Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Bloodshedder

The /newstuff Chronicles #516

Recommended Posts

  • Absolutely Killed - Ryath/scwiba
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 697.33 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Absolutely Killed is an E1 replacement for Doom, though it isn't the stuff you can expect from the usual E1 remakes, or from Doom in general. It's a mapset of levels based upon concepts and gimmicks. The visual style is rather old-flavored, with detailing that seems made with vanilla in mind, and the themes go for totally abstract stuff, and it offers a quite varied experience. E1M2 and E1M5 are close to being normal levels. Then you have E1M1 where you have to use barrels to kill the barons, and maps based upon lighting and damaging floors. E1M4 has a pretty cool red colored lighting that's damaging and will restrict your movement a lot. I guess that many players will dislike E1M7, which is a pretty big level mostly covered with green toxic slime, and you have to be careful to remember where you left the remaining radsuits.

    Overall it's a very nice episode that plays with the Doom mechanics to create interesting gameplay scenarios rather that just being a collage of gimmicks and puzzles. Recommended for sure, though if you are looking for something with more emphasis on action this won't appeal you so much I guess.

  • Terror Tomb - Claudio Sapere
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 90.82 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Terror Tomb is a single map for Doom 2, and it's allegedly another first map. It doesn't look terrible; it would be almost acceptable, but the visuals are really bare. The layout wasn't really bad, but this map has the problem that all the places are oversized; it would have been better if it was down scaled a bit. The gameplay is on par with the visual department: it's uninspired. Near the end there's a horde of hell knights, and with the monsters ahead you will certainly run out of ammo if you don't find the "optional" BFG. I have seen worse, but this is a forgettable level at best.

  • Wolf O'Donnell - Michael Jan Krizik (valkiriforce)
    N/A - N/A - Skin Support - 255.2 KB - (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Continuing with the theme of wolf-related skins created by valkiriforce, here's a player skin based on Wolf O'Donnell, the villain/rival/antihero from the Star Fox series, with graphics ripped from one of the Smash Bros. games. It doesn't seem super well optimized for the Doom palette, but it looks OK, and if you really like the character, you might have some fun with it.

  • Back to Thunder Road - ZaBigBoss
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 1.22 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Back to Thunder Road is a small episode with six playable levels plus an ending map. It's actually made in Boom format, but to play you'll need ZDoom because it uses music tracks from Genesis games, and I must say that those were pretty cool and added a nice touch to the mood of the level. There's a nice use of the stock textures with a great emphasis on the orange, green, and grey colors, and in combination with the lightning it creates a very warm atmosphere to the maps. On the gameplay, the author isn't afraid to throw in traps and put you in tough but fair situations. Most remarkable moment is the big swarm of Cacodemons in MAP06 which will require the player to act in a more unusual manner, and I guess that it will turn off many people, but personally I really liked it. Overall it is fresh and interesting and I hope to see more from the author. Definitely recommended.

  • Tapperoo - Overstory_Lover_63
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 119.98 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mrthejoshmon
    Tapperoo is clearly a newbie's map, no doubt in my mind about that.

    A very bad newbie map.

    The map starts by throwing you into a square SHAWN room where you are surrounded by active low level enemies and 90's mapping furniture; not a good start.

    From there you seem to just enter large bland square rooms with bad sector furniture for detail and loads of randomly picked enemies. There is not really much going on with this map that really deserves talking about except two particular rooms.

    The first room I'd like to talk about is the giant room that's just one big damaging sector filled with enemies. This room is absolutely horrible to be in and is nothing more than constant frustration; luckily the author has provided many rad suits for you to survive in this room (most of them are hidden and will actually trigger more enemies most of the time, which makes them not worth it at all) so it is not completely unplayable.

    The second room is without a doubt the worst part about this entire train wreck. The second room is a large and vacuous pitch black mess of high damage enemies that you can't see, leading to painful and miserable gameplay. There is a pair of light goggles in the room but they are behind a horde of said high powered demons making them somewhat more of a hassle to get than just blindly firing into the dark. My favorite part about this room is the secret in there which rewards you with nothing more than an Archvile being added to the mess and some backpacks (which is absolutely not worth it).

    All in all this map should just be avoided. I'm sure you'll regret it if you don't.

  • Emerald Bathhouse - MorbidBrute
    Heretic - Single Player - Vanilla - 94.13 KB - (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Emerald Bathhouse is a simple, smallish-to-medium Heretic level with a nice green and blue watery setting and a few new textures that help set the tone. It was intended as an episode starter and fits the E3M1 slot, so pretty much all of the combat is with the wand and gauntlets, unless you find the secret shot... er, crossbow. To balance the low firepower, you're mostly fighting the weakest enemies in the bestiary (Gargoyles, Golems, and Knights, with almost no ghosts), with a couple of other enemy types added toward the end to keep things spiced up. The combat is quick and easy, and the small selection of armaments doesn't get old or feel tedious; in a few spots, you're handed a Tome of Power and pitted against larger mobs of enemies, which helps to vary the pacing. It also helps that the level looks really nice for Heretic -- I don't think there are a huge number of custom textures, but the few that are used really work wonders, and the architecture has a good classic feel to it.

    This level definitely feels like the start of an episode, with just the right amount of challenge to get your blood flowing, and the gameplay and general flow of the level make it feel like it could have been perfectly at home in the original game. It's pretty basic, but well designed and fun to play.

  • Vanished Colony - Abe87
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 6.27 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    Vanished Colony is a 10-level episode for Doom 2 to play with your ZDoom-based port of choice. It's split in two halves where the first six levels are set in techbases while the last four levels are hell themed. It's also the first wad by the author, and for some thing it shows. Especially in the first maps you can notice how the unpegging isn't used, and the author uses a weird manner of making his buildings: instead of deleting the gaps in the editor to make the completely solid sector he uses raised ones, and most of the walls are 2-sided linedefs. Though there's nothing really critical, apart a bug I encountered on MAP03 that will get you stuck.

