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Steve D

Shotgun Symphony -- Ultimate Doom episode -- Working on v1.1

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Smh at people complaining about hitscanners. This a Doom E1 replacement titled "Shotgun Symphony". What did you expect?

 

I beat this and have to say you did a sterling job capturing that E1 feeling. I loved the secrets in particular. Some of them really inspired fear and made me feel the same things as when I played through the Phobos campaign for my very first time - going through dark/desolate areas, not knowing where the monsters are going to come at you... Very atmospheric indeed.

 

Also, strangely enough, the first level was my least favourite - and not because I was desperately stocking up on ammo to bring down the cyb. Everything else was fun as hell though.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Firedust said:

Smh at people complaining about hitscanners. This a Doom E1 replacement titled "Shotgun Symphony". What did you expect?

 

I beat this and have to say you did a sterling job capturing that E1 feeling. I loved the secrets in particular. Some of them really inspired fear and made me feel the same things as when I played through the Phobos campaign for my very first time - going through dark/desolate areas, not knowing where the monsters are going to come at you... Very atmospheric indeed.

 

Also, strangely enough, the first level was my least favourite - and not because I was desperately stocking up on ammo to bring down the cyb. Everything else was fun as hell though.

 

 

 

Thanks, Firedust! Glad I was able to conjure those old memories.

 

Funny thing about the first map, it's the only one I ever designed on paper as opposed to my usual approach of composing directly in the editor. In terms of combat, the map is basically built around 3 crossfire situations -- the opening, the double staircase room, and the computer equipment room. I wanted to make sure I got those crossfires right so that they were potentially deadly but not guaranteed lethal. I think I achieved my goal, but it does make for a symmetrical layout, and there's the issue with going to one side to hit a switch that reveals the lift to the computer room and then to the other side where a player might get the secret Blue Armor, so it may have a stick-up-the-ass feel to it compared to the more organic layout of the later maps. But if you have any specific complaints about the map, let me know. I'm preparing a 1.1 version that will either replace this one or go into a megawad. Haven't decided yet. For now, in M1 I've removed 2 of the Cacos that fly in and all of the Pinkies guarding the exit door, replaced by a single Imp. Now that I think of it, I might replace the 2 corridor Cacos with 6 - 9 Imps. I've given up on trying to control players wanting to kill that Cyb. ;D

 

Another question -- in M8 did you use the radsuits down in the nukage to beat the Baron/Cyb fight? I put those in there for co-op players after a tester mentioned that the descending bridge would force most of the co-op players to run across the nukage to reach distant teleports, so I added the radsuits plus 2 teleporters nearby, and forgot to flag the suits as "multiplayer only". Originally, there were no radsuits at all, you had to beat the fight on the platform or try to escape past all the Cacos and Lost Souls. I've already seen 2 players use the radsuits to cheese the battle, and there's a logic to letting them do it, because some players might get frustrated without them, and after all, there's still the end fight to come. Also, hardcore players will tend to ignore the radsuits and fight on the platform anyway. Then again, there's a logic to being merciless as well. Decision, decisions! :D

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8 minutes ago, Steve D said:

Funny thing about the first map, it's the only one I ever designed on paper as opposed to my usual approach of composing directly in the editor. In terms of combat, the map is basically built around 3 crossfire situations -- the opening, the double staircase room, and the computer equipment room. I wanted to make sure I got those crossfires right so that they were potentially deadly but not guaranteed lethal. I think I achieved my goal, but it does make for a symmetrical layout, and there's the issue with going to one side to hit a switch that reveals the lift to the computer room and then to the other side where a player might get the secret Blue Armor, so it may have a stick-up-the-ass feel to it compared to the more organic layout of the later maps. But if you have any specific complaints about the map, let me know. I'm preparing a 1.1 version that will either replace this one or go into a megawad. Haven't decided yet. For now, in M1 I've removed 2 of the Cacos that fly in and all of the Pinkies guarding the exit door, replaced by a single Imp. Now that I think of it, I might replace the 2 corridor Cacos with 6 - 9 Imps. I've given up on trying to control players wanting to kill that Cyb. ;D

 

It's not exactly a specific complaint per se, but I felt that the progression was a bit wonky and unengaging. The crossfire situation was hardly challenging in my case, and the secret sections left the impression that you added them just for the sake of it. That's just my take on things, by the way, so other people are more than welcome to disagree with me.

