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Z0k

Another ugly and boring map

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Wad: Doom2
Map: MAP12
Sourceport: Any Source port, should work with any port that remove vanilla limit.
Download: http://www.mediafire.com/download/sb8lu2lbvo18dri/cargobase.zip
Screens: http://imgur.com/a/GA6wG

Description: another ugly map based on a cargo kind base, i made this map for freedoom but was removed because was too detailed for vanilla. also i made the map with one thing on mind; shouldnt be linear, if you find the secrets you probably can finish the map without using keys (well you will only need red key for the exit)

also this map i used it for practice since my map are linear (well after this one, i make now my maps not linear) monsters placement and item placement its something i need to work no.

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Not having played much made by you i'd say you are underselling yourself. Played on hmp, way too much ammo for how little it felt populated imho, but the cons stop here really.

The map itself present itself really nicely, and result nice and clean to look and navigate trough, with each area being remarkable enough to never get lost.
Also remarkable is from how many points you can access the same areas, with enough interactable objects and switches to feel like an alive working place.

Overall a nice run and gun experience, a shame that the freedoom folk are going with this vanilla nonsense, but hey who am i to judge.

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As if there's any such thing as an ugly Z0k map.

Played on GZDoom, UV, keyboard-only.

This was a fantastic looking cargo base. I love how you stuck to the theme and worked everything out in a logical fashion. The train tracks and tunnels were a highlight in creating a sense of immersion, as were the loading docks. The interior of the map was a heavily worked Hitscanner Holocaust with windows everywhere and a very active vertical plane to create visual interest. It was amazing how far away hitscanners could be yet still shoot you across several rooms worth of windows. It could be argued that in some ways the map is overdetailed since it seems every window has an insert. As a matter of taste I tend to prefer clean windows, but that's me.

I found an error on Linedef 4789, a Doortrak texture that needs to be lower unpegged. Also, Sectors 943 and 944 have a Cratop1 texture on the floor which seems to be planned as a border texture, but the floor texture is the same on both sides, so it looks awkward. IMO, they should both be the same as the surrounding floor.

In terms of gameplay, this is a great big adventure map and except for the hitscanner-heavy sections, it's remarkably easy, even on UV. I only died once, but that was a cheap death from the Chaingunner in Sector 1485, who is hidden behind a window texture high above and far away from the player. For those of us who play in Fullscreen, we don't have the Doomguy face to guide us in finding an enemy. I was only able to find him by promoting infighting with a Caco. Alas, I died shortly after discovering his whereabouts, and it pissed me off because I had a perfect run going and this was a terrible way to end it. IMO, you don't have to delete the chaingunner, but you must make him visible because this placement is unfair.

Overall hitscanner placement was fairly evil. I was always being potshotted from multiple directions in the early going, and the pace was fast because any time I moved away from one hitscanner, I was nailed by another. My health got fairly low from time to time but thanks to an overabundance of health, I managed to survive. IMO, the health could be reduced by 25 - 30% to make for a more exciting game.

The placement of mid-tier monsters and Imps was not as good, with the notable exception of dangerous Arachnotrons who almost killed me a couple times. Manc placement was especially inefficient, as they could not pressure the player and were essentially sacrificial lambs, as were the Cacos in the train tunnel, nothing more than target practice. Hell Nobles were merely bullet-sponge speed bumps, as they are in most maps. Most galling of all, Revvie placement was such that they were constrained from offering real danger to the player. I think the map could benefit by tripling the number of Revvies. You can replace most or all of the Hell Nobles with Revvies and place them more aggressively. Of course this all depends on whether you want a hard adventure map or a relaxing one. Right now you have a relaxing one.

The exit battle was a let-down, just me and my rocket launcher against a bunch of stumbling oaf Hell Nobles. An easier fight would be hard to imagine. A couple Archies in the mix would liven this up. You made the secret BFG easy to find, so why not give us something to slap around with it? Why not three Archies at the exit? It would certainly get our attention. ;) You also have plenty of room to go another way, with 1 or more Cyberdemons. You could also do 1 Cyb and 2 Archies.