    A thing that is done rather well is the non-linearity, and even in the most straight maps there are always some optional areas sometimes you can explore. The maps mostly consist of corridors, rooms, and corridors, and the gameplay unfortunately stays a bit too much on the flat side. The places look a bit bare sometimes but at least there are some attempts at detail that looked good. MAP03/04 is where it starts to pick up better. While MAP06 has a nice mood, it's probably among the worst of the bunch with its room after room approach, and MAP08 and 10 suffer from that too. MAP07 was rather nice; it's like a sort of a remake of Mt. Erebus and with MAP09 is the highest point of the wad. The skies are replaced by some very high quality ones; at first they clash a bit with the stock assets but they are really cool, I must say.

    Overall despite its flaws and the fact that the visuals and the gameplay don't offer anything that's really remarkable, it's a rather interesting episode. Worth to play at least once.

  • Trap - CokeTheAyyLmao
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 52.37 KB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: mrthejoshmon
    Let's not beat around the bush here and just begin by saying that this map is absolute garbage.

    You begin in a really ugly interpretation of Plutonia MAP01's starting room except this time you are surrounded by active enemies and you have hardly any ammo. After you die over and over again to the over abundance of hitscan enemies you are then ambushed by Chaingunners whilst a Chaingunner and a Revenant watches from a high balcony (I hope you like Chaingunners, CokeTheAyyLmao does).

    This is just the first area of this single map wad; it actually gets even worse than this.

    Every encounter in this entire ordeal involves a room textured with obvious trap.jpeg all over it (which then fills with Chaingunners and usually hell nobles). Every single room in this wad is just a "spam high damage enemies out the walls at the player" situation. I could honestly describe one more of the rooms in this wad and that would describe the rest of this miserable waste of kilobytes.

    Anyway, if I were to come up with any points of "interest" in this wad then they would be the raising floor that never comes back down that leads to the exit room (making the map unbeatable if done wrong, which is great because there is a Chaingunner ambush up there and the instant response is to jump down), and the chainsaw pickup which warrants you six Chaingunners, two Hell Knights and a Baron all around you.

    So yeah, avoid this.

  • Alpha Accident: Terra Nova - Wraith777
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Limit Removing - 2.99 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: Not Jabba
    Alpha Accident: Terra Nova is a 9-level partial conversion that replaces E1 of Doom. I didn't follow its development, but judging from the title and the types of new resources used, it looks like it's one of those projects that takes its inspiration from the Doom alpha (and is the only one that's ever been completed, to my knowledge). The story takes place at the same time as Doom 1; all your comrades are sent to deal with the distress call from Phobos, but you somehow end up stranded on Mars itself and start investigating the invasion there.

    The episode includes a host of new textures and a bunch of cool Dehacked-driven features, such as supply boxes, a more powerful armor bonus, empty nukage barrels that fall over instead of exploding, and a couple of different types of destructible pillars (make sure you figure out how to recognize these, as it will often be necessary to progress; one of them can only be taken down with rocket splash). They're the same sorts of goofy faux-realistic features you could have seen in any of the mid-90s FPS games that tried unsuccessfully to one-up Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, and they give Alpha Accident a distinct old-school feel. The soundtrack adds to that classic aesthetic with a set of mostly obscure tracks by Paul Corfiatis, NMN, and others, most of which I had never heard before (the tracks in E1M4 and E1M7 were particularly good).

    You'll also be dealing with a few new monsters. The main two, which you start fighting around E1M4, are a stationary turret and a fairly fast-moving floating brain drone. They're both hitscanners that fire twice in a row and never flinch, so they're basically the same enemy except that one has very versatile movement and the other doesn't move at all -- which also turns out to be pretty dangerous, because if you're keeping an eye out for enemies in motion, you may not see the turrets before they start shooting you. There's also a nice boss battle in E1M8 against several plasma-shooting ghost marines that can only be hurt by hitscan weapons (and possibly splash damage?). Wraith777 created all of these enemies in Dehacked but managed to do so without replacing any of the Doom bestiary, so you'll still face Lost Souls, Cacodemons, Barons, and even a few Cyberdemons alongside the usual E1 fodder and the new additions.

    The levels themselves are enormous and highly nonlinear, with branching paths in just about every room you enter. These complex layouts often allow you to do strange things, like enter another main area through a secret passage that doesn't count as a secret, or completely bypass a locked door without getting the key. I got the sense that all of this "back door" stuff was intentional, and it gave the map a very sandboxy feel, since there are multiple ways to accomplish objectives. The real secrets tend to take their cues from Wolfenstein 3D; they often have very little visual indication of where they are, and they're frequently stacked one inside another.

    For the most part the layouts feel natural, albeit mazey, and you can find everything just by keeping an eye on your map, but there are also many places where the levels start to feel confusing. Wraith does a good job of giving every room a distinct shape, but since the texture set is relatively limited, it can still be hard to remember where you are, and, more importantly, how to get back to where you want to go. The levels are very much switch-oriented, too. It's not exactly a switch hunt, because the switches are always in clear view, but getting to the exit often requires you to hit switches all over the level, and it's easy to miss some small side room and then get lost for 15 minutes while you try to figure out where it is. Many levels are full of cramped spaces, and in spite of the size and complexity of the maps, the author doesn't do a very good job with interconnectivity at all. Most really refined mappers ace this test; in a nonlinear map, they'll always have teleporters, lifts, and lowering walls to get you right back where you want to be. In Alpha Accident, however, you constantly find yourself having to take the long way around to get back to a part of the level you haven't explored yet (sometimes you hit a switch and can actually see where the bars lower but there's no good way to get back there), or falling off a crate while trying to take a secret path across the top of the crate maze and having to spend a couple of minutes re-navigating the whole maze to get back to where you started. This can be incredibly frustrating, and it's by far the biggest issue that keeps Alpha Accident from being one of the best Doom 1 episodes I've played. Even if all of this drives you crazy, though, it's worth playing the last two levels in the set, which are easily the best. They're both nonlinear like the earlier levels, but they utilize much larger hub-type spaces and have much more comfortable layouts with a lot of really interesting ideas. They also look very different from the repeated alpha-style setting of the previous levels, which starts to get a little old by the end of E1M6. E1M7 is a very open city-style base complex with many individual buildings to explore, and E1M8 is set in a hellish cavern.

