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Ryath

UnAligned: A 2016 megaWAD with 1994 sensibilities (Version 1.2!)

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UnAligned is a vanilla Ultimate Doom megaWAD created in exactly 21 days that attempts to capture some of the essence of 1990s mapping. It's weird, unconventional, and intentionally under-detailed. The episodes roughly follow the theming of OG Doom, and each map is based on a different gameplay concept, meaning there's a little bit of everything -- and a lot more than just shooting demons!*


*But plenty of that too.

Download it here.

Screenshots:

Spoiler

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Original project pitch:

Spoiler

Evening, Doomworld folks! It's time for another WAD by me, Ryath: your resident lurker and stealth mapper!

While I was working on my last two projects, I discovered I spend the vast, vast majority of my time tweaking little details and aligning textures. So I got to wondering... what could I accomplish if I didn't spend any time on texture alignment?

And so UnAligned was born! My first megaWAD -- on a time-crunch. Say, three weeks? So here's the experiment part: If I'm not allowed to do any texture alignment, can I throw together three episodes of Ultimate Doom, vanilla-compatible, in just 21 days? That's 27 maps total; 1.3 maps per day. I'll update this thread several times a week with screenshots and progress reports, and release UnAligned one episode at a time, every Wednesday sometime every week until the end of the month. I hope you'll join me for the journey!

 

Known issues:

Spoiler

-E2M8 relies on infinitely tall barrels as a barrier. Any ports that allow walking over other actors will make the "exit" accessible before intended.

-Some enemies flicker in and out in ports that cap the number of sprites onscreen at once. Most obvious in E3M6.

 

Changelog:

Spoiler

/idgames Release 1.2 (unalign.wad)

-E1M5: Added a teleporter to the lower area, which allows you to return to the upper area after the big fight

-E1M7: Unmarked a couple lines that were mistakenly marked hidden

-E2M3: An inaccessible secret in is now accessible

-E2M7: Reduced the time for the barrier in the baron cage to release the player

-E3M9: Corrected a missing lower unpeg on one of the walls

 

/idgames Release 1.1 (unalign.wad)

-One linedef removed from all linedef-limit maps (E1M2, E2M3, E3M2), which were each one over the limit

 

/idgames Release 1.0 (unalign.wad)
-E1M4: Tweaked enemies in the dark, western area
-E1M6: Corrected visual errors in final outdoor room
-E2M1: Removed monster-blocking lines on one of the teleports
-E2M2: Fixed a bug preventing the second switch in the crate room from lowering crates
-E2M5: Secret exit looks a little less plain
-E3M5: Lowered the difficulty of the final wave slightly
-Demos added (E2M2, E1M4, E2M8, E3M1)

Release Candidate 2 (align-c2.wad)
-E2M2: Additional radsuits in nukage maze on skill 1-3
-E3M5: Fixed the exit... again

Release Candidate 1 (align-c1.wad)
-E1M5: Fixed a bug that prevented first monster closets from opening
-E1M5: Blue armor secret was given damaging floor to prevent players from camping there during the second firefight
-E1M8: The "penalty" for allowing the baron to die is now a much more deadly swarm of spectres instead of shotgunners
-Minor tweaks and fixes

Beta 3 (align-b3.wad)
-All difficulty levels implemented
-Placed additional barrels and decorative Things across all maps

Beta 2 (align-b2.wad)
-New secret areas in the majority of maps
-E1M1: There's now a chainsaw and more barrels for taking out enemies that aren't killed by infighting
-E1M4: Additional telegraphing in red switch areas to indicate what they affected
-E1M5: White arrow in first arena indicating where to progress to
-E1M8: You can no longer return to the arena due to the teleport destination being in the middle of a crusher
-E1M9: Corrected a pesky HOM and fixed stuck teleported monsters
-E2M1: Fixed an inaccessible secret and teleporting monsters being stuck on pads
-E2M2: Removed an unintentionally inescapable pit
-E2M5: You can no longer trap yourself by pressing use at the north end of the cyberdemon area. And there's an exit to the secret level!
-E3M5: Made the exit work. Wow!
-E3M6: Extra ammo placed around the exit for mopping up what remains of the horde