 

8 minutes ago, Steve D said:

Another question -- in M8 did you use the radsuits down in the nukage to beat the Baron/Cyb fight? I put those in there for co-op players after a tester mentioned that the descending bridge would force most of the co-op players to run across the nukage to reach distant teleports, so I added the radsuits plus 2 teleporters nearby, and forgot to flag the suits as "multiplayer only". Originally, there were no radsuits at all, you had to beat the fight on the platform or try to escape past all the Cacos and Lost Souls. I've already seen 2 players use the radsuits to cheese the battle, and there's a logic to letting them do it, because some players might get frustrated without them, and after all, there's still the end fight to come. Also, hardcore players will tend to ignore the radsuits and fight on the platform anyway. Then again, there's a logic to being merciless as well. Decision, decisions! :D

 

Actually, I did not! And they rather confused me, because the first thing that sprung to my mind was, "Why put them there? Isn't the fight supposed to revolve around the cyb on the platform?" Which is why I never actually jumped down. Mind you, I was playing UV continuous (I always am) and had full BFG ammo at that point so the fight, a few dodgy rockets aside, was essentially a cakewalk.

 

Are you doing an episode 2, by any chance? Or will the said megawad be a compilation spanning Steve D releases across all these years?

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@Firedust So it sounds like the symmetrical nature of M1 is the main culprit. I'll mess around with it to see what I can do. There are ways to make it seem less symmetrical without actually making it so, and then there are ways to substantially alter the pathing without completely rebuilding the map. It's an interesting exercise, and might bear fruit. As for the secrets, the main reason for them was the usual thing, because after I transferred the layout from paper into Hellmaker, I had an opportunity to see what else I could do with it, and so I took advantage of opportunities for secrets. Secrets, like everything else, are never pre-planned in my maps. I map by the seat of my pants based on some dimly understood vision, and then start connecting things together and looking for targets of opportunity. In this map, I saw an opportunity to put stuff on top of the Marbface columns at the start, and my fave thing to do is to teleport up to the Backpack and jump down to the platform below, guns blazing. I like leaping off high places in Doom. Just goofy fun for me.

 

Glad you didn't use the radsuits in M8. I figured you wouldn't, since IIRC you play a lot of slaughtermaps, so for you it wouldn't be necessary. I'll just keep dithering over that for now. ;D

 

Yes, there will be an E2, and in fact a full megawad. I have a couple E4 maps already. As for E2, I have a clear plan for what I want out of it in terms of theme -- much more moody and menacing, with ambient music, more of a horror set, but still with some bigass fights. I just want to draw out the suspense more so that when the fights happen they'll be more of a shock. Here's hoping this one won't take 22 years to finish. :D

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Here's a new video of E1M3 played by yours truly. God damnit, Steve. That whole business around the yellow key when you turn this old Volkswagen Beetle into a Veyron on steroids has me questioning your sanity. Why the hell did you have turn an otherwise cool level into a slaughtery mess from the darkest reaches of your sick imagination!? WTH man!

 

And no, my videos aren't dark. Are they? I mean, I think they look fine and exactly the same on my PC and phone.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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E1M1 UV-M4x in 7:58 (skips the Cyberdemon)

s1g1-758.zip

 

E1M1 was very fun, loved the three crossfire situations that force you to play aggressively. The secrets were well hidden, in fact on my first run of this level I managed to get 0% secrets. I also thought in ended abruptly, but maybe I just missed the exit sign. Highlights for me are the computer equipment room, very fun to circle around and blow the barrels when the enemies gather in the centre, and the starting room, featuring an imposing view and scattered hitscanners that will grab any chance to chip off your health, also contains the most interesting secrets where you have to do a bit of platforming to get the secrets atop the marble pillars.

