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New SP Map: Descent (by DoomPhreak) -- ID: 2SDB9C8E

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My last map is about going up a building, so this map is about descending one. You start at the top floor, go down 4 levels to find all the access cards to open the exit. There are 11 secrets to find, and some are required to complete the map. There are also what I would call "non-secret secrets", which can be a challenge to find but don't register as secrets because they are not as hard.

Also, to make the leaderboard relevant, I add bonus score to each secret found, and deduct score from each player death.

The map opens with a unique challenge, where you have to cross an electrically-charged floor:

A running theme of the map is malfunctioning doors that block your progress, and you have to find ways to open them. Sometimes, even the messages that give you clues are malfunctioning (following the theme):

Another running theme is the audio signals that you have to locate with your hearing:

As in my last map, there is a time-limited BFG located in a secret room. Finding it spawns extra demons that will increase your score:

More screenshots:

Finally, I'm including a list of secrets. Someone played my last map and got stuck early on and couldn't finish. I know all of you like a good challenge, but when you're stuck it's no fun. So this is just in case anyone needs any hints to complete the map. So here are all 11 secrets of the map. As mentioned earlier, each secret found earns you score. But "non-secret secrets" yield no score:


1. REQUIRED SECRET: After exiting the rooms with the floor charges, you go down the stairs to a room with 3 malfunctioning doors. The panel there tells you to shoot the nearby power station to open the doors. Go near any one of the doors, and the adjacent door will open. Behind one of the doors is a power station. Shoot the power station, and all 3 doors are permanently opened.

2. REQUIRED SECRET: Exiting the room in Secret 1, you go down the stairs to a dark area with 2 malfunctioning doors. Shoot the power station behind the crates inside a small room to open the doors.

2a. Non-secret secret: Near the power station you just shot, a panel tells you about unmarked doors and the red-green controls that open them. Directly above the panel is such a control. Shoot it (or melee-hit it), and an unmarked door behind the crates opens, revealing a teleporter that takes you to a nearby ledge with supplies.

3. Optional secret: As you enter Level 4 Cooling room, walk to the right side of the room, and you see an unmarked door. As the panel in the last room informed you, there should be a nearby control that opens this door. Face the unmarked door, look up the ceiling, and shoot the square control there.

3a. REQUIRED non-secret secret: Level 4 Cooling room has an audio S.O.S. signal (beep beep beep, beeeep beeeep beeeep, beep beep beep). You are supposed to locate it with your hearing alone. In the middle of the room, there are a couple of openings where you can jump down to a bunch of crates, on which you find the S.O.S. signal and the "blue access card" (one of the 3 cards required to open the exit).

4. REQUIRED SECRET: In Level 3 Furnace room, a staircase near the middle of the room leads you to a pressure plate. Stepping on it reveals a power station at the far corner of the room directly in front of you. Shooting the power station opens the 2 malfunctioning doors in the room. You need to use a weapon suitable for long-distance shooting, such as combat shotgun and assault rifle, both of which can be found near you.

5. Optional secret: Exit Level 3 Furnace and go down the stairs. In the middle of the staircase, turn 180-degree around. There is red-green control *under* the staircase. You need to shoot through the gaps on the stairs and hit the control. Plasma gun does not work here, as plasma cannot go through the gaps. All other guns seem to work. A secret room ahead of you will open and reveal a 60-second BFG.

6. REQUIRED SECRET: Pass the previous secret room, and enter the L-shape area with a malfunctioning door and some broken machines. Go near the malfunctioning door and you get a garbled message. Walk way from the door and go near it again, and you get a different garbled message. Do it again and you get a third message. Piece the messages together, and you get "To open the malfunctioning door, destroy the power station in the room." The power station is blended in with the other machines. Shoot it and the malfunctiong door will open.

7. REQUIRED SECRET: As you enter Level 2 Toxic room, you hear a S.O.S. audio signal. You need to go down to the toxic pool on your right and enter a narrow passage at a corner. There is a gauss cannon and a "pink access card", which is the 2nd of 3 cards required to open the exit.

8. REQUIRED SECRET: While still in Level 2 Toxic room, use the panel labeled "Cameras". You will see camera views of all the rooms in the map. When the camera view shows your current room, it reveals the location of the hard-to see power station. Shoot that power station (above you), and the malfunctioning door that leads to the next area will open.

9. REQUIRED SECRET: As you enter Level 1 Casting Chamber, you again hear a S.O.S. audio signal. The signal is inside an inaccessible area on your left. Look for a teleporter nearby. It teleports you to a walkway, which has a rocket launcher and another teleporter. This teleporter takes you to another walkway that has the S.O.S. signal and the "orange access card", the final of the 3 cards required to open the exit. You are shown a camera view showing the exit at Level 5 being opened.