    There are a few other minor issues in addition to the layout problems mentioned above that make Alpha Accident feel a little unpolished. I frequently found myself coming up behind enemies that didn't know I was there until I shot them. I'm not sure if the author considers this to be a feature rather than a bug, but it's not something you normally see in a level that's been fully playtested, and it didn't feel right. There are also some spots that just don't seem like they were thought through completely; for instance, when I grabbed my first chaingun from behind a storage crate, it unleashed a Demon trap in the hall where I had come from, but the Demons couldn't reach me through the most direct path, the narrow gap between the crate and the wall, and I was able to pick them off easily.

    Although these issues can be annoying, they don't create major problems, and if you want, you can see them as adding to the classic aesthetic. Alpha Accident feels a bit like Nicolas Monti's work in some ways, but the intentional weirdness is less extreme and therefore will probably appeal to more players. The new resources and the hugeness of the levels really makes this set stand out from a lot of other basic E1 replacements, too. If you like exploration-focused levels and have a lot of patience, you'll get a lot out of playing this episode, and I'm sure you'll feel like it rewards the time you put into it. However, if you hate cramped hallways, mazey layouts, and constantly running around looking for every last switch, you may want to seek your fun elsewhere, or just skip straight to E1M7.

  • Hell Returns for Last Time - CaptainManiac
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 1.24 MB - (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img) (img)
    Reviewed by: gaspe
    How beautiful, it's time for another review. Here we have Hell Returns for Last Time, a small wad with five maps designed to be played with Brutal Doom. I thought that this is a nice chance to try something different in the review, a little experiment, because the words won't be enough to make you understand how this is, and most likely I don't know how many of you will actually play this crap after you read this. So to make you suffer at least a bit you'll notice later that in the sentences there will be numbers, like this (1), which will refer to the corresponding screenshot.

    "This mapset has good story and good graphics..." this is taken from the text file. I don't know what the author means by "good graphics"; there aren't custom textures, the two custom monsters appear only one time, and the look of the level is at the opposite of being good. The story doesn't seem to be really special: We are on the Earth, year 4599, in a deserted land. Maybe it's something post-apocalyptic, I don't know; probably the wad will explain all later, but let's begin our journey... ...inside our house, that is burning (1). Before the door there's a pit full of weapons which I though it was inescapable because the ladder doesn't really work well. Look at your house (2)! That red lava strip you see on the right is a little pit from where monsters start to spawn if you make noise. You don't have to fight here, instead we have to move to... a car? (3) and finish the level. The next map is like MAP01, a big flat area with a building the middle. After we kill an unfriendly marine we can enter the building (4), yes the key is placed in front of the door. Or we can just exit the level, to the left there's a truck I suppose, it's like the car of MAP01 that's twice the size, but let's go explore inside what is a military base supposedly. There are some enemies to fight, finally we do something. The place is made of big monotextured rooms; I really wanted to enjoy the good story but the dialogue seems messed up (5). There's also a bunch of friendly marines that appear (6), you can also admire how the inner areas are now. Next level: we are in the truck now (7), and it's moving, at least the floor is scrolling but what remains of the enemies keeps following us (8). I thought that this map was bugged; after you kill everything nothing happens for a good while, but suddenly you are teleported here (9), where endless hordes of monsters start to spawn, but don't worry, to end the level you just have to sit in the lava and wait to lose almost all your health. The next map is the closest one to being something acceptable (10). Then follows the last map, a boss map. After a boring cyberdemon fight we get to fight an afrit (11) which is the real boss; good thing that you can step into the teleporter and finish the level without having to kill it.

    And it's over. If I have to force myself to find some good things in this mapset, it is that least it was short, and it was rather entertaining although for the wrong reasons. Even if you are interested because it requires Brutal Doom, leave this wad alone; you deserve better than this.

The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.

Share this post


Link to post

Congratulations to all for delivering another newstuff this week!

from alpha accident review:
it looks like it's one of those projects that takes its inspiration from the Doom alpha (and is the only one that's ever been completed, to my knowledge).


Actually exist this doom episode, too: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom/Ports/a-c/betalabs

Anyway, there's some quality mapset here like Absolutely Killed, Back to Thunder Road and Alpha Accident...

Share this post


Link to post
mrthejoshmon said:

Thought I'd pitch in and review the shit maps, hope my reviews aren't that bad.


Much appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
mrthejoshmon said:

Thought I'd pitch in and review the shit maps, hope my reviews aren't that bad.


And go ahead if you want, there's almost never shortage of them.

The screenshots of trap don't seem to work.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm surprised my second map was reviewed right after my first. I wonder if that's good or bad luck. Anyways, I expected this review for at least one of my maps. It (the level) was bad, but after all, it is only my second map. I tried to experiment in environment effects, but it looks like I didn't do so well. Like newuac, I did use too many hitscanners and square rooms. But I do have some concerns about your review: first, there is something in that archvile secret, a supercharge in front of the archvile, which leads to my second and third concern, which is that your review is a bit too grounded in anger from dying, and you didn't play it more than once or twice (therefore not even beating the level). I get it was a "Shit" level, but if you're going to review it you should at least beat it, especially if it is just one level. Also, I think you might've missed a bit of the point. Some fights (like the main room, the chemical area, and the dark room) are meant to make you peek out and kill a few guys, then maybe run away or grab some cover while the enemies group up more and infight, then come out again and take out steadily more of their numbers. You're sort of supposed to conform to the level. By the way, enemies don't pop out after you get the rad suits in the shower room. The Knight and shotgunner are just in the bathrooms and eventually spot you, and the big group in the hallway with the arachnotron is from getting the secret, not the suits. The dark room was a mistake and bad, but not as hard as you might think. On a second playthrough, one might think to save the goggles in the yellow door/radioactive area hallway for the dark room. Also, you should have the rocket launcher at this point along with a decent amount of ammo, so you're supposed to use it up against the large horde in the holding pens. All in all, it is a bad level and your review is good for the most part, and I'm just nitpicking, but what else can you do when you put at least a modicum of effort into a map that is deemed shit? - Overstory_Lover_63


P.S.: I wasn't going for realistic or beautiful furniture, as everybody seems to think, just practical. It's an office-type place, why not have some chairs or a desk instead of just an empty square room? I realize now that an office level can restrict level design. They were just setpieces more or less, so I didn't worry about them not looking too aesthetic. After all, how good could I make them with default doom textures?