Beta 1 (align-b1.wad)
-All three episodes in place
-New E1M7
-E2M5 revised
-Title screen
-Added map and episode title graphics, and a .deh lump with map titles

Alpha 3 (align-a3.wad)
-Episode 2 added
-E1M7 moved to E2M5; placeholder in E1M7 slot

Alpha 2 (align-a2.wad)
-First public alpha; Episode 1 only

 

Edited by Ryath

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From the pictures doesn't looks bad...
It could be something pretty interesting, let's say a way to mapping similar to the 1994 or old editors way of mapping, where you can't align textures as you wish, so you had to use some creativity with the texture pack given, i waiting for the final results!

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Taking out one the easiest and most effective ways of polishing a level shouldn't be a thing, but good luck to you. Maybe after those 21 days you can spend 5 minutes to hit the "a" button a few times in DB.

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walter confalonieri said:

From the pictures doesn't looks bad...
It could be something pretty interesting, let's say a way to mapping similar to the 1994 or old editors way of mapping, where you can't align textures as you wish, so you had to use some creativity with the texture pack given, i waiting for the final results!

That's the idea -- a very 1994-ish style of minimalist, unpolished design, and lots of weird and nontraditional gameplay ideas.

Somewhat later-than-expected update: I started this project at maybe the worst possible time... right before spending a weekend in a remote cabin on a mountain. Between travel time and barely-working solar power, I lost basically all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which means I'll have to finish all of Episode 1 in just four days instead of seven! Quality planning!

Here's a few more shots from the maps-in-progress.

Spoiler

E1M1: Infight Central


E1M3: Toxin Refinerer


E1M4: Expert-Level FPS


E1M5: Sgt. SLADDER


M1 and M3 are completely finished. M2, 4, 5 are getting close. So I still have four maps to knock out by tomorrow night. Got my work cut out for me!

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This is a very funny concept for a mapset. Most people get all uppity over the slightest of texture misalignments in a map and spend more time looking for alignment errors than enjoying the map.

I'm looking forward to playing through this. As 1994-ish and rookie-like as it seems I think that adds to the charm of this.

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So Episode 1 isn't dead, just a day and a half late! I'll have E2 ready on time, I swear.

Here it is: the first nine maps of UnAligned. Lightly playtested, thoroughly unpolished, and 100% unaligned.

Check it out and tell me how much I suck.

Maplist

Spoiler

E1M1: Infight Central
Ammo Shortage: The Map


E1M2: 100 Linedefs Minus 1
Like 100 Lines but better because I only used 99.


E1M3: Toxin Refinerer
Oh no! The refinery is on the fritz! You'll have to manually refine all those toxins!


E1M4: Expert-Level FPS
Brought to you by John Romero.


E1M5: Sgt. SLADDER
Get it?


E1M6: 128 in 1024
Sort of a giant, 128-step staircase. All crammed into 1024x1024.


E1M7: Cryostasis Station
This one sucks and will probably be redone.


E1M8: Sympathy for the Devil
The inversion of Absolutely Killed's E1M8.


E1M9: Nov 13, 2016
???
A really, really stupid birthday present to myself.

NOTE: Difficulty settings / title screen / map names are not implemented yet, but will be for a final release.

Hope you enjoy. Feedback is very welcome!

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Played through it; cool design ideas here. I'd honestly ditch the title because people will naturally interpret it as a "gimmick" (in a somewhat pejorative sense), when really the maps are fine speedmaps on their own merit. The lack of alignment is also somewhat invisible due to how 199x (in a good way) the design is. Anyway, e1m4 (the one with the switches) took 3x longer than the next longest map, because I couldn't find a switch. e1m9 is bugged -- the teleport sectors with all the monsters must have gotten decoupled from whatever you were using to link the sound. A few maps take a single idea and repeat them, which I enjoyed in the relative moderation that it occurred -- if the whole episode was this way I would not have liked that.

