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rdwpa

Ovum (a map)

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Sadly I won't be able to do an FDA for this... I tried 9 times and couldn't get so much as a foothold.

Interesting map, though, I dig the use of the textures. O_o

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one of the best things I've played in awhile, cheers. here's a cl9 fda (uv) with saves and lots of deaths: https://www.mediafire.com/?mlf6h83u33escvu

your maps are pretty dark in general so I ended up maxing the gamma for playability reasons. went back through with normal lighting though to appreciate the detailing, very cool stuff.

stand-out moments (pro):
- nice interwoven layout. the complexity with the interconnections makes the "tree"-type layout feel more interesting
- RSK fight was baller, well done.
- nice "push-forward" idea with the HKs and 2 AVs after that lowering switch (en route to YSK). I managed to still slightly cheese it with some favorable AV behavior. If you want to be an insistent dick about forcing the player into the booby-trapped complex you could simply have a perched AV by the area that you drop in from, totally forbidding all cover in that area.
- barrel secret 10/10

stand-out moments (con):
- put some monster blocking lines around the RSK please (or "how I learned to love wandering around the map for 10 minutes looking for the last key that was covered by a caco corpse :p")
- moving one of those ammo boxes in front of the ammo-guarding manc at the start would be appreciated
- secret arena is cute, but feels a bit broken. I got stuck on the inside of a arach that was in the process of warping in on my first attempt.. ohwell.
- a few stimpacks after the RSK fight would make me inclined to play less cheesy in the rather easily escapable mini-encounters that follow.

Also yeah I found lots of switches but I had no idea where any of the corresponding secrets were. I managed to get through the map allright without them though, so it seems decently balanced.

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Even on ITYTD I couldn't finish it without cheats, props to your monster placement. The look and texturework is probably some of the most unique stuff I've ever seen that doesn't deviate too far from the traditional Doom themes, and the layout is beautifully brutal.

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Hey that's a damn brill map, loved the theme and overall interconnectivity. Played on HMP and it was still pretty challenging.
RK fight was my favorite. I struggled a lot at the PG encounter, took me quite a few tries to get back out of there. I'd say 3 HK's instead of Barons would be sufficient but maybe i just suck even more nowadays. Anyway really loved it.

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I should probably give up trying to fda maps that promote the lower difficulty settings heheh. I don't know how to do the saves within fdas thing. I'm sure it's an option I haven't looked at yet. I finished with saves, no plasma gun. Apparently that's optional, despite there being cells scattered everywhere.

Anyway, it's good. I didn't 'like' any encounters, but close quarters, no room to move dodging isn't really my style. I'll echo ribbiks on the darkness, I try to play with fog-based lighting on in glboom these days since it's close to prboom+, but I guess you made the map with gl lighting in mind.

After being surprised at finishing with barely 250/400 or something mobs killed, I poked around in god mode for what was missing. Those secrets are a pain to find, I only found 4 of them and half of them I think I got less out of than if I ignored them, and the other half was the first berserk secret and the plasma gun. I think that plasma gun secret should have been the regular way to get it, it was much more interesting a fight.

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This map is out of control, the visuals are absolutely stunning and the gameplay is seriously hardcore.

On UV I just couldn't get past the RK arena, no matter how much I tried and mixed up my techniques, eventually I had to lower the difficulty and restart the level to which ironically I flawlessly conquered the RK arena first go.

The way the map interconnects is beautifully seamless, and the layout is just smooth and neat. Though I did struggle to find some of the secrets, but that just adds replayability to the map for me.

Overall a really awesome level!

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Here's my unsuccessful FDA and a first exit after taking a break. In the FDA I made it through the red key fight up to a fork in the road with a choice of plasma or a trail of rockets into the unknown. After wondering if the plasma arena would fill with nukage I took the plunge and promptly got mauled by the barons. In the next few attempts didn't make it quite so far so I decided to take a break and only managed to pull out a successful exit later on.

Really loved the encounters in this map. The opening pin and red key fight were both outstanding. The red fight in particular was great because of how it the waves were timed, matching the players instincts & putting on more pressure accordingly. The incidental traps along the way were quite ferocious but seldom felt 'unfair' and there were ample resources.

Other thoughts:
- Nice visuals and layout. The towers looming over the red yard looked really nice.
- The secrets were very difficult to find. I was relieved to discover that finding them wasn't of much importance.
-The way monsters were literally hurled into the secret plasma fight was great. It looked a bit wonky but I stayed out of the middle so I didn't get get stuck like Ribbiks.
- The yellow key area was suitably panic inducing. I miraculously survived after triggering one of the closets with my back turned. This worked out in my favour because after that I assumed any and all pickups from that point on would be similarly trapped, providing some much needed breathing room at the top.
- I assume the radsuit on the pillar is only useful for dedicated secret hunters. Initially I was torn between assuming it would be needed for the plasma room somehow or useful further down the path. Putting it in an inescapable arena with such a nasty pin felt quite disproportionate relative to the reward.
- I expected something nasty to pop out in the final room but it was mercifully empty.