Share this post


Link to post

Back to Thunder Road is great. The caco trap mentioned is somewhat unfair on the first try, but after that it's thrilling. At least it was for me.

Share this post


Link to post

The screenshots didn't work for me either, but that was earlier... either that has been fixed or one of us had to clear out our browser's cache.

Share this post


Link to post
Hornbuckle said:

which is that your review is a bit too grounded in anger from dying, and you didn't play it more than once or twice (therefore not even beating the level)


Ideally, a level should be beatable with one life and the chance of success should be minimally dependant on luck. If you design your level around retrying over & over, or create encounters that can either be manageable or go horribly wrong depending on the lenience of random number generator then you must expect some players to be frustrated. If your level is based on dying & retrying then please mention it in the text file so that people who are not into this kind of play can avoid it.

Hornbuckle said:

the big group in the hallway with the arachnotron is from getting the secret,

Punishing players for discovering secrets is counter-intuitive. One expects a secret to be helpful and make the game easier. If you rain harm on them for discovering the hidden treasure, you should expect them to feel cheated.

Hornbuckle said:

On a second playthrough, one might think to save the goggles in the yellow door/radioactive area hallway for the dark room.


Beforehand knowledge should not be required to beat a level (in a way that avoids frustration). This is something that can be difficult to ensure because you, as the author, have all the beforehand knowledge that can be had. It's a good idea to show your level to a friend before releasing and just spectate how they play. This allows to capture some problems where you might think the situation is obvious. When I had shown my map set to an amateur who played on "I'm too young to die" I noticed that there were some encounters that were still too difficult for them, while I had initially thought that these areas were well balanced for this difficulty level.

Hornbuckle said:

P.S.: I wasn't going for realistic or beautiful furniture [...] They were just setpieces more or less, so I didn't worry about them not looking too aesthetic. After all, how good could I make them with default doom textures?


Everything you put into the level is important. There's no such thing as "just a setpiece". When you add something to the level it should make it better, not be detrimental and only "add to the problem". If it cannot be done in satisfactory way then it shouldn't be done at all and a different approach should be attempted. Doom stock textures offer a lot of nice computer stuff that can be used to detail "office" rooms sufficiently. For furniture, Doom isn't entirely hopeless either. Silly chairs can be created from BROWNHUGs, STUCCOs and ZIMMERs. Otherwise, be prepared to use custom resources to achieve the necessary effect. Realistic environments usually don't constitute good Doom levels (I'm not saying it can't be done, there are examples that show that it can); so consider first how does the level play, and last if it does look like a real place.

Share this post


Link to post

I never saw Hornbuckle's comment so I didn't respond.

I would like to mirror exactly what Zalewa said (thanks, by the way), I'd also like to add that I did play it multiple times (against my better judgement) simply because I had to restart out of sheer confusement and the exit seeming non functional.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for offering some advice Zalewa, and even bothering to read my comment. I didn't mean the player needs to replay the level multiple times in order to win, but that if somebody finds it's too hard they might notice a few things to make the harder parts easier, such as the goggles and several extra biosuits. The arachnotron monster closet is really a continuation of the previous secret. After you clear out those enemies, you can get some more rockets and a super shotgun from their room. But the fight was a lot harder than I wanted it to be, with the Baron and the narrow hallway. I've always wanted somebody to playtest my maps, but none of my friends play doom and I don't know how else to get people to playtest a newbie's level. I don't have an excuse for the furniture, it was really just an easy way to make an empty room seem less so, but I thought it contributed decently (I did make the chairs out of stucco and zimmer). Like I said, the level is bad, but it's training for me. My third map was made in a week and parts of it were rushed, so I'm sure that's going to get an even worse review, but I'm taking criticism where I can and putting it towards my next levels, and thanks to everybody who has offered some so far. Also, I don't know what happened with the last teleporter. It worked fine during testing, but when I played it again after uploading the level, it worked randomly and sometimes you'd need to run over the thing for ten seconds before it worked. Obviously, many people could see it as being completely broken and lead to a lot of confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Zalewa said:

Ideally, a level should be beatable with one life and the chance of success should be minimally dependant on luck. If you design your level around retrying over & over, or create encounters that can either be manageable or go horribly wrong depending on the lenience of random number generator then you must expect some players to be frustrated. If your level is based on dying & retrying then please mention it in the text file so that people who are not into this kind of play can avoid it.

Punishing players for discovering secrets is counter-intuitive. One expects a secret to be helpful and make the game easier. If you rain harm on them for discovering the hidden treasure, you should expect them to feel cheated.

Beforehand knowledge should not be required to beat a level (in a way that avoids frustration). This is something that can be difficult to ensure because you, as the author, have all the beforehand knowledge that can be had. It's a good idea to show your level to a friend before releasing and just spectate how they play. This allows to capture some problems where you might think the situation is obvious. When I had shown my map set to an amateur who played on "I'm too young to die" I noticed that there were some encounters that were still too difficult for them, while I had initially thought that these areas were well balanced for this difficulty level.

Everything you put into the level is important. There's no such thing as "just a setpiece". When you add something to the level it should make it better, not be detrimental and only "add to the problem". If it cannot be done in satisfactory way then it shouldn't be done at all and a different approach should be attempted. Doom stock textures offer a lot of nice computer stuff that can be used to detail "office" rooms sufficiently. For furniture, Doom isn't entirely hopeless either. Silly chairs can be created from BROWNHUGs, STUCCOs and ZIMMERs. Otherwise, be prepared to use custom resources to achieve the necessary effect. Realistic environments usually don't constitute good Doom levels (I'm not saying it can't be done, there are examples that show that it can); so consider first how does the level play, and last if it does look like a real place.


it's cool that you can expand on your reasoning like this. one thing I would mention however is that a mapper's priorities might not match yours and as a tester you might want to reflect on what the mapper wanted, not only what you wanted! game-play can be important but can also be superceded by any other statement the builder cares to make.

