Ancient Aliens - final version on idgames

rdwpa said:

Swallow your pride and try HNTR. :)

Whats HNTR?

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ITYTD: i'm too young to die
HNTR: hey, not too rough
HMP: hurt me plenty
UV: ultra violence
NM: nightmare

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Gez said:

ITYTD: i'm too young to die
HNTR: hey, not too rough
HMP: hurt me plenty
UV: ultra violence
NM: nightmare

I'm not a wimp tho.

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Look it's a game, not a rite of passage. You play to have fun, not to assert your manliness. If you don't enjoy these levels in their highest skill level, there's no shame in using a less intense setting. It's cool. Nobody will care either way.

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Frankly, the true losers are not those playing on lower skill levels but those who rather dismiss a good mod because it chose to be too hard for them on the highest level.

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Gez said:

As a reminder, AA started as an experiment on level design based on "turrets" -- monsters that you can't get rid of easily, so you've got to play through most of the level under their pressure. The cyberdemon in MAP01 is a perfect example of the concept: you don't have the firepower to bring it down, so you have to keep dodging its rockets whenever you're exposed to it, destroy the weaker (but more mobile) opposition, escape from various traps, and finally unlock the way to get rid of that pesky cyborg (through telefrag, in this case).

This is especially true for the first few levels. You've got to handle the pressure, it's part of the challenge.


I punched that cyber to death before finding that you can telefrag him, hehehe.

Also, i've finished the mod in UV, and it was very hard, but also a very fun experience, so i would like to congratulate everyone involved in it, a solid 5/5.

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Gez said:

Look it's a game, not a rite of passage. You play to have fun, not to assert your manliness. If you don't enjoy these levels in their highest skill level, there's no shame in using a less intense setting. It's cool. Nobody will care either way.


On the contrary, some of us who actually enjoy playing on the 'hard' difficulty setting will be at least a little chuffed if too many complaints about/appeals to Fairness and Balance (TM) see stuff that's perfectly fine as it is adulterated or otherwise toned down too far in order to cater to that subset of the playerbase who refuse to acknowledge anything but UV (or NM, I guess? do lunatics like that exist?) as a valid choice!

HyperLuke: Many modern mapsets, ala Ancient Aliens, don't really approach the skill settings in an IWAD-like fashion (i.e. where lower skill levels are significantly slower or less violent/eventful than higher ones), it's worth noting--skill 3 may often not be much (or any) less violent than skill 4, but you'll likely have more powerups, ammo, and weapons to use, which in many cases is more than enough to alleviate frustration or perceived unfairness/slog attendant with skill 4 without greatly changing the composition of actual fights (i.e. all the killin', but with less stress).

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Gez said:

Look it's a game, not a rite of passage. You play to have fun, not to assert your manliness. If you don't enjoy these levels in their highest skill level, there's no shame in using a less intense setting. It's cool. Nobody will care either way.

Alright, I'll keep that in mind, thanks.

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Demon of the Well said:

On the contrary, some of us who actually enjoy playing on the 'hard' difficulty setting will be at least a little chuffed if too many complaints about/appeals to Fairness and Balance (TM) see stuff that's perfectly fine as it is adulterated or otherwise toned down too far in order to cater to that subset of the playerbase who refuse to acknowledge anything but UV (or NM, I guess? do lunatics like that exist?) as a valid choice!

HyperLuke: Many modern mapsets, ala Ancient Aliens, don't really approach the skill settings in an IWAD-like fashion (i.e. where lower skill levels are significantly slower or less violent/eventful than higher ones), it's worth noting--skill 3 may often not be much (or any) less violent than skill 4, but you'll likely have more powerups, ammo, and weapons to use, which in many cases is more than enough to alleviate frustration or perceived unfairness/slog attendant with skill 4 without greatly changing the composition of actual fights (i.e. all the killin', but with less stress).

Oh, I never looked at it that way, in that case, it would alleviate confusion by giving it a different name, instead of "Hey not too rough", maybe something different.

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For me the hardest levels were the early ones for some reason. The later maps like MAP20 something until the end were easier. Maybe I'm just better with slaughtermaps than I am with CQB. I played on UV btw.

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Hey I've been slowly playing through this on UV (yes, it's hard) and having a blast and I wanted to call out Skillsaw and show some love for a truly amazing map: Map16 Leave Your Sol Behind.

