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Simulated Nightmare (Boom - WIP)

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Hey there. I've been working on my first legit wad lately and have two maps that I'm mostly happy with. Tested in Zandronum 3.0, GL/PRBoom+ complevel 9. Looks better in GL ports that support dynamic lights, IMO. Hit f11 a few times if it's dark. ;P

Requires cc4-tex.wad for, well, textures.

WAD link



Short map with some incidental combat, a few traps and hopefully a somewhat challenging arena section. HMP is implemented and makes two of the harder encounters less punishing.

Screenshots: (It's blue with some short hell sections, inspired by e2m4 mostly.)



Medium-sized map with larger scale fights and more slaughtery gameplay. UV only so far.

Screenshots: (It's green... mostly...)

I'll probably add some extra micro-detailing later. Feedback of any kind is welcome.

Edit: Updated some detailing/lighting/thing placement for Maps 01 and 02.

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Earlier stages are fine but you could get rid of that pinky before the revenant computer and a bunch of the pinkies and spectres in the hallways leading to the blue key. The first part of the layout is really frontal and mostly a hallway, so any additional clogging is bound to make that stick out. I'm not a huge fan of small closet secrets these days -- would prefer more clever reveals, or if it's a simple pushwall, a more elaborate secret area.

The first stage of the big arena fight is somewhat of an infighting crapshoot on any port that has infinitely tall actors, just because everything blocks everything and you very quickly end up having no space. So I quickly tried it with GZDoom, and despite not having updated my mouse sensitivity there yet, I survived very comfortably on the first try from ~100 HP and the BA. A key distinction is that the imps (of all things) can move under the cacodemons, which prevents them from blocking the corners. Out of those two, I'm not sure what the intended balance was. (You've said you play worse in prBoom/glBoom, so you might have attributed the increase in difficulty to that.) Second stage is fine but you can make the wall lower somewhat earlier -- I had to wait some seconds after killing everything. Generally it's good to time the wall lowering to the clean-up stage of a given arena fight of this sort, not the end of the fight.

I liked the last area, although sudden stark theme shifts from extra-techy to extra-helly, usually via a teleporter, seem a bit cliched.

Aesthetics are quite unpolished. Ceiling architecture would help a lot, and you can fight the illusion of a simple hallway-room-hallway layout with what DotW calls 'diorama detail', aka views outside of playspace. But I like the texture choices. Music is bound to raise some eyebrows.

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Thanks for the feedback. I added the Spectres/Demon to the blue key hallway to have something to punch with the Berserk that you get earlier, which also serves as a refill for the health the player is likely to lose during the SSG trap.

For the arena fight, I wanted to avoid infighting simulator and circle-strafe gameplay and encourage the player to fight for limited space by focusing on the Imps/Demons that flood the area. As far as PRBoom+ vs ZDoom, I tested to make sure the fight is reasonably beatable in both and didn't encounter a huge difference. As always, gameplay will differ somewhat whenever tall actors are involved. I agree on the wall taking a bit too long to lower and will adjust the height.

I actually like how the silent transition works out between the hell areas, and the final teleport to the start. Detailing is definitely something to be worked on but I'm not sure how much inaccessible diorama I can fit into a maximum security underground tech lab. :P Oh, and I liked the midi in the secret SWTW map, and since this one was blue I just went with it.

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The hud is HXRTC HUD for SmoothDoom, older version 1.2. The weapons are part of SmoothDoom where you can make the gloves black. It's all purely cosmetic.

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RC2a released. Made some changes to Map 01 and included a larger and more slaughtery Map 02. It's green... mostly.



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The compohso or whatever textures are among my favorite so it was nice to see them used. Favorite part was the big moshpit battle. I hid behind a spiderdemon lol while everything infought, but that didn't make it easy because there were still a bunch of cybers to clean up afterwards, with some revs and other things adding a bit of distraction. If that's the intended strategy, A+, don't change it. I wasn't sure what I did to open the secrets, if they weren't just "hidden in plain sight".

Bugs, other, etc.

