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[Release] Challenge Maps

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Remember me?

Well, I've not been active at all as of late and don't see that changing any time soon, so I figured the last unreleased work-in-progress that I have might as well be cast out into the world in some fashion. What we have is seven maps, compatible with any limit-removing source port (I think), where the gimmick is that each one was built under a different restriction. I have plans to make a full thirty maps, but probably never will. Just load all 8 WADs in the download link to play them through. The link is only active for 30 days, so grab it whilst you can!

Download (30 seconds wait, unfortunately)

Additional Credits To:
id Software (Doom II)
CodeImp (DoomBuilder 2)
Simon "Slayer" Judd (SLumpEd)
Microsoft (Paint XP)
aap (DoomWord.exe)
Lexus Alyus (all new music)
Ceeb (mountains recolour for green sky and all of the blue/grey one)
Pottus (red sky)
Gez (clouds recolour for green sky)
esselfortium (cc4-tex.wad - where I got the lava and brown slime falls from)

Individual Map Information


MAP01: Beatdown
Challenge: Tyson (only weapons on slots 1 and 2)
Theme: Base with surrounding natural area
Build Time: 4 hours
Music: "C_burninflag" by Lexus Alyus
Description: A tiny installation that you appear outside of, which is hounded by a Cyberdemon. Luckily, if he gets indoors, you can telefrag him eventually - everything else is fodder for your fists or his rockets, if you're feeling brave. You start on a Berserk Pack, just to make sure you get the message on what kind of Beatdown this is. One thing I learnt about myself doing this map is that I really don't enjoy implementing my Cyberdemon gimmick map plans - this presumably is why so many of my prior attempts at ideas similar to this have been stillborn. Still, this one was small and simple, so I soldiered through!

MAP02: Rat Run
Challenge: 25 monsters
Theme: Brick/Base Tunnels
Build Time: 4.5 hours
Music: "12_Dead" by Lexus Alyus
Description: Shadowy corridors underground lead from one facility to another (in a decidedly linear fashion), with supplies being lean and the limited number of opponents being surprisingly heavy hitters, you'll probably be best off either running for your life, or taking things slowly and carefully. Fair warning: on UV, to make 25 monsters challenging, this is basically "Dick Move: The Map", particularly around the middle.

MAP03: Chokehold
Challenge: 512x512
Theme: Urban
Build Time: 3 hours
Music: "C_scrapbrain" by Lexus Alyus
Description: A claustrophobic collection of corridors, lifts and rooms crammed into a 512 map unit square which is mostly dangerous due to you needing to kill the enemies quickly. The outdoor area was inspired by a Dutch Devil 1024 map I remember playing, which gave the illusion of being in a much larger map - I've not gone for anything near as intricate, but just used the additional space to give the player a harder time. This is probably one of the weaker maps in the set, as the limitation really was a problem for me.

MAP04: Lure of the Grave
Challenge: 1-hour speed map
Theme: Hellish Cave
Build Time: 65 minutes (not including testing, but including post-test tweaks/fixes)
Music: "Warm Bassy" by Lexus Alyus
Description: A small, violent hunt for a couple of keys, set in a cave, with a little stone structure at the end. Your main challenge will be avoiding killing yourself in the close quarters battles and keeping abreast of all the traps. I didn't quite meet the hour for development, but I figure 5-10 minutes for polish isn't too bad when a lot of the other maps aren't made under time constraints. I picked this music track more because it was short than because the map is atmospheric; I didn't want to waste a more complex or enjoyable one on a map that can be UV-Max'd in about 2 minutes.

MAP05: Creeping Death
Challenge: 50 monsters
Theme: Castle/Sewers
Build Time: 10 hours
Music: "19_Lost" by Lexus Alyus
Description: As a break between two full-on short, sharp shocks, Creeping Death leans back in the direction of Rat Run, spreading out the enemies and having most intended to be an event individually. This should also help to differentiate this 50-monster effort from the first Escalation, which shares the same specification but throws half of the enemies at you in one fight. The switch in the previous map is meant to have lowered the floor to set this one up, whilst this map ends in a copy/paste of the next map's starting room, so we've regained a sense of continuity after the teleport between maps 3 and 4. Your journey in between is largely linear in progression, but twists around a bit and gives you a choice of paths to explore near the start. Playing continuously you'll have more options for firepower than I provide here, so it can make this map seem quite easy. As the previous map was the first I'd made for this project and this one the 7th, weapon continuity didn't factor in.

MAP06: Haste Keep
Challenge: 2-hour speed map
Theme: Castle
Build Time: 2.5 hours (not including testing, but including post-test tweaks/fixes)
Music: "13_Stompin grounds" by Lexus Alyus
Description: I've done a few 2-hour speed maps for the Abyssal Speedmapping Sessions, so I figured I'd have no trouble with this one... Actually having made it, I think I may have suffered from a lack of ideas, but I've put something together that works well enough, in my opinion. It's linear, but uses the usual trick of looping around itself to distract from that, with each room tending towards open spaces to make the map feel a bit bigger. Visually this map is pretty plain, unfortunately, with very little in the way of ornamentation or fidelity. I'll concede that I crept into "Alfonzo time" here, but in my defense, if I'd have made MAP05 before this, I'd have copy/pasted the starting room and saved 15 minutes at least. Fun fact - when picking up this project again to make MAP05 after a few months away from Doom, I'd actually forgotten this map entirely.

MAP07: TENacity
Challenge: 10 Sector
Theme: Plutonia, using Doom II textures
Build Time: 3.5 hours
Music: "02_Defmarch Live" by Lexus Alyus
Description: A sort of gauntlet that you can either run for massive infighting and chaos, or chip away at carefully. I've never made a 10-sector map before, so I probably could have done a better job of it with practice, but everything works and the map neither looks nor plays like arse, so I'm happy enough with it! Theme could also be described as "extra-generic Doom II", with staples such as METAL2, BIGBRIK and BRONZE forming a large part of the texturing. The overly-symmetrical layout certainly isn't Plutonia-inspired and the lack of in-map SSG also detracts from the feel a bit, but I think the early battle feels about right, even if things ease off afterwards. You'll be overstocked by the end of the map if you collect everything, but that's the cost of allowing players to hammer through as well. Hopefully the applause in the MIDI adds to the "arena" atmosphere rather than just irritates you, as that's just how it is!

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