Share this post


Link to post
yakfak said:

it's cool that you can expand on your reasoning like this. one thing I would mention however is that a mapper's priorities might not match yours and as a tester you might want to reflect on what the mapper wanted, not only what you wanted! game-play can be important but can also be superceded by any other statement the builder cares to make.

If mapper creates a map that people will not want to play then the map will get nuked with negative reviews. That's pretty much the whole philosophy.

As a mapper, you must ensure that you convey the point of your map across very clearly so that there's no doubt what the map is supposed to be about. If your tester doesn't get it then it's a good indication that others won't either, which again leads to negative reviews. That's, of course, assuming that your tester is not a moron and knows how to play the game, but I don't think that's what we're debating here.

Share this post


Link to post

This is why it's best when you can find playtesters who share your vision, or are at least willing to be receptive to it. That's not to say that playtesters shouldn't criticize you -- being told "I think this sucks and this is why" is really useful IMO, particularly if it's coming from someone whose opinions you value. Critique is good and important for creative growth. But, critiquing a dog for not being a cat isn't necessarily going to be all that productive.

Share this post


Link to post
Zalewa said:

If mapper creates a map that people will not want to play then the map will get nuked with negative reviews. That's pretty much the whole philosophy.

As a mapper, you must ensure that you convey the point of your map across very clearly so that there's no doubt what the map is supposed to be about. If your tester doesn't get it then it's a good indication that others won't either, which again leads to negative reviews. That's, of course, assuming that your tester is not a moron and knows how to play the game, but I don't think that's what we're debating here.


You post a lot of reviews, and over the past year or so, I've noticed what has to be upwards of a dozen reviews in which you criticize a wad solely for being too hard for you, as if that level of difficulty is an inherent problem with the map itself. I'm not the only one who has noticed this either -- someone else brought your reviewing habits up in a chatroom today.

A few of these maps clearly advertised themselves as being difficult, but contrary to what I'd expect from someone who wrote the last line of the first paragraph in this post, you downloaded it anyway, and didn't enjoy yourself.

You also post things like this, for example about Ribbiks's Stardate 20x6 (another mapset, by the way, which advertises itself as very diffcult, and a set of slaughtermaps to boot!):

http://i.imgur.com/nXoyjiv.png

Have you considered that you aren't so good at this game? I don't meant that in a disrespectful way; I respect players of all skill levels equally, from beginners to the top tier. But what I don't respect is people who feel mapsets should fall within the bounds of their particular [minimally engaging, frustratingly hard] range, which can vary wildly from person to person and will necessarily exclude people at either end of the skill spectrum. That is selfish of you.

I get the sense that when you say . . .

Ideally, a level should be beatable with one life and the chance of success should be minimally dependant on luck.


. . . you actually mean . . .

Ideally, a level should be beatable with one life by me, Zalewa and the chance of success should be minimally dependant on luck by me, Zalewa.


By the way, the vast majority of fights in Stardate 20x6 are not "luck-based", and in casual play it's possible to prevail in them purely with a good strategy and sound execution of it. (Not that it's easy to figure out and implement them! It is, after all, a very hard wad!) A luck-based fight is one where even a top-tier strategy can fail with sub-TAS level execution -- i.e., even top players will succumb to the RNG when using survival-oriented strategies (not even speedrun-oriented strategies, which of course can introduce lots of luck to fights that easy to survive played at a slower pace).

Beforehand knowledge should not be required to beat a level (in a way that avoids frustration).


This of course is nonsense too. There are quite a lot of people who enjoy levels that force you to learn them in order to succeed.

Punishing players for discovering secrets is counter-intuitive. One expects a secret to be helpful and make the game easier. If you rain harm on them for discovering the hidden treasure, you should expect them to feel cheated.


This is the conventional wisdom, but not all maps(ets) should play by those rules! That would be boring. I personally enjoy secrets that exist mostly to reward me with a fun challenge and that are neutral or even a net negative to survival chances.

Anyway, my overall impression is that you aren't intending to do harm, but you seem to have a very bad habit of using your own specific tastes and preferences as an objective measure of a map's merit. That is not good at all.

--

I played hornbuckle's map (on UV). I enjoyed the secret fight -- it wasn't so threatening, and the resources were worth it. The gameplay was too frontal in places, which made it dull, but there really weren't many places where the action is RNG-dependent. There was the start room, and a sudden AV reveal later, but apart from that, all of the areas with lots of hitscanners are door campable (which is why I think they are bad :P). This was very far from what I'd classify as "die and retry" gameplay. It seems far from what most people would classify as "die and retry" gameplay. The room where every surface is damaging was quite dickish -- my one death in the playthrough was out of confusion here, with no idea what was hurting me until I realized too late -- but two radsuits were easily enough to handle it afterwards. The big area with the light amp goggles was fun and refreshing. It's rare in modern mapping that light amps are put to good use, for good reason: full brightness generally hurts aesthetics. But the aesthetics weren't really dependent on lighting, so there was no loss there. Keep it up, hornbuckle. Quite rough around the edges (felt like a '90s map), but enjoyable, to me at least, because of the atypical design choices.

Disclaimer: this review is solely my opinion, and not presented as a corrective to previous reviews!

Share this post


Link to post

We play through all the single player maps that appear on /newstuff in survival coop, apart from TimeOfDeath ones - we know what to expect so we don't bother. We play them with 1 or 2 lives and usually with double-ammo on as the ammo that is enough for single-player is not enough for coop, even if you technically have the same amount of ammo. We also always enable cheats to:

a) avoid tedium when someone decides to insert a series of particularly long lifts or too much backtracking - unless there's a chance that by noclipping we skip some linedefs or new monster closets that opened;
b) be able to play maps that don't support coop by locking areas out when one player enters them;
c) when map layout gets too confusing and you don't know what to do next after running through all rooms several times, IDDT is quicker than opening the editor.