I'm being nit-picky, but this is a beautiful map and I think ramping up the difficulty would make many of us appreciate it even more.

I ended the map with 100% kills and 3 of 4 secrets. The only one I missed was the Soulsphere.

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You fishing for compliments or something? Map looks cool, I'll check it out later ;)

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Here's an FDA if you care for that sort of thing.
It has always been surprising for me just how competent your maps are when it comes to techbase detailing, especially considering the usage of a decrepit and mouldy default texture stock. Your bases always look pleasantly complex and carefully detailed. This one is no exception.
Got a déjà vu in a sense that your dmp2015 contribution has many things in common with this map, even though this one feels much more convoluted and twisted, and squads of hitscanners waiting in every corner, behind every window and at any higher ground make running around more frantic and, for a little bit, pleasantly disorienting, even though this probably sounds weird. I can't really say that the action style this map represents in general is my thing - add to that the lack of any real climax and the fact that a number of areas is notably bigger than the opposition they house in spite of the damn snipers occupying the peripheral vantage points, a sacrifice made for a more realistic appearance perhaps - but nevertheless I was surely interested in further exploration (combined with non-stop running around shooting all the time, right) and kept wondering where will another "junction point" lead me to. Nonlinearity is a strong point here for sure, too bad there were hardly any real kicks in the ass to keep things going at that initial higher pace dictated by the frequent crossfire occurrences early on. Oh well.
So, all in all - thanks, this one was interesting to run through. Definitely not an oldschool approach, yet the refusal in making it meet the modern difficulty standards and encounter design tropes is evident, heh. So, a little bit of both philosophies I suppose.

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@SteveD and Demonologist:

its something i want to change in my monster/item placement, although this kinda 2 years old map i believe, i still think i have the same troubles with my actual maps, since i dont know when its "fair" or "unfair" in terms of difficulty. so something related to thing placement its really appreciated (and same with suggestions on how i can improve it).

with those honest comments i saw the flaws in some monsters placement (and more when players use the no key path) and see now that if place some revenants in certain (and open) areas wouldnt be unfair due the map have a lot of places to take cover (and same with archies)

and now if i compared this map with one i recently made for a mod, i see now the problem with abundance of healths and some items in this map(even in HMP like Cacowad said).

But overall thanks for the honest feedback, since im taking on account everything in the next maps im going to make since i just want to make a Fair but hard map instead a frustrating unfair map. probably going to open a bit more the maps from now so monsters dont get troubles in those parts.

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Im absolutly in love with your Architecture Style :D It looks realy cool and its Fun to Play ^^ Even though it looks more like a big Doom 1 Map :P

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Hey Z0k, I got the chance to play this thing; what a map! I don't think I would call this over-detailed, but beautifully detailed does come to mind. 2 years old and still damn good!

Here's my FDA; 1 death due to being careless and too ballsy for my own good. It's a bit long at 42:08, but that's because I died after the RK, hehe, and I admittedly took my time, admiring the scenery and fixing my hair.


I'll start off with a couple visual things I noticed:

I really liked your use of the blue lights in a few areas; while the architecture and layout of other areas might stick in my mind and be memorable, the pretty, shiny colors of the blue-light areas were the most beautiful parts of the level to me. There's not much I can tell you to help you improve on your detailing, as you are light years ahead of me, but I know your standards are very high and so the only thing I could suggest would be to experiment more with not only lighting and contrast in general, but also adding pretty colors to the mix to draw the eyes and make the already awesome architecture you make really pop.

Spoiler

- Some of the 8x16 switch textures for the locked blue and yellow doors are not present.


- One door on the eastern side of the map, has a doortrak not marked lower unpegged.