 

E1M2 UV-Max in 13:03

s1g2-1303.zip

 

E1M2 provided some switch-hunting fun, and I love it! Progression never really felt unclear, it was obvious to me a leap of faith into the nukage was required to progress. The way this is connected to the first level is interesting, with the four door hub appearing again, this time with less resistance (obviously since the player has cleared it in the previous level :P). Liked the forewarning in the room near the exit with the pool of blood - on UV it contains two dead marines inside the pool; not sure if this is intentional or not, but the next room is much more vicious on UV than on easier difficulties, so that's a nice touch.

 

E1M3 UV-Max in 18:25

s1g3-1825.zip

 

E1M3 was a step-up in difficulty compared to the previous levels. The two major choke points were the room after the first lift, full of hitscanners on tiny elevated rooms ready to snipe you, and the whole area after the red door, including the blue key section, due to a shortage of health. After that you're golden, the only other troublesome situation is the yellow key area, but it can be conquered easily with speed. The secrets were also well hidden, I particularly liked the secret exit section, only for the most observant players. My careless playing caused a lot of deaths here.

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18 hours ago, Chris Hansen said:

Here's a new video of E1M3 played by yours truly. God damnit, Steve. That whole business around the yellow key when you turn this old Volkswagen Beetle into a Veyron on steroids has me questioning your sanity. Why the hell did you have turn an otherwise cool level into a slaughtery mess from the darkest reaches of your sick imagination!? WTH man!

 

And no, my videos aren't dark. Are they? I mean, I think they look fine and exactly the same on my PC and phone.

 

Hmmmm, looks like I need to make room on my Trophy Wall for some fresh Chris Hansen pelts. ;)

 

I really like your aggressive play in this video. Great fun to watch.

 

As for my sanity, I think it was always in question, Chris, since after all I made the Yellow Key Trap in 1998, when I had never even heard of slaughtermaps. It is almost exactly the same trap today, except that in early testing, Dobu suggested I add some Sergeants in the curvy corridors so players couldn't easily camp there. I also removed a maze in the nukage section and turned it into the room where a Spectre guards a Medikit.

 

I thought it was really cool the way you grabbed the radsuit and fought the hordes from the nukage. That never occurred to me. I always try to thin the herds a bit with rockets and then fight in the main room to kill the ground clutter before finishing off the Cacos. One of the fun things about watching people play your maps  is to see Doomers defeat them in ways you never thought of. I always save the radsuit for the end so I can use it while waiting for the lift, but in reality, you tank about the same amount of damage waiting on the nukage or crossing it to grab the radsuit. ;D 

 

Your video looked perfect this time. I just checked your E1M1 again and it looked better than before. Maybe I had a slow bitrate that day? It looked smeary and dark the first time I watched. Did you use the Win10 gameplay recorder? Love that feature. I'm also overjoyed that the latest Win 10 update gave me Dark Mode. Yay, no more blinding white folder windows!

 

As an aside, I love the palette you used in Gore. It gives a nice gritty, grimy feel to the textures. Is it the same palette you used in Monument?

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Yeah, aggresive is the way I like it. It might kill me, but at least it's fun. And hey, Doomguy can move and shoot just as good at 100% and 1% health ;D

 

Yes, I use the built-in video editor in Windows 10. Don't know if it's any good or not. I simply don't have neither the time nor the interest in finding something else. It'll have to do for now.

 

As for the palette in Gore, well that was the one called Jovian palette I believe. In Monument it was the one made by Sigvatr. They latter being even more gritty and desaturated.

 

For my next video, I will try and get my mic to work and see if I can't deliver an oral description of my torment :D

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@Andromeda Thanks for these killer demos!