And I admit - we don't always read the descriptions in the text files and almost never the text files fully, but even then whatever is described in the text file can be actually different in reality, so all levels that say "single player: yes" get to be played either way, as we like to play Doom in general and we have enough time to play all WADs that come out. We also always make sure to chose appropriate dmflags in accordance to the "intended source-port".


Once the WAD is done - either by beating it or by deciding we don't want to play it anymore, I give note basing on my immediate feelings after playing the map. When chosing the star rating I chose which star description fits my feelings the most, from highest to lowest it's: "I was in awe (Ancient Aliens or Valiant level of mapping)", "The map is very good", "The map is just okay, playable but really indifferent", "The map is lacking or causes some annoyances, but can be played", "The map doesn't play well and causes many annoyances" and "I feel mentally ill after playing this or the mapper made all mistakes possible". Most maps either fit "4 - pretty darn good" or "2 - meh", but that's just my feeling, I didn't check my history. The description is a generic choice of templated sentences about visuals, layout, gameplay, difficulty, music/audio choice and whatever was annoying, with appropriate adjectives - it's really more automatic than creative. Sometimes the description doesn't fit the stars completely as maps can have very good qualities but at the same time have some negative points that outweight them, in which case the description is generally positive but the rating isn't.

In the end - yes, the review directly corresponds to my emotional state after playing this map. All reviews are subjective. I see no reason to hold this back, even if the review is not in line with general opinion. Still, sometimes I reflect after a while that certain WADs deserved "a one star more" or "a one approach more", but unfortunately idgames archives don't allow to correct reviews.

I also feel like this whole post is about self-centered, boring stuff that no one gives a flying peanut about, but I'm not sure given that you were talking about me in a chatroom.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for playing my map, rdwpa! I'm sorry if I kicked up a little sand in the comments thread, I'm pretty new to forums. I'm not trying to get people to play my level by making a ruckus in the comments and hoping a few guys be my white knight, I just feel that author input can help some people understand things that the reviewer might've missed, which is inevitable and not dependant on how good a reviewer is, it happens to the best of us. The gameplay was supposed to be a bit more run 'n gun. You're only supposed to kill a few guys in the main room, get the key from the boss's room, come back with the shotgun and kill some more, clean out the radioactive assembly and the showers, then kill whatever's left in the main room with the rocket launcher or super shotgun. I guess people get stuck in the way they already play, which makes sense and I'm not judging. It's nice to see a few people at least see potential in my maps. My next ones will be much better now that I've gotten some input from the community (I know I keep saying that and still have a comparatively large gap between my last map and my next one, end of the year is keeping me busy). Honestly, I think people not knowing about the radiation in the room after 3 different toxic signs is sort of their fault. Also, if you didn't know, there aren't any difficulty settings on this map. I wanted to see if they distracted me from the map, they didn't and I'll be implementing them in my later maps. The only reason I didn't with end of eon was because I had a deadline and I wanted to make sure I did it in time. The dark room was meant to be a sort of power room, and I figured all it needed was a few power generators, and some things I needed to implement a few ideas (monster holding pens to gradually add enemies to the fray, faster than I wanted actually, was afraid putting the floor above ceiling height would cause glitches but apparently it works out fine, a maze so there'd be more to the room after you deal with the initial threat), so a lot of decorations and aesthetics felt unnecessary. Of course, it could've used some detail, but something elaborate wouldn't make much sense, the focus of that room was the monsters, not the room itself, and for at least a little bit, you wouldn't even see much of it anyways.
I'm surprised anybody enjoyed the environmental stuff, after mrthejoshmon said it it felt like that opinion was more or less uncontested. I liked it myself, of course, or I wouldn't have put it in. Thank you for understanding the secret. I'm a firm believer that the best reward for a player is either something really unique and cool, or more fun gameplay. Sure, the fun part might be debatable, but at least I'm on the right track. A 400x400 unit room filled with a berserk, some armor, and a backpack is not exactly my idea of exciting. Those types of secrets are there, because secrets are also there to aid and reward you for attentiveness, but the former is more fun. Also, there was no lucky element in this level. There's only one teleport ambush, a small and controlled one, and most of the monsters aren't deaf, so your experience should be pretty standard. If you thought you needed luck, you may not be playing properly (I know you were just saying it as a guideline and probably not from personal experience or whatever).


If anybody cares for my input on rdwpa and Zalewa, I feel that a review should be equal parts mapper skill/effort and personal enjoyment. A decent amount of wads may not really be your bag but someone else's, and to not mention so alienates that niche from a wad. Your (Zalewa"s) approach to reviewing comes off as quite lazy. Sometimes you're actually supposed to enjoy it. noclipping when annoyed or lazy feels like you don't actually want to play doom, you just want to review maps. They're meant to be played as a regular person would, not by somebody with a time budget. The amount of times you die should come from your skill and purposed difficulty of the level, and should not be at a baseline 1. It's your goal of course, but it won't always be that easy. Your entire review should not hinge on your personal experience. If you loaded up origiwad, you'd probably give it 0 stars based solely on playing it, but since so much effort went into it and it's a huge accomplishment and breakthrough for all doomers, it deserves more. Maybe you shouldn't review a wad if it seems that it isn't for you, but if you do, mention that others may enjoy it for its certain qualities. Also, single player maps are usually tailored around single player after all, and the experience could be wholly different with more than one player, as many enemies are much easier with multiplayer. But on the other side, of course personal enjoyment should be a factor. A map's ideal goal should be to either entertain all styles of doomers or do a style so well that people new to the style can understand, learn, and enjoy it while being fun for people already accustomed to the style. If you don't have fun playing the map, then it has probably failed in some capacity. A very hard goal, but our goal nonetheless. Readers should also be aware that there are multiple reviews for a reason. Reviews will always be opinionated, so if you don't like one person's perspective you can read somebody else's, except for the newstuff chronicles I guess, but if anybody feels passionate enough about a differing view they will let it be known in the comments and maybe even give their own review, case in point. To strip that perspective and personality from a review could make it dull and repetitive, and possibly turn somebody off of the map by itself. Like I said, it sounds like your technique needs some work, but maybe that's what makes it unique, and if enough people like your reviews, then go ahead and carry on.
Jesus Christ, that was a lot! I'm reaaally sorry if it's a dick move to post that long a message.

tl;dr: thanks for some support rdwpa, thanks for advice Zalewa, but try to have a bit more fun while playing maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Hornbuckle said:

Thanks for playing my map, rdwpa! I'm sorry if I kicked up a little sand in the comments thread, I'm pretty new to forums. I'm not trying to get people to play my level by making a ruckus in the comments and hoping a few guys be my white knight, I just feel that author input can help some people understand things that the reviewer might've missed, which is inevitable and not dependant on how good a reviewer is, it happens to the best of us.