All in all a wonderful map. It offers exactly the kind of doom experience i'm looking for.

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RjY said:

I reached the exit without dying, but with 56% kills and, worse, 0% secrets.

That's funny. I had almost the same percentage and zero secrets. I thought "I'm pretty good at finding secrets. How could I miss so much of the map?" I used ZDoom. I saved a lot cuz I died a lot.

This is a really good map, one of the better ones I've played in the last year. And very tough; a consistent level of difficulty without being a slaughtermap. I don't ever adjust my gamma, so dark in a lot of places. With the structures you used, I was reminded of MAP14 of Sunder and MAP07 of D2INO, but not as geometrical. Love the use of voodoo dolls and delays, especially the delayed crusher on the AVs in the Plasma Gun area. Great 'distant towers', but that architecture is so different from this map. I wondered how this place fits in with the towers in a larger mapset/world. And wow, that's a whole lot of damaging blood you have to run through. Man.

I was so proud of myself for being able to SR to grab the Red Key without hitting the switch. Then I realized there was no way out and SR was what you intended. Damn. Giving the player the key he's after and all the ammo he needs, then giving him all the time he wants before forcing him to release the monsters he needs to kill/survive in order to wait for the lift switch to reveal - that's devious. I ran around a lot, but survived. Eventually. I suppose I could have rocket-jumped out and avoided the whole fight. Hmmm...

A couple of the semi-hidden switches were annoying. One I could barely see. Others I kept shooting at, but not triggering. I had to move over a few pixels and shoot again. Firing lines were very thin. Of course this was only after I had restored my last save, went back to kill most of the rest of the monsters and then went secret-hunting. You need it very quiet to hear distant switch covers/lifts move as you walk around.

I will call 'bullshit' on two of the secrets. Linedef tag 93 is not even a switch. It's a G1 line in a deep hole in the wall. Which I thought was a darker texture or a shadow on the wall. There's no hint or indicator that it's anything else, and no way anyone would think to shoot at that wall/hole. From the right spot. It's a VERY hard-to-find secret; WAY subtle. If I was in the right humor, I might add a second linedef which would trigger a voodoo doll to bump the lights in the hole to 255 with a picture of Dopefish on the back wall staring back at you.

The impossible-to-find secret is linedef tag 90. It's a floor-to-ceiling notch in a wall on some stairs. It doesn't use a switch texture; it uses a wall texture found throughout the map. Unless you expect a player to hump every wall in the map, I think that one's unfair. Yes, it's the easiest switch to find; you just can't recognize it as a switch. The only good thing about both of them is that the secrets they reveal are close by. You can hear the walls drop, so the lack of a triggered indicator isn't that bad. I only found these two in an editor afterwards.

The scariest part of the map? The exit. An obvious exit pool in a big empty room? I swear to God, I expected a Dark Cardinal or a Hierophant or a Gatekeeper to rise from the pool as I approached and the exit to lock behind me. Something absolutely over the top. But there was nothing. Nothing but a very disquieting, very slow walk from the door to the pool... Making the walk even longer would make it more disturbing.

Seven monsters did not teleport in. The same seven both times I went through the map. Obviously their landing spots were blocked.

Spoiler

Spoiler

(Note: Those are my default sprites, not the map author's.)

Regardless of anything I've said here, I had fun. It was painful and frustrating, but not overly much of either. Good times.

A themed mapset of these like Valiant/Sunlust/Going Down would be amazing.

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You can save the game during recording in -cl 9 now? What sorcery is this?! Let me try my hand:

Alakhazam! Skill 4 FDA!

I suppose you'll be pleased to find that I died somewhere around 9-10 times....all in one spot in the map over the course of about 180 seconds of playtime. That spot would be the deadfall that eventually leads back out into the starting area with the YSK on its little platform, I simply could not see what needed to be done to survive there. When I finally made it out it wasn't even really ME that beat the fight, but rather a freak anomaly of RNG/monster-pathing. In hindsight, I can see where the safe spots are--mainly a matter of being bitten once or twice to learn about the closet traps, and how to camp out without triggering them--but at the time I was doggedly fixated on the idea that I needed more cells to try to stonewall a chokepoint with for long enough for the viles to start tripping over themselves (I think I had something like 10 when I went down there), and so tried blitzing forward a few times in search of said cells and said chokepoint, but they were simply not forthcoming, leading to my generally ill-fated attempts to hold out right at the start point. Maybe it's just sour grapes, but I think this part may need just a slight nerf....having the soulsphere on the deadlift instead of a little ways in might do the trick, or perhaps having an additional bulk cell right on the lift. Talking of slight nerfs, what I REALLY wanted to do was simply be able to go back and try the second plasma rifle area that I had glanced at earlier on first (to try to come out of it with more cells for use in the fight I was struggling with), but a little dropoff prevented this. Since being able to pick your poison is a big 'thing' in this map writ large, I would suggest not having that dropoff there--you give the player options this way without having to actually tone down any fights.

