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Storage Complex (My First Map)

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Hi there. This is my first map that I would call "finished". Thought I'd share it here to see what ya'll think of it. Looking for suggestions on how I can improve, so feedback would be much appreciated.


Tested on current versions of ZDoom, GZDoom, and Zandronum. It also works on Zandronum 3.0.

Credit to skillsaw's, Valiant wad, of which a borrowed a few sprites for this level, as well as the level theme.


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[quote="FuzzballFox" post="1636127"]
Ah, thanks, wasn't quite sure how to show them in the post itself.

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[quote="A2Rob" post="1636158"]

FuzzballFox said:

Ah, thanks, wasn't quite sure how to show them in the post itself.

Get the image urls and use the tags [img ] [/img ] with it between them C: (Without spaces of course)

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Very promising! Always nice to play a map by a new author and see plenty of potential. The boxy/linear layout and attention to detail strongly reminds me of the first NOVA, particularly EvilNed's style. There's some creative stuff you did with the stock textures that I like, and I appreciate the diversity you put into the lighting. Gameplay is unfortunately lacking, but luckily it's something you should be able to learn in time—what's important is that you grasp the fundamentals and can make your levels look appealing.

So, onto the gameplay problems. I'm a broken record on this topic, but I feel that I can't stress it enough—do not delay handing the player the Super Shotgun. This is important because it makes fighting any type of monster "doable" instead of a chore, which is largely the case with the regular SG/chaingun. You know where you hand the player the chainsaw? That should be the SSG. Forcing the player to grind through barons, cacos, mancs, and arachnatrons with the regular pump action shotgun is cruel and reeks of an amateur design decision. Likewise, the player should also probably receive the rocket launcher a bit earlier (perhaps where you have the SSG) and if you're going to make a map loaded with monsters, rockets should be a common find.

Speaking of, your map is packed with too many monsters. This is an easy mistake to make when starting out and I've been guilty of it too; providing the player with room to breathe when they open a door will let them control the pace of combat. As you have it now, think about how many times the player is prompted to camp a doorway and suppress everything inside. It gets especially worse as the map presses on, since the mix of hitscanners and high-tier enemies mean instant-death if they try to venture outside. Learning the appropriate enemy balance for an area and how to properly hide enemies is essential, so practice ways you can disincentivize the player from camping a doorway.

I've circled a bunch of other things that need fixing, which I'll explain in depth down below:

- Black circle: The door here blends in with the surrounding textures. Usually if you want the player to notice a door, you contrast its color against nearby textures or place the LITE textures on either side of it.

- Red circle: It's extremely hard to see and hit the chaingunners at the top up here, so it comes across as a dickish/trollish move. Imps would be better.

- Blue circle: This place is kind of a mess since there's few health provisions and plenty of hitscanners ruling the crates up top. Removing some, or switching them out with imps, and adding health below would greatly increase survivability, along with maybe moving the light goggles secret closer by, as I used them up in the red circle area where they weren't necessary.

- Purple circle: The monsters that warp in get congested thanks the the U bend down below. Placing the teleport thing at the very bottom-left would fix this, along with maybe a second teleport "thing" to speed up the invasion (couple less monsters too, remember).

- Yellow circle: Three medikits for this whole area? Really? Perhaps with a few less monsters it'd be more properly balanced, but between the wall of nobles, archvile, pain elemental, and stray chaingunners the big fight here is a mess and definitely needs a soulsphere somewhere (and the ammo [rockets] should be more evenly dispersed instead of in the rightmost area).

- White circle: This is a room where the only way to "play" it is to camp the door. Provide more/wider pathways into there or get rid of the hitscanners.

- Green circle: This entire area plays terribly. Wide open spaces with lots of monsters and almost no immediate threat makes for boring, sloggy gameplay that's best skipped. The mastermind encounter at the end is also fairly tame, since the big bitch tends to infight with all of her underlings immediately. Good job on adding a backtracking tele before the ending though—that's always appreciated.

A lot of this may seem like you're doing a ton of things wrong, but receiving criticism and striving to hone your craft is a huge part when getting started with any hobby, and I wouldn't have typed all this out if I thought you were a lost cause; work on making your levels less congested and less linear and you'll do fine. Definitely want to see more from you, and I recommend peeking into/signing up for NOVA III.

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Nice map, took me about 45 minutes, quite a big old adventure. The visual style reminds me a lot of hellbound. I only found 2 secrets, and neither of those was the plasma rifle, but the weapon balance seemed fine without it. There were moments where i was out of ammo but that just means you have to keep an eye on it and be prepared to run past a few monsters to look for supplies, which is no bad thing.

Here's a few fixable issues:

A tiny hom, a misaligned texture, a midtexture showing through the floor/ceiling (make the sectors on each side a different brightness, texture or height), and a window ledge that monsters like to climb up on, you probably want a monster blocking line there.

As far as improvements go, the only things I would suggest are stuff you could maybe consider for future maps. The whole thing is very much based around squares and right-angles, which can get a bit samey. Also lot of it is separate rooms connected by corridors, with the monsters waiting in the rooms for you to kill them. This tends to make a lot of the fights head-on, which ends up as shooting through doorways. For example, the room with the cyber and friends was quite fun to fight in if you managed to rush in there, but the way its set up everything comes and blocks the doorway before you enter so you have to shoot it all from the corridor. I'd consider experimenting with ambushes and more complex closely-connected layouts.

Anyway, good work all the same, I especially liked the gloomy lighting (wish I hadn't found those goggles).

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Played the map, I liked it, the mood was really good but I also think that the map has many problems. Overall it ends too much on having choke points clogged with monsters. It's quite allright until you get into the outdoor areas after getting the red key, and it's from there that the things take an ugly turn. Beware that the streetlights in the courtyard with the cyberdemon have some sky cut-offs on the big building. I got the impression that you can't handle (yet) well very big spaces (the courtyard with the cyberdemon, the rocky areas with the bridges and the mastermind fight), especially in the final areas combats and visuals were underwhelming.
Anyway keep it up, I'm looking forward to see what you can do the next time!

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So it seems the majority of people's issues lie within the gameplay design of the map. I figured as much. I'm pretty new to designing levels, so I wasn't really sure how well I would set up enemy encounters and item placements. I have a particularly difficult time figuring out how certain rooms I build will be set up in terms of encounters (hence that lift dropping you straight into the crate room with immediate hitscan enemies, or the small room before the large building area, which was pretty much there to release the Cyberdemon). Sounds like health and weapons placement need a lot of work too.

Also, large outdoor areas, anyone have suggestions on how to approach those? mouldy mentioned Hellbound, which is pretty much what inspired me to start doom mapping in the first place. The city maps in particular really interested me, and I want to know the methods behind building those kinds of levels.

Thanks for all the replies though! I'll keep all these criticisms in mind when I start my next map!

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