It's true that there are many kinds of maps and many kinds of players, and I'm sure that someone with the right mindset and interests can enjoy your map (at least one person has done so thus far). However, I think there are two really important points that I'm not sure you're getting, and that you will need to get if you're ever going to grow as a mapper:

1) The fact that you did something intentionally does not necessarily make it a good idea.
2) The fact that you did something intentionally does not mean you have successfully executed it to its fullest potential.

And if the majority of players do not like your map, you probably have not gotten your point across very well, no matter how much you may have thought it through while mapping. From everything I've read and seen of your maps (including the positive comments from rdwpa), I would probably not have been any less critical of them, though I imagine my tone would have been more like gaspe's rather than Zalewa's. Clearly you don't have to accept all criticism of your maps or make every change people ask you to make. But the wall of justification with which you meet every small point of criticism makes you come across as completely unwilling to accept any criticism at all, and your tone frequently comes across as arrogant and dismissive.

Of course, maybe that was how you meant to sound?

Share this post


Link to post

I replayed Tapperoo just now and I definitely cannot agree with 0 stars rating that mrthejonson gave - the map is playable, beatable, and for the most part - not annoying. I also had no problems with fights, although got briefly stuck several times. The connections are logical and lead you to the place you need to be, although the thing that you need to do at this place is not always obvious. I initially missed the second skull switch at the Baron office behind the radiated room and I also needed some time to find this small switch that raises from the floor after the return from blue door. Also, if you know beforehand where that switch is, you can skip the level entirely.

As it is now, in my opinion it borderlines on 2 star rating. You clearly have good ideas, but the execution is too basic. Adding more variance to the level shape (varying floor heights and room shapes) and making the furniture look better would be enough to raise this map into a 3 star rating. Your texturing could also use some improvement. Use different flat texture for the floor and for furniture tops. Avoid situations where walls turn at 90 degree angles and have different texture at both corners, like wood to rock or something like that. There are some instances in this map where it happens. The textures should be treated as 3D objects and the shape of the sectors should be formed to display that they are. Also mind texture sizes and set linedefs lengths and sector heights to fit the separators on the textures. Sometimes you choose bigger linedefs and align the textures in a way that they appear correct, but sometimes they're cut off or misaligned by one pixel, which is one pixel too much. When aligning proves to be difficult and you don't want to alter the shape of the room you can always use Romero's advice and split the wall with a DOORSTOP or some kind of supporting column that won't look too tacky. Also add some visual detail to ceilings. Uber-detailing is not necessary to make the level look good, and you can make non-bare visuals even when staying within Vanilla's visplane limit. There are those nice (if simple) lights just behind the yellow door. Do more of those.

The dark room is the biggest flaw here - I would throw it out altogether and put something else in its place. The room poses next to no danger and the best way to approach it is to barge in and run towards the green corridor, then teleport out. The monsters will just fall into infight. Make it more difficult to run away from fights. Once the player completes this room, he is teleported into a location where monsters come right at his face and the easiest tactic to avoid getting hit is to drop down off the ledge. This makes it necessary to return to the dark room to reuse the teleport. At this moment I would have provided a way to go back onto the ledge without having to backtrack to that room by raising stairs or a lift. Here the backtracking isn't so bad as the teleport is not that far away, but consider this when making the return point further away.

I think there's hope for improvement. At least you're not insisting that the level is good and know that there's lots that can be done better. We'll see how you progress.

My beginner levels were much worse. Then they died with a hard drive crash.


PS.

Not Jabba said:

your tone frequently comes across as arrogant and dismissive


Hmm... I didn't get such impression.

Share this post


Link to post
Hornbuckle said:

The gameplay was supposed to be a bit more run 'n gun. You're only supposed to kill a few guys in the main room, get the key from the boss's room, come back with the shotgun and kill some more, clean out the radioactive assembly and the showers, then kill whatever's left in the main room with the rocket launcher or super shotgun. I guess people get stuck in the way they already play, which makes sense and I'm not judging.


If the gameplay was supposed to be more run 'n gun, the layout wasn't designed for it. Keep in mind that the player doesn't know anything about your map. They don't know if leaving monsters behind will bite them later, for instance. So when I have a shotgun and chaingun and lots of ammo, and the sturdiest enemy in the room is a revenant (not like there are barons or something which I'd surely try to skip), with lots of hitscanners scattered around, and I have no idea what's behind any of the doors, I don't see why I wouldn't just clear out the entire room. The map also has an abundance of chokepoints, many guarded by monsters positioned to punish a rash entry (hitscanners in particular). I have occasionally enjoyed speedrunning maps that are essentially boxes connected by hallways and doors, because the need to go fast prevented camping and forced me to treat every fight like a well-devised multi-directional encounter. But you shouldn't expect someone to play like a speedrunner -- or like you, someone who knows all of the placements in your map -- on their first playthrough.

The important thing is that good run 'n gun maps incentivize or even reward aggressive play. They keep the action around chokepoints to a minimum, use lots of multi-directional pressure, allow you to trigger many fights at once and thin the monsters out via infighting, among dozens of other things. This map punishes it, at least if you don't already know everything about it.

