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Vorpal

Some AV Announcements (and new content)

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So the horse isn't dead yet, maybe in retirement at the pasture but she still gets out for a walk once in a while. Thanks to the efforts of various people, we're happy to show off a modest facelift to the AV website, so that we're at least somewhat hip to the 1080p internet browsing era.

The old design is of course archived several places and still accessible at http://doom2.net/av/old/

Speaking of archiving, we hope to re-host the original release file from 2001 (though maybe not the ORIGINAL original one that was a .exe installer). Check back in a few days for that, it's rumored that a viking is rifling through CD backups as we speak.

Lastly, Johnsen cut his map "Valley of Echoes" for the 2002 release, to include the superior SzymanSoto production. It was one of the older relics of the project when we were aiming for a tribute to Hell Revealed, so it was wisely removed, however there were some people who cherished VoE regardless (and I am one of those people). So by popular demand I revisited making content for AV under the same design constraints and values that we had back then, but with a more modern and controlled approach to difficulty (spoiler: the grinding of hordes and hordes has been dropped). It took 3 months just to overhaul the VoE design and another 3 months of off-and-on testing.

  • Heavily, heavily tested and balanced on all difficulties
  • Co-op support (should not be any sequence breaks, additional goodies and baddies for co-op, though did not get as much testing on this front as single-player)
  • High difficulty, but not extreme
  • Vanilla compatible
  • A "best effort" - no speedmaps or self-deprecation here
So we hope people enjoy this small 2 map "Black Label" offering [avbl_v1.zip], and find embarassing bugs and visplane overflows that slipped through testing. Is it worth the 15 year wait? Probably not, but hopefully some more of the crew come out of the woodwork and flex their mapping muscles, and we'll see this wad expand over time. Who knows?

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Great! I'm on of those fan of VoE and tbh was going to ask Anders Johnsen if he would have uploaded the file as single level on the archive. Thanks Vorpal

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I always edit Valley of Echoes into the main AV wad and make it a 33 level one in ZDoom, but this is still nice to have :)

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Played MAP01: Levenbrech on UV last night. What a fun adventure map! A lot more sprawling than it seemed like it would be at first. Took me the better part of an hour to get through, and I missed 10 bad guys somehow, as well as 2 items and secrets (I found them, I just didn't figure out how to get to them.)

Not entirely sure it "feels" like an AV map. If anything, if felt like it could have come right out of Eternal Doom. Fun stuff.

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Yeah it's true there is some Eternal Doom influence, as I was trying to incorporate various Malde quirks, who in turn I highly suspect was a fan of Eternal Doom (and not much else, as I also suspect he was 90% influenced NOT by other doom wads, but by real architecture). Plus I'm an Eternal fan myself so of course some of that will bleed through

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Some original AV maps has some Eternal Doom influence as well. MAP20 anyone?

I thought the first map has some elements of MAP24 as well. Nice stuff!

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Well, I have given this a shot, being a huge AV fan, and I must say it was a lot of fun. The style here certainly looks different from your other maps like Atomic Tomb and Metamorphism, the latter which you did jointly with Karthik. Map01 looks more like what Chris Hansen would have done if he was in the Alien Vendetta project. Lots of exploration, and as it is nonlinear, had a lot of possible routes to take. Map02 is quite a very interesting take on the axed Valley of Echoes. Although I wish I could play the original, this map most certainly doesn't disappoint and had lots of exciting and intense bits all over. It's understandable why Andy Johnsen took it off, since it was a huge, sprawling slaughtermap, which the last third of AV has already enough of in its final release. Still, it would be nice if the VoE is released as a standalone wad for the AV fans who are interested in its history without having to download the old version. Excellent map duo, Vorpal.

Oh, yes, I seem to noticed how a good portion of AV, especially Malde's work, seem to be influenced by Eternal Doom. Map20 is an obvious example, as it's a gigantic, sprawling adventure with such intricate, gorgeous architecture that rivals the likes of Soundblock, Adam Landefeld, Chris Couleur, Jim Flynn, and Bob Evans.

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Super cool stuff. Going to play through those two new maps soon (even though I already went through Levenbrech, as vorpal probably remembers). Very very cool to be a part of this very significant release. AV is one of the classic giants, and it's very much an honor to have provided the soundtrack to these new levels. :)

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Played MAP01 so far and I really enjoyed it. On PRBoom+ with complevel 2 I found these little things. I'm not really sure about that lone revenant in the tower outside the playable area, even though I reached the secret area nearby it was rather harmless.
The city setting was very nice and the adventurous vibe of the map was spot on. Many things in the architecture and the lightning reminded me of AV though the gameply was quite different.