 

Right off the bat, I noticed that you were moving even faster than last time, and after watching all 3 demos, I noticed something surprising -- once you get the single shotty, it's the only weapon you use! I kept waiting for you to shoot Cacos with rockets or the Chaingun, but it never happened. Wow. Maybe I missed it or forgot when it happened? I never realized there were enough shells in these maps to pursue that strategy. How long can you keep it up? I think M5 will provide a good test. ;)

 

I'm trying to make the Zerk fight in M2 un-cheeseable for v1.1. You're the 3rd person who's figured out how to defang it, and I simply can't have that. :D

 

All these demos were super-cool and fun to watch, but the M3 demo was the best. Probably my fave part was how you tanked up on health and ammo by getting the secret Soulsphere and Blue Armor before you fought the trap. I've never seen anyone do that before. Even I never do it. :D It's supposed to be an after-fight reward for the alert secret-hunter. The Blue Armor is especially hard to find because the clue is so subtle. That wasn't one of the original secrets, either. It's brand new for this version, so congrats on finding it. You were also able to escape the room early and chokepoint the monsters. I won't even try to prevent players from doing that. Bravo for figuring that out, it's another first. Props also for finding that secret ammo stash down in the water area near the Blue Door. That's a sneaky one most people miss.

 

What can I say except that I look forward to more. :)

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Steve D Thanks for watching!

 

This time I tried to backtrack less, as it's probably more interesting for the viewer - and also for myself, since I have to get out of my comfort zone, which is playing cautiously. As for the boomstick reliance, I just can't be bothered to change weapons, so I try to mostly use the weapon for which ammo is most plentiful in the level :P I'll spoil a bit of the E1M9 demo which I've already recorded, there's significant usage of the Chaingun and even a bit of berserk fisting in there, but still not relying on the Rocket Launcher unless it's absolutely necessary - dunno why, but it seems my units are always faulty, as they have a tendency to fire into a charging lost soul or a close quarters spectre ;)

 

Hopefully you manage to un-cheese that fight, since it looks like it could be very vicious, at least on UV :)

 

Like you said, the Blue Armor is very hard to find, thankfully I played the Master Levels recently, and on the Bloodsea Keep there's a similar secret, so I managed to find it - very clever mechanism. As for the yellow key trap, it's the most manageable strategy that occured to me to survive it on UV; on lower skills it's not too tricky to clear the monsters inside the room, but on UV you just get overwhelmed by the caco swarm - maybe the intended strategy is to try to whittle down the cacos with the Rocket Launcher fast and then clear the side rooms with the other weapons? Didn't try that strat since, like I said, all the RL's I pick up are malfunctional :D

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Here's an update on v1.1. I discovered some texture errors in a corridor shared by M1 and M8. Specifically, they had different ceiling textures. No one has noticed so far, but that wasn't all. When I originally changed the ceiling texture in the M1 section, I didn't get the entire ceiling. Egads! M8 was also missing the exit sign at the door to M2, as well as a major wall detail near the entrance door. This is what happens when you try to coordinate the same area in 2 maps. ;D

 

That's all fixed now. On top of that I fixed the pictures in the OP by downloading them from Photobucket and uploading them to Imgur, and replacing the originals. No more Photobucket watermarks!

 

I've also made changes in M2, making the small corridor down in the nukage that leads to the Yellow Key fight more obvious, and also making it more obvious that the switch on the center structure raises the bars to that corridor. I changed the Support3 on the lift there into a switch texture, since people may not realize it's a lift given the darkness down there. I've also made the Zerk fight harder to cheese.

 

In M5, @Austinado found an SR switch in the final arena that should be an S1. That's been fixed. I was also never quite satisfied with the shared outdoor area between M4 and M5. Here's some before and after pics showing what I've done with it on the M5 side. Now I have to re-do all that work on M4. :D Important question, did I do the right thing?

 

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New

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I thought m8 was somewhat underdetailed on purpose in comparison to m1. Never realized you wanted matching locales to be carbon copies of each other. I do like the general idea of revisiting locations across different levels . Very survivor horror-esque. It would be cool to see more of that in ep2, for sure.