Like what the hell is this, Metroid Prime?

Spoiler

I'm visiting multiple elemental planets in the same level, travelling via UFO?

I've played a lot of Doom and I can't remember just shaking my head in amazement like this...

Even Valiant, which was a incredible and ground-breaking mapset didn't quite blow me away like this. And it's not just visual filler - the gameplay and layout of the level is completely on point. Many megaWADs could do much worse with this as a finale map, and this is only map16?

What an accomplishment! :-o <claps>

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Thanks! The idea for a UFO cruise map was on the backlog basically forever and eventually I forced myself to make it fairly late in the development cycle. I felt like the mapset needed a map that would transition between the space station and dark planet themes.

Trivia: the opening space station area was once a map for jmickle's ill-fated Orange is the New Startan project.

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These maps are amazing. It's been a little slow going for me. When I first started playing, it was shortly after I joined the community. I was pissed about the difficulty. Now I find it really enjoyable. There is a tremendous amount challenge, but it's still very fun. Each time I get a little closer to the end and dying always comes down to some stupid mistake. The pleasure I have from these maps boil down to strategy. I haven't beat it yet, but I will someday, because it's so damn fun. I can no save the first seven maps! My favorite map so far is, "Sinkhole Showdown" - very intense. I still am very new here and I have a lot to learn as far as mapping goes, but I have to say, Skillsaw (you) make[s] gorgeous maps. I really like the aesthetics of Map 2, "Sanctum of the Waste" because of those Skyboxes. I can't figure out how you do it - even if I'm trying to copy it outright. Thank you for all the work you put in these maps. I will forever recommend Ancient Aliens when someone asks.

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So I finished Ancient Aliens a few days ago and wanted to write some random thoughts for Skillsaw and the others who worked on this. Whether it's useful or not for you, I hope so!

  • Absolutely Ancient Aliens is one of the best and most unique looking megaWADs out there. The texture set is really incredible. I hope it gets used in new projects! The architecture and detailing work is uniformly extremely well-done.
  • I feel conflicted on the music. It feels like it fits well with the first episode, as well as the final few maps that revisit the temple/aztec theme (25-27). But for the space, sci-fi stuff it feels quite off. As I was running around Grey Dwarf listening to bongo and random percussion it seemed like it detracted from the experience. Doom without metal is fine, but IMO the sci-fi maps called for electronica. Whether General MIDI can pull off decent electronica is a whole other topic, however.
  • The entire megaWAD is exploring the gameplay theme of enemies as 'turrets'. I think it's a cool idea that made for some great setpiece battles with warping Cyberdemons etc. But it felt tiring by the end. There are very few 'safe' moments where you don't have to search every corner for hiding, elevated hitscanners or Revenants. By Map 26-Egyptian Metaphysics I really had my fill of turreted hitscanners, that's for sure.
  • I was disappointed the cloud-city theme was only used on one map! But on the other hand, this really makes that map stand out.
  • Speaking of another underused theme, Map 32-Ossuarium Exoterre uses a dirty/rusty-red, quake3-ish bonecity theme that is extremely impressive. One of my favorite maps in the set and also one of the best-looking.
  • Map 23- Trinary Temple, what an epic map! It brings my gzdoom to a crawl but it was well worth it.
  • In some ways, Map 16 - Leave your Sol Behind is too good. It's probably the high point of the set, but it's only halfway through the megaWAD. I had hopes of other interplanetary travels during maps but was a bit disappointed that was never seen again.
  • The new enemies were a mixed bag. The humanoid that shoots plasma or whatever is really annoying, can kill you in a second if you don''t see him... And he's only partially visible. The sprite animation is very rudimentary too, which doesn't fit with the quality feel of the megaWAD.
  • I wished I had Valiant's chaingun the entire time I played Ancient Aliens.
Thank you again to Skillsaw and everyone else for your hard work on this! :D

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Well this is awkward. It seems my post got eaten up in the transition. What did I say again?