These next three points are extremely nitpicky, but I know you want detailed feedback and it's stuff you'd want to hear:
- While the lifts with the inset doortraks looked really cool, they seemed a bit overdone when compared to lifts that were the exact same otherwise, but without the inset doortrak textures. Personally I like the insets, but either route, it might be good to keep them consistent.
- The two rooms to the east and west of the red door felt a bit underdone in comparison to the rest of the level, which was absolutely gorgeous.
- These supports look like they are missing a side when next to that cement, but that's just my taste.

- There were tons of switches in this map that were tough to figure out; some I'm still unsure on. I understand many were to accommodate multiple ways to enter particular areas, but some were just total switch-hunts.
- Having said that, I really liked the secrets. One set of switch hunts made me feel like it was a series of not-counted secrets leading to a counted one later, but I am unsure if that is/was the case.

That's about all the bad that I can say about this map's line-design. On to the thing-design:

Things were what hurt this map, to me. I really didn't mind the constant hitscans, but using the shotty/SSG against them en masse drug down the gameplay. More bullets in the beginning would have been nice. On the flip side, by the end of the map, there was a clear overabundance of health, armor, and ammo. Now, I will say that it is a very tough thing to manage in such a semi-nonlinear, interconnected map such as this (are the BK and YK totally optional?), but it likely wouldn't hurt things to just remove some here and there. One good example is the berserk pack by the megasphere, as well as many green armors. If my death proves anything, it's that no over-abundance of health can save you in a tough encounter, hehe, but it is nice after that near-death. I suppose rng is also a factor with so many hitscans, so perhaps some of that should be taken with a grain of salt. But not the ammo, that was definitely overabundant for the most part.

Btw, speaking of ammo, there is a big cell pack and a stimpack by the computer map secret that are inaccessible.