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The areas have to be carbon copies -- they're copy-pasted --  but I clearly decided to tweak one and forgot to tweak the other. This happened fairly often. :D

 

E2 is going to be a more fully-developed version of the "giant base spread across all levels" than SS, where I did it on the spur of the moment, building off the architecture of M1. I just looked at a 2001 version of M5, and the connecting area didn't exist except as a small nukage lake. The connection was made by 2003, but it was just a big featureless box open at one end. So what I did was make connections where I could. But in E2 you'll see a lot more in terms of extensive links, and you'll be able to look across at large areas of maps to come and maps you've finished, and perhaps there will be more action across maps. It'll be a fun architectural challenge.

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Alright, time for the next batch!

 

E1M9 UV-Max in 13:31

s1g9-1331.zip

 

E1M9 differs from the previous levels in that its layout is much simpler, with no doors whatsoever! The secrets are also really easy to find, and it marks the baron's first appearance. The open layout allows you to traverse the level in any order, and it's a level you can complete in under two minutes if you know the way. Liked the red key arena, but the floor could be damaging to reduce the player's space a little bit. The berserk trap is very nasty, requires quick movement in order to not get trapped. I felt the blue key trap could be a lot more threatening, but overall enjoyed the level very much!

 

E1M4 UV-Max in 13:03

s1g4-1303.zip

 

E1M4 stands out from the rest in its beautiful decoration. Don't get me wrong, the previous levels were well decorated, but there's something in this one that just clicks in my mind, very aesthetically pleasing! In this level picking up keys doesn't trigger traps, which makes for a neat change of pace. The platforming bit for the Soulsphere is interesting, as is the tiny ledge above the nukage you can use to skip traversing the tunnels again - I wonder if there's other tiny ledges I've missed in the previous levels! There's also a lift near the blue key which allows you to skip quite a bit of backtracking to the optional area beyond the blue bars.

 

E1M5 UV-Max in 31:00

s1g5-3100.zip

 

E1M5 was an easy level... until the final arena which is absolutely merciless, had to cheese that one so I could survive :( The BFG secret was very well hidden, felt really rewarding to find that one on my own! There's also some interesting texture usage, like the bloodied skulls a bit after the blue door, and the rare BROWELL texture, that I find fits very well with the surroundings, encountered in the next section. The tiny ledge makes another appearance, this time to lead us to a cache with a medikit and some shells while also alerting the spectres in the next area, so that they don't get stuck in the nukage and saving the player some health.

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Posted (edited)

Let's wrap this up!

 

E1M6 UV-Max in 30:40

s1g6-3040.zip

 

E1M6 was very interesting. Starts out as any other techbase level, kill monsters, collect keys, yadda yadda yadda... surprise! A HUGE room lies beyond the second red door, with a nukage river above ground flowing through pumps that provides a really beautiful vista for the player. This section keeps you occupied for some time by unleashing hordes of monsters at certain points and it's really fun to slaughter them as you try to keep balance in the tiny margins of the river! Also of note is the simple secret near the red key, accessed by climbing a computer bank to reach the panel that contains the secret.

 

E1M7 UV-Max in 45:39

s1g7-4539.zip

 

E1M7 was difficult. Was not expecting such a hike in difficulty this late in the episode! You barely have room to breathe, most sections have to be tackled with caution or you risk taking lethal damage. The cell weapons are the most fiercely guarded, despite being hidden in secrets (the BFG in particular with its dual cyberdemon trap). The trek to the yellow key serves as a breather to the final fight, where a plethora of monsters is unleashed, ready to kill you - they really make that medium-sized room feel tiny! The final fight also contains timed spawners, useful to sustain the pressure on the player - it's not over quite yet...

 

E1M8 UV-Max in 25:26

s1g8-2526.zip

 

E1M8 was the appropriate finale to this episode. Starts with a surprise for the player - the Cyberdemon met in E1M1 has been released! Aways into the level is the hub traversed in E1M1 and E1M2, only one door remains to explore, surrounded by dead marines and a big pool of blood... another cyberdemon teleports away - spooky! These encounters really keep the player on their toes before any kind of combat is engaged. The "Toxin Refinery secret" felt really rewarding to find on my own. Would have liked a way to get out of the final arena after it's cleared, as low health renders the level impossible to complete, due to the nukage puzzle.