- If you wake up the cyber at the start, there is a possibility of it immediately firing just as you crack open the door to the central arena, but whatever, lol.

- AVs on the ledge in the central area infight basically immediately with other things. I guess that's hard to miss in testing, so maybe intended.

- There was a lone AV that warped in at the end of the biggest fight, which felt cheap since there's no way of knowing and a possibility of getting caught too far from cover, but then I realized it might have been unintended, a straggler from the very next encounter that managed to sneak into the teleporter. Could surround the teleporter with monster-block lines if so.

- The mancs in the central area are tedious to kill without freeaim, because the spots with a clear look at every manc are out of vertical auto-aim range, so you have to wait for them to approach the edge.

- I wasn't a fan of the last instapop cyber beyond the comedic value. Cybers have enough HP that using anything lower than the BFG against a full-strength cyber in a lower-pressure situation is already a bit 'door with healthy'. (Something I realized a few weeks ago is the fact that cybers nearly always have backup also has the effect of making a cyber in effect a 1k-3k HP monster for the sake of the one-on-one battle phase, which makes it a lot more smooth with the SSG/PR.

- Blocking bodies indeed need to be shimmied around on the bridge.

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Oh man. I had the "walk under hanging bodies" option checked in both PR and GLBoom+ so I thought it wasn't an issue there. Demo recording does indeed cause them to block though. I guess I could re-position them more to the sides, as after the bridge is raised the map is basically over and falling into the pit still lets you run between them with minimal blocking.

I haven't managed to die to the Cyber before running out of the door yet at the start.

Yeah, the AV's tend to kill and resurrect the Revenants. I don't think I've had them die though so they'll probably still be useful in the last encounter.

The AV warp to the "Sun Room" after the big fight is a tag issue that I'll be fixing. What happens when you have a bunch of destinations in several sectors with the same tag? Do the monsters only use the first portal placed or pick a random one?

The Mancs are actually part of a rather early elevator secret, where hitting the switch on the Rocket Launcher lift opens a door to a teleporter at the top of the tall 4xCaco lift. They tend to die for me to infighting with the Cacoswarm or Cyber.

I fully admit the instapop Cyber was placed at the last minute for comedic value. He will probably be fired or the yellow door area redesigned/expanded on.

Interesting strategy in the blood arena. Whenever I tried to use a Spider as cover I ended up trapped and viciously mobbed by stuff gathering around it. The way I did that section was to run out while using rockets on the Imps/Demons to make some space/use them as shields from the Revenants, and then quickly back in the centre of the crusher as it descends to have it kill a large number of enemies. My success rate in that fight is extremely low but I like how it turned out.

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rileymartin said:

I guess I could re-position them more to the sides, as after the bridge is raised the map is basically over and falling into the pit still lets you run between them with minimal blocking.

Or you could use only those types of hanging bodies that are non-blocking (They are: Hanging leg; Hanging pairs of legs; Hanging victim 1-legged; Hanging victim arms out; Hanging victim twitching). Or you could even use a DEHACKED patch to make all types of hanging bodies to be non-blocking.

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rileymartin said:

Interesting strategy in the blood arena. Whenever I tried to use a Spider as cover I ended up trapped and viciously mobbed by stuff gathering around it.

Yeah that happened once to me. I think I might have been choosing the proper spider for it or something (the one with imps/demons around it? I don't remember the exact monster placements).

If the mancs can be killed less tediously somehow that's fine I guess.

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Hotfix for map 02 has been deployed.

-Obstructive corpses have been moved off the bridges for infinite height ports.
-Removed some annoying seizure inducing lighting effects. The bright to black ones.
-Adjusted monster teleport destinations.
-Added a few more stimpacks to reduce health starvation after playing badly myself.
-Removed exit pop-in Cyberdemon and replaced with a more balanced enemy.
-Added an extra Archvile.
-General polishing pass over all the textures to fix alignment and other anomalies.
-Added green octagons with rotating lights. They spinnin'!
-Thoroughly playtested the Spider Strategy™ to confirm viability.

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