few cons:

Personally, I think the silent teleporters were a bit unnecessary; it just made me question if there were stealth imps or not. I do like, however, the way you implemented them, with each having a percentage chance to either work silently or to be loud, and the 2 different points of entry were nice.

It was screwed up to start the player at 25% hp with a few just-about-worthless health pick-ups lying around. But given the over-all picture I liked it.

The secret was whack. I'm sorry, but how is anyone supposed to find that? Never mind that its reward of +4% hp does near-nothing. I only found the secret after IDDT'ing after all monsters were dead and I had already reached the exit and went back and looked around some more, to no avail.

The detail-work here was minimal, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've seen far better-looking stuff from your previous works.

That's about it for the cons. These were the pros:

I loved the way this level was designed. Great use of layout, placement, and traps to maximize the effectiveness of the imps! As dobu said, you did a great job creating pressure from every angle the whole way around. Combined with the health situation it made for a very tense, awesome battle. Finding cover was the toughest part, but I think that

Spoiler

going for the key area first seemed to be the best way to start.

I loved the level's exit; an ascension to Heaven (as I interpreted it). That was sweet-looking.

Ammo was plentiful, which was a good thing considering all the wasted shots due to freaking-out over the entire situation.

The lighting on the blue key was really nice-looking. Great job with that!

The inside as well as the far outside area looked cool. A quick glance of the inner courtyard looked cool too; it was just by the time it was all over that I started thinking about the detailing being minimal. Perhaps a couple support columns bordering the gates would spruce things up a bit.

This was a really fun map and I'd like to see a Vanilla or at least Boom version come out for some sweet, tense demos. Great job once again Obake!

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Fonze said:

Wow Obake, what a screwed up level you have provided us with!

The few cons:

Personally, I think the silent teleporters were a bit unnecessary; it just made me question if there were stealth imps or not. I do like, however, the way you implemented them, with each having a percentage chance to either work silently or to be loud, and the 2 different points of entry were nice.

It was screwed up to start the player at 25% hp with a few just-about-worthless health pick-ups lying around. But given the over-all picture I liked it.

The secret was whack. I'm sorry, but how is anyone supposed to find that? Never mind that its reward of +4% hp does near-nothing. I only found the secret after IDDT'ing after all monsters were dead and I had already reached the exit and went back and looked around some more, to no avail.

The detail-work here was minimal, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I've seen far better-looking stuff from your previous works.

That's about it for the cons. These were the pros:

I loved the way this level was designed. Great use of layout, placement, and traps to maximize the effectiveness of the imps! As dobu said, you did a great job creating pressure from every angle the whole way around. Combined with the health situation it made for a very tense, awesome battle. Finding cover was the toughest part, but I think that

Spoiler

going for the key area first seemed to be the best way to start.

I loved the level's exit; an ascension to Heaven (as I interpreted it). That was sweet-looking.

Ammo was plentiful, which was a good thing considering all the wasted shots due to freaking-out over the entire situation.

The lighting on the blue key was really nice-looking. Great job with that!

The inside as well as the far outside area looked cool. A quick glance of the inner courtyard looked cool too; it was just by the time it was all over that I started thinking about the detailing being minimal. Perhaps a couple support columns bordering the gates would spruce things up a bit.

This was a really fun map and I'd like to see a Vanilla or at least Boom version come out for some sweet, tense demos. Great job once again Obake!


Thanks so much! :D

I'm glad you noticed the detailing in the exit area. It is sort of an ascension to heaven sort of deal, you only have to fight your way through hordes of imps to reach it. ;)

I will make vanilla/boom versions of this map at some point.

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