 

Final thoughts:

 

This episode was really fun, had a blast doing these demos! Lots of secrets and items, hitscanners galore, and an unexpected difficulty hike in the final two levels. Starts tame enough, with the first half being challenging but not overly so, before picking up the difficulty at E1M5's final arena - probably the only frustrating set-piece in the whole thing. There's a decent amount of nasty traps, but most can be defanged by strategizing, thinking outside the box and I like that! Progression, while not linear for the most part, never felt unclear, although there's some spots that require the player's attention as they can be easy to miss.

 

Favourite levels:

  1. E1M8: Big Boss Blood Salad
  2. E1M1: A Lazy Day on Phobos
  3. E1M9: The Miley Cyrus Concert

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@Andromeda and @Chris Hansen Hey guys, I've fallen a bit behind but I'm catching up on all this great stuff you've done. Hoping I can start replying to all of it in just a few hours. Stay tuned! :)

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I remember playing this WAD years ago, specifically I really liked the idea of returning to areas you could see in earlier levels. When time allows ill be giving this another play through, I dont remember a lot of it so it will be mostly new to me.

 

Im a sucker for shadows and oh man the screenshots below are just dying for some, though that is just a personal preference;)

 

Anyway, really nice Steve D, cant wait to give this a whirl!

Spoiler
On 7/31/2019 at 9:49 AM, Steve D said:

Here's an update on v1.1. I discovered some texture errors in a corridor shared by M1 and M8. Specifically, they had different ceiling textures. No one has noticed so far, but that wasn't all. When I originally changed the ceiling texture in the M1 section, I didn't get the entire ceiling. Egads! M8 was also missing the exit sign at the door to M2, as well as a major wall detail near the entrance door. This is what happens when you try to coordinate the same area in 2 maps. ;D

 

That's all fixed now. On top of that I fixed the pictures in the OP by downloading them from Photobucket and uploading them to Imgur, and replacing the originals. No more Photobucket watermarks!

 

I've also made changes in M2, making the small corridor down in the nukage that leads to the Yellow Key fight more obvious, and also making it more obvious that the switch on the center structure raises the bars to that corridor. I changed the Support3 on the lift there into a switch texture, since people may not realize it's a lift given the darkness down there. I've also made the Zerk fight harder to cheese.

 

In M5, @Austinado found an SR switch in the final arena that should be an S1. That's been fixed. I was also never quite satisfied with the shared outdoor area between M4 and M5. Here's some before and after pics showing what I've done with it on the M5 side. Now I have to re-do all that work on M4. :D Important question, did I do the right thing?

 

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1C7Y6iE.png

 

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1nw3mcy.png

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/5/2019 at 7:46 AM, Crunchynut44 said:

I remember playing this WAD years ago, specifically I really liked the idea of returning to areas you could see in earlier levels. When time allows ill be giving this another play through, I dont remember a lot of it so it will be mostly new to me.

 

Im a sucker for shadows and oh man the screenshots below are just dying for some, though that is just a personal preference;)

 

Thanks, Crunchy!

 

I love shadows, too -- E1M7 in Dawn of the Dead was homaged in E1M1 of SS, natch -- but I'll back away from putting them in E1M5. That would be a lot of work. Maybe in the megawad version . . . ;)

 

I started playing Sinergy-- cool name! -- a few days back. Lots of fun so far, though the secrets, including the secret exit in E1M3, have been eluding me. I'll just pistol start it soon, otherwise I'm doing a relaxed play on continuous.

 

This is a good year for Ultimate Doom. I've played and ejoyed E1 of Lunar Catastrophe, and Fonze's extreme -- by E1 standards -- Driven, and I'm playtesting Capellan's challenging Spectrum. Deadly Standards 2 is close to launch, and maybe Ultimate Doom In Name Only will get released, and I'm sure there's other stuff I haven't seen yet. I can't recall another year since I've been on DW with so many Doom 1 releases. I like it!