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Thanks for the comments so far! Keep them coming. I'm starting on the next episode today, but I'll still be tweaking E1 for a while.

rdwpa said:

Played through it; cool design ideas here. I'd honestly ditch the title because people will naturally interpret it as a "gimmick" (in a somewhat pejorative sense), when really the maps are fine speedmaps on their own merit.

I'm sort of attached to the name for whatever reason, but I'll think on this.

Anyway, e1m4 (the one with the switches) took 3x longer than the next longest map, because I couldn't find a switch.

Which switch did you have trouble finding?

e1m9 is bugged -- the teleport sectors with all the monsters must have gotten decoupled from whatever you were using to link the sound.

Weird. I don't remember changing anything in this map since it was finished. Anyway, I've updated the links with a hotfixed version.

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If you're mapping in GZDoom Builder, the random joined sector decoupling might be a result of a recently introduced GZDoom Builder *FEATURE* that automatically decouples joined sectors when you move them, unless you disable this behavior by choosing "Edit -> Merge Dragged Vertices Only".

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Episode 2 is well underway. It'll be ready to roll out this Thursday. Here's a little preview:

E2M1: Energize!


E2M4: Ickmaze

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E2 is ready for action! Not sure how many folks are following closely enough to notice, but this one's way past due too. I haven't been sticking to my weekly deadlines very well, but I am going to hold to the "21 days" thing in the title. Whichever maps are done by the 1st of December are the maps that are going to be in the final release. No extensions. Though I will take a week or so to do small amounts of bug-fixing and polish (including implementing difficulty levels).

Anyway, here's UnAligned Episode 2.

A few shots from some of the maps I haven't shown off yet:

Spoiler

E2M3: 100 Linedefs Plus 1


E2M7: Heck Tech


E2M8: Rocket League


E2M9: Doomer-Friendly WAD-Shifter

Currently, Cryostasis Station has been moved from E1M7 to E2M5, so you should probably just skip it if you've already played it. E1M7 is a filler map for now.

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It's Day 19 of the challenge, friends! We're in the final stretch, and I may just make that deadline yet. I was able to crank out three and a half maps today; if I can keep up that pace, I should make it through E3 and still have time to replace E1M7 and revamp Cryostasis.

Shots from today's session:

Spoiler



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Episode 3 was done as of last night, and I've spent most of today running the levels and grabbing screenshots! The WAD's ready to be playtested in its entirety -- I've updated the OP with new screens and a link to the beta. Any brave souls want to be the first wave of testers?

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I was confused as hell with the first level until I read its name. It's a good map, don't get me wrong, but I feel it would have worked best as a second map so people would read its name.

In the secret level, if a pinkie teleports where you spawn, it's locked in and can't do anything. Maybe you could move the teleporter exit closer to the center of the map?

Oh, E1M3 got some excellent line action usage, great job.

I'll keep playing and trying to break it later.

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Played the first episode on vanilla doom v 1.9 using dosbox, the levels works all really well, expect for E1M9 that have a HOM error in the sky at the northern section of the map:



Anyway, my other issues is that E1M1 and E1M2 needs to be switched because E1M1 is a pretty hard map imo... or just add a chainsaw as a weapon choice in E1M1

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e2 as a whole seems to be a lot weaker than e1, predominated by gimmicks that aren't fun to play. It took until e2m6 and e2m7 for what resembled normal maps. e2m8 seems utterly broken, in prBoom+ -cl 3. HOMs in those little areas you can climb into, and no way of progressing.

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Albertoni said:

I was confused as hell with the first level until I read its name. It's a good map, don't get me wrong, but I feel it would have worked best as a second map so people would read its name.

I was really beginning to wonder if the first map's nature was turning people off to the WAD. Seems like the best bet to switch it and the second map.