(By the way, I also liked the hellish area in lava. A trap sprung after I platformed to the end of the area, and of course it wasn't possible to simply retreat and camp the fight. That is an example of good encounter design.)

Hornbuckle said:

Honestly, I think people not knowing about the radiation in the room after 3 different toxic signs is sort of their fault.


This assumption is strange. Mappers use toxic signs all the time, and it always indicates that a surface that can be interpreted as damaging (a liquid, one of those electric blue textures like in Spawning Vats, etc.) will in fact be damaging. Not a solid ground texture that is basically always non-damaging, which happens to also be situated near nukage! The average player will probably have played 50+ maps, at least, in which toxicity is used in a conventional way, so it's quite a reach to assume that a player will see your room and realize, "oh, these beige hexagonal tiles are damaging too!" I'm not saying that inexplicably damaging surfaces or mean-spirited gotchas are automatically a bad design choice, but you must not have played many maps if you expect people to quickly realize this. (I haven't even mentioned the fact that the signs are not even in the room itself, but at the end of the hallway, where they don't seem to refer to anything meaningful.)

Share this post


Link to post
rdwpa said:

(By the way, I also liked the hellish area in lava. A trap sprung after I platformed to the end of the area, and of course it wasn't possible to simply retreat and camp the fight. That is an example of good encounter design.)


That wasn't the case in my playthrough - I had an invul sphere still going on and I just ran straight-forward to the exit door, opened it and moved on without having to fight anyone. The same can be done without invulnerability.

Share this post


Link to post
Not Jabba said:

It's true that there are many kinds of maps and many kinds of players, and I'm sure that someone with the right mindset and interests can enjoy your map (at least one person has done so thus far). However, I think there are two really important points that I'm not sure you're getting, and that you will need to get if you're ever going to grow as a mapper:

1) The fact that you did something intentionally does not necessarily make it a good idea.
2) The fact that you did something intentionally does not mean you have successfully executed it to its fullest potential.

And if the majority of players do not like your map, you probably have not gotten your point across very well, no matter how much you may have thought it through while mapping. From everything I've read and seen of your maps (including the positive comments from rdwpa), I would probably not have been any less critical of them, though I imagine my tone would have been more like gaspe's rather than Zalewa's. Clearly you don't have to accept all criticism of your maps or make every change people ask you to make. But the wall of justification with which you meet every small point of criticism makes you come across as completely unwilling to accept any criticism at all, and your tone frequently comes across as arrogant and dismissive.

Of course, maybe that was how you meant to sound?


I'm sorry if I came across as dissmissive or arrogant. But I thought I stated enough that I still felt mrthejoshmon's review was adequate and accurate, and that I agreed the map failed to, well, be good I guess. It's not a wall of justification, it's a thought process I laid out so people could tell me what I did wrong and MAYBE offer a different perspective on criticisms for anybody who cared. I've admitted that I did not execute some (many) mechanics to their full potential or successfully at all, and that some ideas I did have were just not good ideas, such as the dark room or the office theme (of course they can be done properly but they can limit you). I know I'm a noob (to mapping at least), and I value advice experienced mappers, or reviewers, can give. I'm not rebutting when I mention my take on a criticism, I'm seeing if my way of thinking about a subject can be wrong and if I need to change it in order to be better. Like when I said the level was for a run n' gun approach, rdwpa explained the level wasn't designed for the gameplay and expanded a bit on that. I realized that I was doing little in the way of map structure to emphasize the gameplay experience I wanted, and just assumed that it would fall into place, since I would be mapping around the way I would play the level. Always mapping in boxes definitely didn't help, but it could seem I went out of my way to harm the technique I wanted to encourage. What I thought would challenge a player using my recommended technique could easily translate to a player as a discouragement of using it. That sorta goes back into needing playtesters. Since I never played a different way, I never realized that other gamestyles could beat what I made, and since I'm the author, I could never know if certain things got across to the player without prior knowledge. Anyways, I've read the many reviews you put out recently and enjoyed them. BTW Zalewa, thank you so much for telling me about using doorstop-style textures to seperate misaligned textures. I had actually used it before without knowing and just forgot about it, but I'll be sure to implement that later. And thanks to several people for telling me to keep the players in fights and limit runaway options. I don't know why I didn't really work more on that, I guess I just got lazy. See you when End of Eon makes it into newstuff!

Share this post


Link to post
Zalewa said:

If mapper creates a map that people will not want to play then the map will get nuked with negative reviews. That's pretty much the whole philosophy.

As a mapper, you must ensure that you convey the point of your map across very clearly so that there's no doubt what the map is supposed to be about.


In my latest (only) 2-star receiving wad, I listed "difficulty" and "platforming" (and there's nothing that a Doomer's stiff, shrunken, WASD-smashing garbage-fingers hate more than platforming) as 2 of its 4 features (the other 2 features being the main colors used in all of the maps). I suppose next time I'll say something like "even if you hate slaughter maps and difficult gameplay, please try this out and give it a poor rating when you hate it." At least then your review will be contextualized in a way that makes sense to someone.

I'll bet you even played it on Ultra-Violence, even though I implemented all difficulty levels. Shake my fucking head.

Share this post


Link to post

I vote for repurposing the never-used easy mode to yakfak's "Painful and Stupid" version: the hidden, True-UV so the average player can play their (now HMP-equivalent) precious UV difficulty. I've seen more than a few people propose similar things for a while, maybe it's about time we all get on board with it. The bonus is that people can use ITYTD to "experience True-UV" in a way that makes it easier without sacrificing the possibility that they "could miss something" if they don't play on the (actual) hardest difficulty. Most people I've seen propose this type of idea don't make Nightmare maps anyway, so having their HMP-equivalent UV match up with NM might actually get that some use, too.

Share this post


Link to post

A bit late to the party, but Thunder Road is stellar. I've not really touched doom at all in the last few months, but the screenshots here made me really motivated to give it a shot. Really enjoyed the gameplay setups, and I also really appreciated the variety in map design; stuff like that catwalk sequence was a lot of fun, and the whole sequence in the last map with the cacos was awesome. Huge fan of the visual design in general. Also the music is kickass :D

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×