Edited by Steve D

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@Andromeda Okay, finally getting to this. I need to schedule my days better. ;D

 

E1M9 - Super-fun demo to watch. Constant action, lots of strategy on your part. As always, I'm amazed by how much of the level you can beat with the shotty alone. The Red Key Arena finally got you to use the RL a bit, despite the malfunctions. ;)  And yes, the harmless nukage. Fixed that. I agree that the Blue Key route is a bit weak by comparison to the Red Key side, but I decided to leave it as is rather than throw in another phalanx of hitscanners. It also raises the question, do you make the map equally challenging on all paths, or do you concentrate on one big battle so that when people hear, The Miley Cyrus Concert, they think, "Dat Red Key fight!" 

 

E1M4 - Love watching all these maxes! You mentioned the decoration, and maybe it's all those vine textures, or the concrete, or those tall obelisks with impaled humans on them. Those occasioned a lot of work, because late in the game I decided to make them taller than the buildings, so I had to use the sky-height trick and make 1-unit sectors around all the buildings and even the nukage cargo plane so I could raise the sky everywhere else. What a PITA! But I'm glad I did it. I think this is also a much more Fava style map in its construction; lots of verticality and windows everywhere, so you get a better sense of place.

 

You fought the secret Soulsphere adventure exceptionally well. IMO it's the toughest fight in the map, especially if you run low on ammo as your radsuit is giving out. You did a really slick job using those ledges to avoid running through the nukage tunnels. Surprisingly, they aren't there for that purpose. They allow me to continue the Nukeslad texture from the tunnels. But hey, once a feature is there, players can use it for any purpose they want. ;) 

 

E1M5 - "The BFG secret was very well hidden, felt really rewarding to find that one on my own!" And that's exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Lots of subtle clues were there, from the time you first see a big piston pumping from your vantage point in the RL area. A certain percentage of players will look for a way to get into that little room for a closer look, and only a certain percentage of those will see the thin ledge taking them there. For players who work all that out, and who also noticed empty space behind the Imp platform, it's a matter of memory. Then it's a question of how many players hit the switch behind the one that faces the Zerk, and wondering what it lowers, and remembering that weird, fishy area a ways back. Some percentage of players will luck into it, but when you've figured out how the thing works, it's better.

 

As I've said before, I basically stole that whole idea from Sean Birkel. It's a huge homage to a similar secret sequence in E1M7 of Fava Beans, right down to the big nukage pit.

 

Before I watched the demo, I tried to imagine you blowing away everything in the end fight with the boomstick, and it was remarkable how many kills you achieved that way. But it was nice to see the PG, RL and CG get a workout, too. Sometimes you just can't plink away at all that meat. :D As you can see, I did what I could to prevent players from cheesing the fight. The only way to guarantee a no-cheese scenario is to put the trigger line on the stairs, but that wouldn't work because players can jump off before triggering the traps and beat the room with ease. However, the good thing about cheesing is that you grabbed the secret Soulsphere and used it to help you in the battle. I feel good about that, since otherwise it's just a useless pick-up for maxers. Bravo!

 

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On 8/1/2019 at 1:39 AM, Chris Hansen said:

Sorry for the language in the video, @Steve D. You know I love you, man!!

 

Oh, he's flipping me shit! You'll pay for that in M5. ;D

 

Sorry it took so long to reply. It was all a bunch of dumb shit on my end. 

 

Really enjoyed your commentary, @Chris Hansen. Your English is excellent. I'm always surprised when Europeans speak English with an accent more American than British. You'd fit right in here in the USA.

 

Thank you for the fresh pelts. Much appreciated. I also enjoyed your comments on our different mapping styles re: the flesh/horror textures. I do regret that you failed to find the path to the secret Soulsphere, since that's arguably the toughest fight in the map. I do that every now and then -- make a bigass secret area and put tough battles in there. It's accessed from very near the Yellow Key, via a secret door you'll find in the closet the Pinkies came out of after you lowered the Yellow Key platform.