In the secret level, if a pinkie teleports where you spawn, it's locked in and can't do anything. Maybe you could move the teleporter exit closer to the center of the map?

I put almost no time into that map, as you can probably tell. Should be fixed in the next version.

Oh, E1M3 got some excellent line action usage, great job. I'll keep playing and trying to break it

Thanks, Albertoni!

walter confalonieri said:

Played the first episode on vanilla doom v 1.9 using dosbox, the levels works all really well, expect for E1M9 that have a HOM error in the sky at the northern section of the map

I keep forgetting to fix that. I'll get on it.

rdwpa said:

e2 as a whole seems to be a lot weaker than e1, predominated by gimmicks that aren't fun to play. It took until e2m6 and e2m7 for what resembled normal maps.

Interesting -- I didn't think of E2 as any heavier on gimmicks. Less so, actually. Or do you just mean unfun gimmicks? Which ones in particular?

e2m8 seems utterly broken, in prBoom+ -cl 3. HOMs in those little areas you can climb into, and no way of progressing.

It works fine in Chocolate, except that it sounds like you might be getting stuck in the goals because I accidentally left them accessible.

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I played this on UV. I used glboom-plus 2.5.1.4. I like those 1994 sensibilities :)
Here are my points::

-E1M1: Infight. On my first play through (no secrets found), at the end of the map, I didn't want to kill about 5-10 Imps with my bear fists, because I ran out of ammo. I wished there was a shotgun shell lying around, or maybe a berserk or as walter confalonieri said, a chainsaw.

-E1M8: I noticed three things.

Spoiler

Linedef 29:


The window:


If I use the teleporter, which leads into the final room, a second time, then this happens:

-E2M1: I really loved that teleporter puzzle. But I couldn't open the switch (linedef 184) because the height wasn't tall enough, I just couldn't fit in that sector.
Spoiler



Monsters got stuck when they teleported in (sector 28):

-E2M2: Sector 75 is an inescapable pit. It's possible to fall down into it in the corner.

-E2M5: It's possible to break the map if you do 'use' on linedef 535 before jumping down. (Btw, how do you enter the secret level? I couldn't find a secret exit linedef on GZDoomBuilder :) )

-E3M1: This was amazing. The teleporter puzzle was a little bit too complex for me, but I somehow solved it, I kinda knew where to go. ^^

-E3M5: I think you forgot the exit line here? :)

-E3M6: In my opinion, this needs a little bit more ammo, maybe about 5 rockets around the area where you placed the megasphere and soulsphere. I ran out of ammo and there were still about 10 Cacodemons alive. Or I need better ammo nanagement :D

All in all, nice maps!

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Ryathaen said:

Interesting -- I didn't think of E2 as any heavier on gimmicks. Less so, actually. Or do you just mean unfun gimmicks? Which ones in particular?


I guess I might not be the target audience for a mapset heavily based on single concepts that define a whole map. It's something don't mind at all either in moderation or when the concept is mostly in presentation (e.g. e1m5's squares, which are really just the means of revealing monsters instead of a concept that truly defines the gameplay), but I usually find it a letdown when it becomes apparent that the first idea in a map is basically all I'll get. I think I could have appreciated all of them if they were fewer in number relative to the more straightforward maps and the maps that mixed multiple ideas. The baron evasion was quite fun, for example, particularly because the barons complemented the freeform combat around them; I probably would have quickly jumped to the next level if the map had nothing but barons.

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pm'd you some fdas.

favorite maps:

Spoiler

-E2M2 the one where barons pop out when the Gargoyle Faces see you. Similar to the one from your other mapset, where you had to avoid red lights. I would have liked it better if they were archviles instead, or better yet, a modified archvile with like x5 movement speed to really freak you out. (there was at least 1 gamebreaking bug in this map, check the demo).
-E3M1 I freakin loved this map. I didn't figure out the teleporter puzzle but tried the other 5. The best puzzles were [edit: forgot to complete sentence] the voodoo doll one and the lift/door/lift combo puzzle. A Portal-like wad could be created around these concepts. good stuff.
-E2M6 (Deimos City) I love city maps, even simplistic ones like this. I'm definitely in the minority that love Downtown from Doom II. Good job keeping the size down to managable.

honorable mention:
-E1M? (the shootable switch one) a fun little hunt. this one will probably frustrate people who miss a switch, but i don't remember having that problem.
-E2M8 A miniature cyberdreams.