Moving on to some more specific things:
Spoiler

- Sans the lack of bullets in the very beginning, I really liked over-all the monster placement moving towards the BK. On the other hand, moving the opposite direction was a bit of a mixed bag. By that point the amount of hitscanners began to set in, and I began to crave projectiles. I will say, I understand the rationale for hitscans here, what with the tight windows and angles the mobs shoot the player from, as well as the ones hidden around a corner for that quick jump, but one tip I could give for not overdoing it is focusing on using the widest cast of monsters at your disposal. Some of those couples could have been replaced with a rev or two, as an example, or a smaller number could have been used for a group, but with a support PE to give the player something to think about while he's filled with holes from hitscans. PE's can be tough to not overuse, as they are so very versatile and the Doom cast doesn't really have many monsters that can fill the "support" role in almost any given scenario. In that same area, in/near the pool of nukage, there was a group of bulls that really didn't do much for the gameplay but block the lift for the other monsters. One last thing, being a semi-nonlinear map, this whole area can of course be done without the SSG, so any higher-tiered mobs would have to be reasonably low health. Cacos, revs, or a well-placed manc could compliment this area well. An HK might be okay in the top area in the far south, since it is somewhat less spacious. A random trap/ambush or two might be a good addition to that southern, upstairs area specifically, but also throughout the map in various points. A lot of rooms felt a bit like shooting galleries and a bit of door-camping due to mobs being right there as the door opens and the amount of hitscans, but this was nicely offset with several ambushes; just perhaps could be a few more for my tastes ;D and a better projectile/hitscan ratio.
- I liked the placement of the 4 monsters at the BK trap, but it was a bit on the easy side, unless the player fails to take the hint and head back to the lift upon grabbing the BK. But even then, the player is safe from the arachs right there at the BK. More-so, it would be a good addition to that fight to add in a few more cacos in the places the player is likely to retreat to if they go up the lift. Might not be a bad idea to throw in one or two PE's just for extra fun. Maybe put the first right in the doorway behind the lift as the player exits the brown liquid area. So upon riding the lift up, he has an immediate, high priority target in close proximity. Good chance he'll stay near there and kill it, giving the others time to close in and apply pressure.
- I really liked the high probability of roaming monsters in this map. You did very well to allow them to access so many portions of the map. It would have been really cool if you would have taken more advantage of that, releasing alerted monsters in various places, but it was already well-done. Speaking of which, before entering any key doors, there is an upstairs area in the south with a little, random lift that looks similar to one in one of your freedoom submissions; it allows monsters to easily follow the player to that upstairs area, rather than be stuck in a corner, useless. I laughed when I saw it because I liked it so much. It's always a good thing to be considerate of the monsters as you design a level, (they're your "pieces") so it's cool to see a lift just for them in here.
- The south-eastern area felt particularly mean on the hitscans, mostly due to the chaingunner in the tower in the far south-east. That rev there behind the crates could have benefitted from sound-blocking lines over the deaf/ambush flag.
- The YK encounter: I liked the lost souls (you should have put some rocket ammo there), but the 2 HK's and 2 mancs were ineffective at their jobs with just a handful of lost souls to distract the player. The mobs there at the YK also wake up after opening the gate leading to the long, big hallway in the south and firing. I notice both gates open with the same switch; this perhaps would be better otherwise. Then again, I think you should warp the 2 mancs and 2 HKs in when the player grabs/approaches the YK, or enters that small area, which would render the point about the 2 gates moot. So leave the area either clear to start, or place some trash mobs, then bring in the pain. But as I said, those mobs need a few more friends. Of course some PE's would out-prioritise everything there, but that would be the easy way out. Might make for an interesting encounter to switch the mancs below for arachs and add one or two more to the mix, then change the HK's to a manc, possible make that platform a bit bigger and make it two mancs or look for another angle to add one in, shooting down/slightly down on the player, but not in a way to easily infight the arachs. Revs would also work well in place of the HK's. Of course a random PE never really hurt anything, but the biggest thing, I think, is to release everything, skulls included, at the same time when the player is wherever you want him to be in that small area. The trap becomes ineffective when the skulls float out south after the gate opens and the player doesn't realize it, heading the opposite direction.
- The room directly west and adjacent to the YK area: this is a tough room; it can be approached from a few different angles. I think as a start, replacing some enemies with flying enemies could be a good move. After that, perhaps get rid of some of the chaingunners and turret hitscans to not infight the fliers. I was thrilled to see revs by that point, so I would have to say some more revs would have worked nicely in that room. Mancs might not have been a bad idea to throw up top, assuming they'd have sufficient room to move; I forget now. Imps and one or two HKs are never a bad thing, as well as the occasional shotgunner to keep the player active while dealing with the other threats. The mancs below were decent choices when entering the room from the YK, but from up top they only served as a deterrent to drop below, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but that same purpose could also have been achieved with bulls or a couple chaingunners. There are many possibilities for that area, depending on how you want the player to approach it. The baron should be removed and replaced with a couple revs.