 

This relates to what, for me, was the most amusing moment in your playthrough, when you stood in the area below and lamented how hard the secrets in my maps are, and discussed how you're not a wall-humper, and you wouldn't even hump these 2 suspicious-looking walls in between the Support2 strips;

 

HdTiBx6.png

 

Well guess what? ;)

 

Yeah, each wall is a simple secret door leading to a Stimpack. As always, all you gotta do in my maps is look for vertically misaligned textures, light variances on a straight wall, a slightly different texture in the same family, especially Starg or, as in the case above, Grey; Dead Players or pools of blood near walls, and the occasional flickering light at a computer panel -- the typical '90s tricks from back when most of these maps were made. If you follow these guidelines, your secret count will increase rapidly. Avoid leaping into nukage pits unless there's a very obvious clue, such as a visible tunnel down there, humping or shooting any Thing that's not a monster, and other no-hope time-wasters, and you'll be fine.

 

Much fun was had on my end watching and listening to this video. I've already got my popcorn ready for M5, which should result in a satisfying storm of Hansen insults and questioning of my ancestry. I can hardly wait! :)

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lol, thanks Steve! Yeah, I had feeling I should have examined those walls closer! I'm generally not a very smart player. I just load up levels to have some fun - not max it or anything. And btw: You don't have to feel obliged (obligated?) to give me feedback on my videos. I appreciate it, but I know it can be timeconsuming to watch them and sit down afterwards to write an response here :)

 

And thank you for praising my English. I think I can actually do better if it wasn't because I was a bit nervous. It was hard for me playing and talking a foreign language at the same time while knowing that it was going to be watched by you and other native English speakers. I also have a deeper respect now for pro's on TV and for Youtubers! It's isnt an easy task.

 

My holidays are over btw, so that's why my video for M5 hasn't been made yet. I'll try and find some time for it soon.

 

EDIT: To @Steve D and other interested parties: Here's the first video of M5 "Urban Sprawl". I had to stop as I was pressed for time. Will find time for part 2 soon. Watch this video if you're in the mood for a good laugh! ;)

 

 

 

Edited by Chris Hansen : added link to my latest video

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On 8/12/2019 at 2:56 PM, Chris Hansen said:

Watch this video if you're in the mood for a good laugh! ;)

 

Thank you for the quality deaths, Chris! My favorite was when you fought the Cacos through the window and kept ducking behind the wall, then popping back to the window to shoot at them, until you popped back just in time to catch Caco spit right in the face and die. Fine wine, indeed!

 

I'm really happy you found the Soulsphere secret after having that Baron almost corner you in the shaft. And you were doing exactly the right thing to find a major secret when you backtracked to . . . a certain place. Dat's all I'm gonna say. That, and . . . the worst is yet to come! ;)

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@Steve D As always, thanks for the comments! :D

 

E1M9 - I can definitely understand your train of thought on the blue key trap vs. the red one, and making a bit of a far-fetched connection with the level's title, the red key trap could be the crowd at the concert and the blue one could be the demons in the backstage :) This level is a bit stingy with health pickups, so the blue key trap can be threatening if you're not expecting it or if you alert the monsters before encountering them, making them scatter and allowing them a chance to attack you from behind.

 

E1M4 - Interesting, the ledges after the Soulsphere secret really felt like they were intended as a subtle skip for speedrunners as it saves some time, though it's not exactly needed as you should have ample time on your radiation suit to traverse the tunnels again. It's stuff like this, as a non-mapper, that really makes me appreciate the amount of work mappers have to put in so that the maps look and play exactly like they were intended... until a filthy player like me finds a way to break it :P

 

E1M5 - That final battle really is something, doesn't look like much at first, but the lost souls and cacodemons really restrict your movement a lot, at least when playing with infinite height monsters on like I was. Like I did with all the levels, I practiced this level first on HNTR and HMP, and managed to clear the fight the intended way, but on UV I was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of flying enemies. I suppose a good usage of the BFG or playing with infinite height monsters off make this fight easier, but cheesing it allowed me to beat the level with some consistency, despite being really tricky to do without slow-motion!

 

As for spots with inconsistent nukage, forgot to mention but on E1M6 there's some spots on the nukage stream that don't deal damage, and also on E1M7 there's this alcove which I suppose shouldn't be damaging:

Spoiler

kgN5rct.png

 

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