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InsanityBringer

Moon's Call (followup to Moonsong)

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A while back I made Moonsong as an attempt to get back into mapping and see if I could maybe make maps that aren't absolutely terrible. I thought the map was okay, though in retrospect it did have some flaws. I did tease a followup in the map so here it is! This one puts you deep in an isolated hellish dimension, right in the center of a demon fortress. The gate doesn't seem to let you return, and you still need to figure out what the hell is going on with the moon back on earth...

This is a hellish map I've made in order to get a little more familiarity with hell-themed textures, though unlike the usual hell map, this isn't firey, but instead highly isolated. In addition, I spent some time trying to work on using curves and the like within maps, whereas most walls in Moonsong were pretty much straight, occasionally with some filed off corners. In a few ways I find Moon's Call to be a bit simpler than Moonsong, but I did spend some time trying to spice up the difficulty some, since Moonsong was fairly easy. It could still use some improvement, but I think its better than the original

Images:

Spoiler


The gate found in the base has left you in an isolated location

The location is laid out with a central hub. Expect to visit a few times

Monsters come from above whereever you go

Mancubi stand on guard. You can push through to get the yellow skull

An archvile, enraged by your efforts, stands on guard while other companions come to their aid to add additional pressure

The demons built a underground city. This is probably only a small slice of it, the actual thing may run miles deep into the ground of wherever this is

You're free and have returned to where you came... or are you?

Without any other options, the only option is to proceed further. Why is this gate so distant? And why is it on a rail...?

Download here (update 1.1). Designed for vanilla, tested in ZDoom, Chocolate Doom, Eternity Engine, and PRBoom+. Has custom ZMAPINFO and EMAPINFO for intermission and tall sky in in their relevant ports.

Hopefully I'll get this up on idgames relatively soon

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I just uploaded a 1.1 update fixing a few bugs that got through at the last minute

-Patched up some cases of the default flat remaining on ceilings
-You can now actually get the map's secret
-Fixed some VPOs and Drawseg overflows in the transition area from the yellow key area back to the start.
-Changed all lifts to fast lifts
-Fixed a bug that was preventing one trap from working in Vanilla. it turns out vanilla is picky about doors being split.
-Actually put new music in! I settled on Unresolved from Jimmy for the tune. Its maybe a little too upbeat, but I feel it fits okay.

Any feedback would be wonderful!

EDIT: Aagh, 1.1 had a few of its own regressions. I just patched them

-Fixed weirdness with one of the invisible bridges, but not in an elegant way. I have no idea what happens in these cases but the bridge spans a larger area than its defined to.
-Took out some lines to try to guide you around certain details. Vanilla's handling of diagonal lines makes them make getting around the details harder rather than easier. ugh

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I think the layout and general architecture is great. A bit more detailing would go a long way in the larger empty rooms. I think there is a lot of ceiling space to work with. The cyberdemon room could use more spice too. Nit-picking, I can't recommend mixing the red SP_HOT1 bricks with green textures. There's a few places brown mixes in as well, and it's too conflicting (yellow door anteroom).


The ammo count is an improvement over Moonsong - way fewer bullets.

It seems you enjoy revenants more than I do... In a few of the groups of 2-3 I would consider removing 1 from each, maybe if you add difficulties, but that's just me.
I couldn't defeat the two archviles in front of the teleporter (probably because I'm bad). There isn't enough good cover for the area, and too many big monster corpses to play meat shield without having a bigger weapon. rdwpa shows otherwise. I had to run past them.

On the other hand, I quite liked the caged archvile fight. The blue key room was strangely satisfying too. It's a fun map overall.


Oh, and I liked the music choice.

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FDA: http://www.mediafire.com/file/q4l8plwbtl7hy15/mooncall_rdwpa_fda.lmp

At one point there was a big stock of ammo I needed to backtrack if I wanted to use -- seems like it'd be better placed later on, if at all. You could probably remove some ammo in the first half; doesn't seem so necessary. Layout feels like an outline, kind of. Apart from the BRWINDOW area and the ending, there aren't many design elements that are stand out in particular.

Favorite encounters were the drop into the chaingunner/manc area, and the manc/rev fight. Favorite trap was the one with chaingunners behind and imps to both sides. Lovely music too.

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Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'll keep the detail thing in mind for the next time, this level certainly was a bit more experimental since I have little experience with this theme. Also seems I still have some work to do when it comes to actually getting a decent challenge level for my maps. I didn't go overboard with the revs, did I?

For the eventual idgames release I'll probably shift around some of the ammo around the yellow key itself, maybe punt it to where you end up using the yellow key. I'm probably not going to tweak encounters much, overall even if they're a tad easy most of the people I've sent this to didn't struggle too hard, even on things like the double archviles. I was vaguely tempted to give a RL or PG before the archviles, but I feel that would probably mess with the encounters right before. That said, I do want to experiment with different weapon setups with my next map, since I swear every map I've made so far ends up just being a SSG fest with a few other weapons coming in late.

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I died a few times, but mostly to surprise encounters, like going down the hole behind the yellow-key door or the two archviles in the "city" area.

One of the things that bothered me in this map is item placement, picking up items inadvertently. Example: in the archvile-in-a-cage area, there is a green armor at the exit of the area leading to a curvy corridor. I was fighting revenants in the corridor and had to back up quickly and accidentally picked the armor up, because it was kind of in the way.

The rocket launcher was useless, sadly, and didn't bother with it (it came a bit late). I killed the cyberdemon with the super shotgun as it was safer for me to use.

I didn't find the music to be fitting, and later on it started to bother me a little.

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I'll keep the bit about the thing placement in mind for next time, I did generally try to keep ammo out of the way, but I neglected this in a few bits. As for the encounters, that's still something I'm working on, for sure. I feel I did a better job than I did with Moonsong, and I do feel I did alright with this map, but I definitely have ways to go, especially with monster variety. That's also sort of why the RL and PG don't have much of a use, or why the BFG hasn't appeared in any level I have ever made since I've come back to mapping. eh.

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