10. Optional secret: Near the entrance of Level 1 Casting Chamber, a panel tells you that the power station is at the bottom of the room. A few feet ahead is an assault rifle. Go to it, then look right. Go near the railing and look slightly downward. At the far corner is a power station with a spotlight shining on it. Shoot the power station, and the malfunctioning door at the far wall will open. Again, you need a long-distance weapon here, such as the assault rifle you just found. The door that just opened reveals 2 teleporters, one of which takes you back to Level 5 where the exit is. If you don't find this secret, you need to find other means to go back to Level 5, such as using earlier teleporters or simply walk back to Level 5 the same way you came.

11. Optional secret: The door that opens in the previous secret also reveals an unmarked door. Go inside the room with the teleporters and look up the ceiling to see the red-green control. Shoot the control, and the unmarked door will open, revealing a mega health pickup.

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Liked it, Some nice puzzles there with no fights at all but i guess there will be fights later in other Map sections ?, I got stuck in that S.O.S Audio Signals gray room and gave up trying to find it :P (voted up), Also the video is named wrong, It's Doom (2016) .

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This was brilliant, I loved it! :)

Its not without points to improve but please don't let that take you down.

Here are the points that I'd love to see improved. Its only because I love your map and what you put into it that I elaborate so much; please see this as the constructive criticism that it is:

The first floor puzzle is too hard and too punishing. Remember this is the first impression the player gets of your map; Zap > dead.

Its important to keep in mind you want to give players a fun -experience-. The goal is not to kill them. The goal is to use the threat of a penalty (in this game death) to bring tension and reward to playing skillfully. Killing the player is the least desired outcome because you essentially break that loop. It removes all tension that was build up and now the player will probably approach that section very methodically (looking for a formula) instead of "experiencing" it.

Long story short; make the first floor hazard easier. Lower the damage so its no longer insta-kill, put some health items on the crates/tables or even on the floor and potentially slow down the cycle somewhat. Its a much more fun experience for a player to try and get through the area without getting hurt at all where failing means you get hurt but -do not- die then it is to fail and respawn five times until you finally do manage to get across. Its a much smoother tension curve and much easier to keep it intact.

The explanations are too slow. I feel they could be done in 2/3 of the time or perhaps even 1/2 the time they are done now. I wonder why you don't use explanatory text in the camera views, is this a limitation of snapmap? Don't get me wrong I love the puzzles and I think you did a great job integrating them but having overly long explanations really tests the patience of players, some may decide to quit your level prematurely because of this.

The first and second monster encounters are too harsh. Try to phase monsters in instead of just dumping them all at once. Especially with pinkies and lost souls it quickly becomes overwhelming and not fun. Make certain the player can move and really "play" instead of going for the highest possible damage output in the smallest amount of time. I don't think that that is playing to Doom's strength and it also puts too much value on knowing the event beforehand.

The second monster encounter is triggered when the player is standing on custom geometry made from player blocking volumes (fantastic job really). The problem here is even worse because you spawn lost souls which teleport in outside of view (below the player) and then charge towards the player through the floor he is standing on because player blocking volumes don't block monsters. Either use some actual blocking prefabs to avoid this from happening, get rid of the lost souls (or move their spawn point further away) or any combination there off.

While I loved the fact the BFG expired it felt a little lame to only be allowed to use it on demons that are spawned extra, just for the occasion. Also when it was done I ended up holding one weapon instead of the two I was carrying before I picked up the BFG. (I don't know if that is solvable with snapmap logic or not)

On the final unlock I only got a Hellknight to fight and not a Baron which was a little disappointing after the tension build up.

Calling rooms or triggers secret that are part of simply finishing the map is silly imo and you should not do that. Secrets are optional, not required to finish the map. This is only confusing to the player.

Small objects like lamps placed on the floor still have their property "blocking" set to true. This is annoying imho and it would be better to set that property to false so players dont get stuck on silly little objects.

Lots of feedback, really hope you take it to heart. Fixing the floor hazard and monster encounters will really bring this level together.


Some personal highights:

I really enjoyed the keycards hunt with sound.
The door puzzle in the generator room (where you made custom stairs) made me smile.
So did the mailfunctioning door (I expected it to hurt me; you can probably script that and turn into an old fashioned doom crusher!)
While I find the floor hazard puzzle too harsh I love the concept. I played with the idea before but never implemented it (or released a level for that matter) so all kudos to you. I think its great fun when its a little toned down.
I think the BFG expiration principle was great (even thought the lockdown was less so). Untill we get a weapon wheel and unique ammo its a great solution.
The keycard in the module with the bridge over the slime made me so nostalgic I wanted to cry a little. The encounter in that module was also great because I could still move around and navigate and because of that was not instantly swarmed.
I loved the camera system that switched to different camera's and hinted at the powerstation.
The higher walkways in the last room were a fun addition and it was great to see the "final wave" spawn in from the windows; again great for tension building.
The last generator was also put in a fun place; you get a hint where its at but you still have to somewhat search for it. Its a fine balance to "hide" items without making it either too easy its not significant or so hard its annoying and I feel you nailed it.