- The backpack trap nearby with 2 bulls that teleport in was a let-down. More bulls would have made that an interesting trap, as would more teleport destinations, or a small-scale wave-based ambush, forcing the player back and forth as priorities change, while managing the trash mobs. Of course revs, a chaingunner, some HK's and one baron (baron first!), etc are other possibilities.
- I liked the 2 arachs and caco swarm in the big, long hallway in the south.
- The large outside area by the megasphere: I liked the placement here for the most part. The baron was badly placed, however, and was mostly a rocket sponge. 2 HK's would have used about the same amount of my ammo, been more threatening and more fun to fight. Could have used more revs and a few more fliers. I liked the AV; but there should have been one for either side of that area; for extra fun ^^
- North of that area: lotta chaingunners here; perhaps too many. Starting with the first encounter, the two up top, two below and the HK: that was a great start to the area. One more HK or two bulls on the left hand side would have really complimented the HK on the right.
- Going outside to the left (west): Chaingunners galore. Both outside, and continuing north up the stairs and proceeding east. There was also that really cheap chaingunner behind the window. I had a feeling that was what was happening, having not read the thread before typing this, but I can totally understand how he killed SteveD. It worked in TNT, yeah, but it wasn't quite the same as this, I think. That outside area to the west of the HK could have used some more monster variety. One thing that could help you is to use sound-blocking lines over the ambush/deaf flag. So you could hide some enemies behind corners that will come out when the player fires at something else. Just make sure and place them effectively so the player cannot take advantage of them. Either that or do the ole teleport in and bring in some mobs when the player is in the middle of that area; something to keep him on his toes in the area, rather than at its door. The overuse of hitscans here, especially chaingun snipers, makes entering the area tough. Well, it would if health and armor weren't in abundance, hehe. Perhaps that was part of the point here; in a way it works that I can just run into an area and take damage with less-than-normal care just to clear it faster, but perhaps it's so against what we all believe and do as players that it's to unintuitive for us cavemen, hehehe.
The trap after the RK: I liked this one for the most part. It could have used some more monsters of the same types as were used, though, like an additional arach sniper, manc or three on the ground, and more cacos/skulls/PE's flying around. Also tons of rockets. Perhaps also an additional angle or two of attack/deployment, to apply more pressure on the player. In retrospect, I could have fled to the place the HK was upon entering this area and safely killed the manc, waiting for the fliers to come on over. Lotta places like that where it's good to think of ways the player can cheese, like the door-camping spots. A couple lock-in traps would have also suited this map well.
- The final encounter was another of these times where a lock-in would have been a good thing. In addition, pressure from behind the player could serve as a good "soft" lock-in instead of physically barring the way. I have to agree with previous comments that after the BFG secret, a bigger final fight would have been in order, though that was a clever secret. For the fight: I think 2 or 3 HK's behind the player would be good, replacing the current set of enemies with something different than the norm; say 2 bulls directly in front to distract the player for a second while the HK's behind begin to make their presence known, also allowing the other monsters to be woken up. Just around the corners where the player can barely not see before killing the bulls, a shotgunner on both sides, which will come out when the player shoots, giving him an immediate high-priority target, while also distracting from the pressure behind created by the HK's. After that, a decent group of revs on one side and a few HK's with one baron in front on the other side, pushed back so they take a bit to get into the fray. Top it off with a PE on one or both sides in the far back corner to really give the player something to consider while they manage a rock and a hard place. Finally, in the exit room, 3-or-4 AV's coupled with 3-or-4 shotgunners would be a good way to end the map; shotgunners closest to the door.

Something that'll help you is this: think about each monster when you add them and what point they serve. In addition, how do they affect the gameplay? A basic example we are all familiar with: you put in a PE; well he's gonna have to be killed first to save ammo and skull-frustration. Throw a chaingunner on top of that: now he will have to be killed first, unless you can get that PE in between you two. Each additional monster and each missing/misplaced/mis-selected has the possibility to change the gameplay noticeably. When you select a monster, think about life from his shoes. Where can he attack, how will the environment affect his attack, where can he move, where can the player hide from him, how do his strengths and weaknesses affect his location, how will he interact with other monsters here; these are most of the right questions. In addition it's easy to fall into the rut of using one monster type, for obvious reasons, which is why it's important to actively try to use the most monster variety you can. Aside from the biggest monsters when the map doesn't allow it, try to switch it up as much as possible. If you have to, change the ammo set around to make a different monster set more threatening, such as providing nothing but rockets at that YK grab with all the skulls flying around.

One other thing is this. Essay on monster placement; long and fantastic read that I highly recommend everyone read!

Now, all of this I say as a constant student of "things" because I like doing that type of stuff, so take it all with a grain of salt as one man's opinions. Hopefully this was detailed enough to be of use :)

Cheers man and great job on this ole thing!

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