 

I tried Ancient Aliens back when the Megawad Club was either hot off of it or was playing it still, I don't remember which. It was June or July. I was very put off by the first level's inclusion of a Cyberdemon, something that now seems rather trivial. I felt like it wasn't for me; that I wasn't a good enough Doom player to take on a challenge like this. I decided yesterday, after reading some of the posts in this thread, that it was worth another shot. My better understanding of the intention spurred me on. Having just completed the first episode, I am glad I did. In the process I have learned quite a bit about what I am capable of, which is a very uplifting experience. Numerous times I have faced odds that seemed insurmountable while playing Ancient Aliens, only to be surprised with myself when I come out of the encounter still alive. I feel like I could probably take on some of those WADs I saw in the Cacowards many years ago that seemingly walled me with their difficulty at the time. Thanks for that! (I played it on HMP btw but it's still harder than anything else I've played seriously)

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So, I'm tried running this wad with both QZdoom and GZdoom, and the music doesn't play, nor do any of the gun sounds. Running Linux Mint 18. Halp?

Edit: It runs the classic doom wad just fine.

Edited by draco_nite

Posted (edited)

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That's really weird. If sounds and music work with the IWAD; they should work with AA too.

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So I'm into the third episode now, playing with QZDoom 1.3, and I have this recurring problem where sometimes after I finish a particularly harrowing encounter, or not it's happened at the beginning of maps too, when I go to save the whole game crashes. I was wondering if this was a known thing to be expected or something exclusive to QZDoom, this version or otherwise, or what? It's pretty frustrating sometimes as it will happen after I finish an encounter that took me many attempts to complete. I forgot to grab the error information but if it happens again I will post it.

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Sounds like a problem specific to QZDoom, I'd report it.

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I really haven't encountered it playing anything but Ancient Aliens is the thing. I'll send the crash report in to them next time it happens though.

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I just tried this wad to see what it is about, yet I must point that these are not the kind of megawads I'm used to play, or like (colorful, not vainilla friendly, high resolution needed, probably the hability to jump or fly), but even the first minutes of map01 got me really immersed. If I don't get upset to be killed into pieces many times by a cyberdemon, then this is going to work for me. Still I have many megawads before in the to-play list, but I'm definitely playing this on the next months. 

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Don't let the MAP01 Cyberdemon ruin the fun because the rest is amazing and worth the pain.

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1 minute ago, Nevander said:

Don't let the MAP01 Cyberdemon ruin the fun because the rest is amazing and worth the pain.

Haha, I didn't get upset, not angry either. Oops I said "don't" instead of "didn't" in my previous post, oh well you get it.

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Won't start on mbf dos 2.04 - my understanding is that prboom is based on mbf so all boom wads should work:

 

 

aa.png

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Actually, it fails on PrBoom as well, though with a different error (at least it gets to the menu). PrBoom-PLUS, on the other hand, runs it a-okay. I tried looking into this myself earlier when I found that there were some demo desync cases between prboom-plus and Eternity Engine uses, and ultimately I couldn't guarantee that prboom-plus is creating demos "as intended". One could argue that Ancient Aliens was built with prboom-plus specifically in mind, though there are ZDoom/EE-specific features that work against such a claim.

 

It'd be interesting to see if the errors are easy enough to debug, maybe even get the thing running with BOOM.EXE (unless there are static limitation concerns there).

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11 hours ago, invictius said:

Won't start on mbf dos 2.04 - my understanding is that prboom is based on mbf so all boom wads should work:

 

Although the errors you're seeing are TEXTURE1 related, Ancient Aliens will NOT run in mbf.exe as it's maps are built with ZDBSP extended nodes. 

 

I have no interest in supporting a legacy port like MBF - modern, maintained alternatives such as ZDoom, Zandronum, prboom-plus, and Eternity all run Ancient Aliens without issue.

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On 28/06/2017 at 9:13 AM, skillsaw said:

Although the errors you're seeing are TEXTURE1 related, Ancient Aliens will NOT run in mbf.exe as it's maps are built with ZDBSP extended nodes. 

 

I have no interest in supporting a legacy port like MBF - modern, maintained alternatives such as ZDoom, Zandronum, prboom-plus, and Eternity all run Ancient Aliens without issue.

 

Any idea what the latest version of eternity for windows me is?  I'm finding that either xp is needed, or the version is too old to know what zdbsp extended nodes are.

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Have you ever tried your hand at advanced mapping using UDMF and ACS? I bet you could come up with some really epic stuff with those extended capabilities. The right tools in the right hands so to speak.

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