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Played map 01 for now. I particularly liked how the many textures used are well interconnected with the dominant theme of the map (the castle), also there is an excellent use of shadows in this level. Gameplay point of view, the battles are not particularly difficult (which is certainly not a fault) and quite funny; The puzzle has been a little obscure for me and, at the end, it took me 40 minutes to complete it 100%.
All in all this is a cool map, also very well detailed: good work.

About the new site: ALIEN VENDETTA 2 ?? ;D

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I'd be glad to help with AV Black Label if you're interested

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The textures don't seem to be working with me... but it looks great, is there anything I'm doing wrong?

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I played through MAP02: Valley of Echoes today. Whew! I was not a fan of that start for the first dozen lives or so. :) I started from continuous, so I had most of the guns, but was almost out of ammo for all of them (12 bullets and like 6 shells left, I think. Maybe a couple rockets.) At one point, I tried it again from pistol-start to see if the tradeoff for the full 50 bullets was worth it. (It wasn't.) Between the hitscanners perched over either side, and the AVs directly behind and above, and just swarms of baddies whichever direction I ran for cover, it was quite the gauntlet. I did eventually manage to secure a foothold in the little bunker with the baron and pinkies; from there, things went much better, and the end result was a lot of fun. I've never played the original VoE before, but just looking at the automap on DoomWiki, it looks like it changed quite a bit; though I think I can still the bones of the new version in the old one. Also, I have to assume the entire cave section off to the southwest was entirely optional? I know I ventured in there quite a ways, but retreated once I found the cyberdemon. (And then once I saved in the exit area—nasty place, that—I couldn't go back to explore the caves further.)

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Played map 02 yesterday and it's.. Really Good. Very challenging non-linear level with some puzzle thrown in. Played on UV pistol start and, for me, this is a bit more difficult than the original VoE (although it has only 1/3 of the monsters of Johnsen's level): took me several attempts to find a proper route here, but, the more you play the more the level became manageable. The most difficult area was the exit. I liked the homages to the original level like the arch-viles cave and the "cross" with the RL.
Shame I didn't find the blue key and consequently I could not get 100% max kill (5 monsters missing), but I'll replay it again.
Comparing the two VoE: while the original is a slaughter oriented level (the started area remake of The Twilight remain Awesome for me) this one is a non-linear challenging map with also a very good soundtrack.
I could not choose the better of the two but maybe this version in points, wins over the original.
Possibly the only thing I didn't particularly liked is the blue key affair: the fact that you need a secret key to get max kill has a little irritated me considering that it is not a simple map to finish.
In conclusion this is a great level (layout side the two big caves area are very well done), definitely the best of those that I played from the author.

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Opulent! I didn't know you still haunted these parts, I've missed you for years! I've recorded your demo as a video if that's alright with you. I just thought it'd be nice to preserve in the likely event of me going in and making minor tweaks/fixes to the map, as some bugs have already been found.

Anyway, thanks for the demo, your twitch reaction skills are way beyond mine... it makes me feel like a granny while watching you dodge and weave.

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I never replied in your old thread, so let me just praise you now! I love that Fate of The Drifter map. Such a cool style. Exploratory, different kind of styles/themes (which works well together), huge open areas, small dark areas, great music (where is it from?).

Havent tried out VoE 2.0 yet though.

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Both tunes are by Jimmy, there's more detail in the .txt but the first is from some other wad with his permission, and the second was made specifically for VoE 2.0

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Just played the first map; doesn't really match what I think of when I think "Alien Vendetta".

Mostly inoffensive aside from that inescapable pit at the secret jump, and the awful Cyberdemon placement at the end (run from him or corner camp him, since you really don't have enough room to fight him without a BFG). The "squidgyness" of the layout, with lots of little tiny hallways off of sharp angles makes navigation a bit annoying, since you can see so little of the map at a time. The red key encounter really should have a bit more too it; all of that build up just for three Mancs in a huge room?!?! Come on!

EDIT: Just played map 2. Didn't finish, don't feel like bothering. Map is pretty much unplayable; utterly squidgy and cramped with a nonsense flowless layout. Ridiculous teleporters without monster block lines, blind jumps to ledges with infinitely tall monsters, hitscan snipers 9,000,000 miles in the air with autoaim distractors below them, and a chaingunner maze. Why.