It's also probably true that for many players some of the secrets will in all likelihood do more harm than good (which arguably undermines the quest to find them to some degree), e.g. the ass-pinching revenant in the 'zerk secret or the like. I suppose you can justify this kind of dickery in UV in a map where you advise against playing on UV....but be kinder to the HMPers, says I. One thing I would definitely suggest is having an additional radsuit as a reward in the first secret (or rather, the first secret I find in the FDA). After finally making it out of that last quagmire I had wanted to go back and check out the other plasma rifle fight the dropoff had kept me from earlier, but the prospect of having to go through damage floor again to get there handily dissuaded me from this course, since by that time I was sort of in turtleshell mode after my poor showing in the pre-YSK bit; but with an extra suit I almost certainly would have done it (and then you might've gotten even more pelts!).

I would concur with the sentiment that the RSK fight is the map highlight. The secret plasma rifle fight's neat too, although those enemies zooming in on ultrafast conveyors or whatever it is do look a mite silly.

Oh, and I play in hi-res software mode, and I had no problems with the lighting, I think it looked fine and was eminently playable. One little asterisk might be the issue of any gunswitches that might be hidden in any of those dark crevices (you'll see me firing into some blindly at various points to use muzzle-flash for illumination); if you're going to stick a switch in one of those, do be sporting and brighten it (the crevice) up a little more than the others, eh? ;)

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ArmouredBlood said:

I should probably give up trying to fda maps that promote the lower difficulty settings heheh. I don't know how to do the saves within fdas thing. I'm sure it's an option I haven't looked at yet.

Oh yeah, to do this, it's easiest to record in -cl -1 (or default mode), where you can use the save/load feature freely as if playing normally. The only way I know of to use saves in a -cl 9 or other 'old format' recording is to save the game normally, quit out of it upon death (or whenever), and then relaunch the game with the -record parameter for the same .lmp filename set, at which point the game will start at your last savepoint from the previous session. Kind of wonky, but man, I wish I'd known about it earlier (might've saved me some embarrassment in a certain endgame Sunlust FDA!).

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This map has great looking architecture, simply stunning: The towers overlooking the sky works to great effect, and the underground feels like it was carved out of hell itself.

My attempt to play this map is just embarrassing, I cannot compete with this level of monster placement - certainly something to aspire to!

Thanks for a great map which turned my ass into a wad of cookie dough!

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Just played this (v.1)—awesome map. Enjoyed the skintech stuff but more importantly is that your layout made it come to life. The journey to the YK in pathing alone is really cool and made me feel like I was exploring some twisted cave or hive made of flesh. The gameplay was quite invigorating too—I played on UV of course—and I'm gonna echo the thought that the RK encounter was out of this world. Loved the timing of everything warping in and how it opens with the massive caco wave from afar.

No negative thoughts I can think of... I couldn't find any secrets and found some encounters like the area Demon struggled with and the (non secret) PG fight to be a little too tight, but I still had fun trying to work through those (though I fully admit I did save mid-fight, especially when I got good RNG after dropping down into that accursed pre-YK death hole). If there's anything I'm sad about it's that I walked into the exit room filled with adrenaline and fury, but all that awaited me was the exit... kinda an anti-climax after all the other madness. Great job though, especially on the encounters, layout, and ammo balance.

Would love to see this as part of a set!

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Now that's the development of one's design skill indeed. Your previous maps already showed some clever monster manipulation that invokd that "Ribbiks #2" feel of carefully orchestrated torture, but at the same time they lacked in a visual department somewhat; definitely not the case here, this, eh, ovum reminds of Sunder and Valiant's tech/flesh episode with its appearance, and this theme is very well-executed here. I'll echo the praise for the RK fight, among other things, very good, that one.
Overall - polished and competent setpiece-based map, keep 'em coming!

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Great map. Played on HNTR and it was indeed not too rough, though I did die a fair bit still. I might go back and try HMP later, UV is probably permanently out of my league. I got 4 secrets, then went back after finishing the map to get the other 4, had to cheat a bit with GZDB to find them all though. And with IDBEHOLDR, there are enough radsuits to beat the map but not really enough to go back and explore everywhere, but that's fine. A nice bit of extra pressure on the player without causing them too much pain. The "shoot a small switch" activator for basically all secrets is an interesting choice, once you get one or two it becomes easier to find more because you know what to look for.

Right near the start of the map I noticed what looked like a very minor texture error on a step. The visuals are excellent, as others have said.

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Haha a little late jumping on the bandwagon. Benjogami linked me this. It was very fun.

Here is the vod of my blind uv playthrough if you want to hear my ramblings thinking to myself when figuring out the encounters and the map.
https://www.twitch.tv/mrzzul/v/95270821

I missed almost all of the secrets. Again, very fun map! Thanks for making it.

I used v2 of the map. I did notice there is an ammo box which appeared to be unreachable. You can find it at 29:35.

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