I'm glad you were able to still release this map even after all the trouble you had with it. :)


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DMGUYDZ64 & redrage, thanks for your comments. (DMGUYDZ64, thanks, I fixed the video's title.)

redrage, the puzzle in the room with the artificial stairways and pressure plate was inspired by this puzzle in Eternal Doom IV Map 9 (see 9:30 of this video). That was an even tougher puzzle in that you couldn't even see what you were shooting at because the target was so far away. And that didn't even register as a secret in the map. I originally wanted to do the same, but couldn't find the proper location in Snapmap. Regarding all the secrets that are required to finish the map, you are right, of course. But I just wanted to reward the player in some way. Regarding that missing baron of hell, I think it might have been teleported away. There is a teleporter near where the hell knight spawns.

Based on the feedbacks for this map and my previous map, it seems my main weakness is putting the right kind of demon encounters in terms of difficulty and excitement. In my next map, I'm thinking of doing away demons entirely and having only puzzles!

Also, the use of audio clues in this map did not come off as well as I had wanted to because the "3D audio" object has a very limited audio range. You can only hear it if you are close by, which defeats the purpose of the puzzle. Also, "3D audio" is only 3D in an horizontal plane. If the sound is on a vertical plane, i.e. if it's above or below you, then you can't really discern its position. The sad thing was that I could only put the audio clues either above or below the player because those were the only places I could use for secret areas. Also, I don't think the audio technology exists yet for audio in a vertical plane. Finally, using 3D audio may not help those players who can only hear stereo sound. I play this game on a PC with 7.1 sound card and speakers, and I'm able to tell which direction the sound comes from. But those who have only 2 speakers can't do that. Yes, some systems can produce "virtual 3D" sound, but then some may not.

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Just want to add that the opening floor challenge also didn't come off very well. It promised more than it actually delivered, really. The inspiration for this is, of all things, the 1998 Tex Murphy adventure game "Overseer". It has a puzzle where the floor security is actually ON ALL THE TIME (which makes so much more sense). You have to hack into the security system and find a "testing" button. Pressing it triggers a "testing mode", in which the floor light blinks on and off as if in testing mode. What's more, you have to find a paper with the "testing pattern" of the floor. With it, you are able to tell when and where the floor lights are actually off, thus you can plan your escape route. This is a much better design obviously, and I don't know if I can ever do all that in Snapmap.

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You can set teleporters to only work on players. This will take care of the issue that the Baron can teleport away by accident.

Secrets are rewarding if they are truly secrets. The reward for unlocking doors is that the player is allowed to progress into the next room (or in your case to the next floor) which is enough of a reward in itself.

I don't think a map with only puzzles would be an improvement. Doom is about shooting demons after all. I thought the pacing was excellent and avoided combat fatigue which almost all snapmap creations suffer from without exception.

My only issue was that the (first two) encounters are too harsh. This happens very often with snapmap encounters. People just use the spawners in such a fashion that all demons spawn at once. The module in which this happens is almost -never- able to accomodate that many demons at once leaving the player swarmed and robbed of movement options.

Its easy to fix this. Just use multiple encounters that you spawn in succession when the previous one is finished. If that's too linear you can also create an -overlap- by using counters. Lets say you have an custom group encounter set to spawn 6 imps. You could link a counter to that encounter that uses monster killed and counts two 3 before spawning in 2 hellknights. This is what I mean with "phasing" monsters in. Its smooth, fights take a little longer, there is a clearer gradient in difficulty, there are no overwhelming demon numbers all at once etc. If you do this your fights will become so much more enjoyable. I really hope you decide to try this.

Also I do not know why you think the audio puzzles for the keycards did not work or were problematic. I have simple stereo and they worked perfectly, vertical as well. I could use the beeping to hone in on the keycards without a problem. I did not mention this was a highlight for me for nothing. So whatever problems you think there are with those puzzles, I certainly did not find any. :)

I also don't know why you are talking down on your floor puzzle. I think its a great concept and with a little re balancing its great as is. I'm certain you could come up with something more elaborate and thats definitely a fun thing to try in the future. I don't know if you can do that in this map because from what I remember you pushed the resources pretty much to their max!

I did look into camera's and text messages. This seems to be (somewhat) problematic indeed. You did not reply to me wether this was the reason you did not use any in camera text messages. I am a little curious so would like to know. If your interested I probably have a solution which may be overkill to apply in this map but may benefit your in your next. Let me know. :)


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Hi redrage, I'm a big fan of adventure games, and I know a demon-less map with only puzzles is not everyone's cup of tea, but I'm so tickled by the idea that I just want to give it a try.

Vertical separation for audio is not possible yet. You notice this in other games too. When enemies are upstairs or below you, they sound like they are on the same floor as you. That is just the limit of the technology.

I don't like my open floor puzzle because it makes more sense that if someone designs this floor security, the deadly currents should be on all the time. Making it go on and off is too obvious and contrived an attempt to enable you to jump over it. That's why in another room, I have floor currents on all the time. I like a good challenge, but I also want puzzles to make sense.

You can't put messages in a camera view. Some get around this by putting "world messages" in front of the camera. But world messages use a whopping 0.4% resource each. You use a few of these and you lose 5-10% resource easily.

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