DOUBLE EDIT: I can't stand leaving things unfinished, so I went back and finished map 02. Here, have a casual first-exit demo: https://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1672363 I'm planning on uploading a youtube vid of it with the flow issues annotated, but just notice how often I have to drag slow moving monsters around through little doorways or squidgy lifts create weird firing angles, or how many blind shots and jumps I have to make where infinite tallness can screw me with bad luck.

TRIPLE EDIT: Actually, no, I won't do annotations, because viddump runs the video waaaay too slow for some reason :\

Anyways, a few issues:
The start is just wonky. It's an under-armed runaround, which is fine, but it's an under-armed runaround where you have to drag nobles out of chokes, which isn't fine. There's two ways to go -- either drop the lift in front of you or go for PR -> Rocket Launcher -> SSG/BFG -- and both involve pulling a noble out of your way. The first way gives you rockets to deal with the chaingunner enclaves which makes it less wonky; the second way actually lets you get every secret, but to do this, you have to take blind shots down at chaingunners with the shotgun... it doesn't really work. If you go up the lift, you can then sanely either go down the path to the BFG or down the drop that leads to the exit. If you do the latter, the flow gets really stilted, with tons of "one way, then double back, then come back later" pathing.

Continuing down to the BFG, the chaingunner by the auto-lift sucks. He's too high; you have to shoot him *from* the auto-lift (if it's down, it's still fine), but this means waiting for that silly thing to drop. Awkward, bad flow. The RL trap creates issues later; since you've got high-HP stuff coming at you down the auto-lift, dealing with it now is untenable, so you grab the RL and run... but later, you have to either slowly clean it up as it goes up the auto-lift, or you take an awkward, prolonged battle to get back up to the central area. Both options suck. Note the six rockets before the drop to the BFG area; why are three on each side like that? Grabbing them is an awkward "grab 3/double back/grab 3 more" thing. Bleh.

Next up, the BFG area itself. The lack of block-monster lines around the teleporters out of the area is really bad; ideally, you'd want to fight the flyers then take the narrow lifts, but you can't really do that, because they keep running away. This turns the lifts themselves into a bunch of awkward squidgyness that's no fun at all. Then, the jump from the BFG/Invuln to the soulsphere is basically blind; you can't see where the Cyberdemon is, so if he infinitely talls you, lol, sucks to be you, try rolling the dice on your next attempt.

Even with the rocket launcher, the remaining chaingunner-ledge secret sucks. It's possible to not get all three of them, but you just have to make a blind leap of faith. Total die roll, not fun at all.

After you make it back to the center, through the awkwardness described earlier, you get a chaingunner maze. It's just as fun as it sounds.

The final two areas on this itenerary are also awkward. The first one doesn't really give you enough cover from the Vile+Chaingunner tagteams to do it in an "honest" way; since the only place you can hide from the Vile and not be picked apart by Chaingunners you can't shoot is either in the side tunnels or around one particular corner, you're obligated to either totally camp out or run. The final arena's radsuit timing is very tight, not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but doesn't play well with how hard it is to see what the switches do in the dark. Slow awkwardness ahoy!

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So the message I'm picking here is that map02 is too much like av e3 maps?

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In a way, that's actually kind of true. I've never really liked AV e3 aside from 26 and 27; AV peaks in e2, and it's all downhill from there. AVBL02's layout doesn't let you move from one part to another as smoothly as AV26 does, so it doesn't work as well as a puzzlebox, and its setpieces aren't as intense as AV27.

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dew said:

So the message I'm picking here is that map02 is too much like av e3 maps?


Not much. Map 02 is very non linear kind of "wherever I go I find monsters", collect the stuff is not an easy task and it is not a slaughter map

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Sure, the map has quite a lot of dickish setups that just maul you if you're not prepared, which triggers slow and paranoid first time playthrough. Sure, it is pronounced by the non-linear layout that lets you wander off into an area you'll struggle with if you haven't found a weapon handed out early in another "route".

Then again, I see literally nothing wrong with that. It's oldschool. Furthermore, coming into an av legacy map and expecting smooth sailing in an UV FDA? Bitch pls. "I'm dying if I enter a room quickly", hahaha, cry more. I assure you there absolutely is a way to storm the map aggressively and efficiently with minimum backtracking, but you need a good plan. I devised one during playtesting, so it shouldn't be too hard for hardened slaughterboys. I'm not making light of criticism, mind you, but shitting on the map, because it's not letting you defeat it easily the first time around, is frankly ridiculous. Git gud.

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