The other maps either 1) were fun but less memorable, or 2) the gimmick was too dry (but still appreciated cuz i like gimmicks).

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rodster said:

-E1M1: Infight. On my first play through (no secrets found), at the end of the map, I didn't want to kill about 5-10 Imps with my bear fists, because I ran out of ammo. I wished there was a shotgun shell lying around, or maybe a berserk or as walter confalonieri said, a chainsaw.

Still debating how exactly to address the common complaints about E1M1. E1M2 just doesn't feel right as the intro map. I may just add a chainsaw and more barrels, and switch focus from infighting specifically to nontraditional kills in general.

I like those 1994 sensibilities :) ... All in all, nice maps!

Thanks!

I've addressed all the other things you brought up except one...

I can't for the life of me determine what is going on here.

rdwpa said:

It's something don't mind at all either in moderation or when the concept is mostly in presentation (e.g. e1m5's squares, which are really just the means of revealing monsters instead of a concept that truly defines the gameplay), but I usually find it a letdown when it becomes apparent that the first idea in a map is basically all I'll get. I think I could have appreciated all of them if they were fewer in number relative to the more straightforward maps and the maps that mixed multiple ideas.

That's fair. I'm looking into toning down or adding variety to some of the less interesting concepts. Thank you for the comments.

NoisyVelvet said:

pm'd you some fdas.

Watching them now -- thank you!

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A second beta is up -- mostly to address feedback I've received so far, as well as fixing obvious bugs, especially progress-breaking problems like the missing secret exit in E2M5 and the regular exit in E3M5. Also added tons of secrets across the whole WAD. No major changes, but I'm beginning work on implementing difficulty levels today.

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So I have played through 4 maps of the first episode. I like that this project doesn't take itself very seriously and certainly delivers on the unaligned textures which will likely put off some players.

For what it's worth the maps I've played so far have been actually quite fun and had some interesting traps and design choices. It reminds me of a nostalgic episode from 94-95.

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So I have finished off E1.
My thoughts on the first episode of the project were as follows

- E1M1 was a cool intro, lots of neat gimmicks and interesting combat scenarios right off the start. I'm not really keen on seeing a Cacodemon in the first level of the game but that's more of a personal nitpick.

- E1M2 looks super amateurish because of the blatant misalignments, but this is a really fun interconnected level. Despite it's hagard look, the design forces the player to approach the same areas a few times but from different ways which made the level flow and play pretty well.

- E1M3 actually looks polished compared to the prior maps of the set and I really liked the gimmick of hitting the buttons to filter the nukage into water. This was a short and frantic map.

- E1M4 was ok. Probably my least favourite of the set. There were some interesting moments like the switch shooting and the dark central corridor was a neat combat area.

-E1M5 "Sargeant Sladder" lol. That was quite a fitting name. This was perhaps the most violent slaughter I've ever experienced in an Ultimate Doom Map. The gimmick ambush worked really well here IMO.

-E1M6 was hands down my favourite map of this entire episode. I liked how vertical the map felt and how it was like climbing some sort of bizarre tower. The combat was well paced, not too challenging and it created more of a sense of adventure than the previous maps.

-E1M7 was an interesting concept. Although I found the map kind of frustrating because I'm a noob and frequently let my radsuit wear out and got burned to death in the hell area. I liked the idea and I see what you were going for but I found I was constantly dying while trying to run back for the radsuits across the portal.

-E1M8 OMG. This was way more difficult than Phobos Anomally, not because of the introduction of the Baron, no it was the introduction of dozens of shotgunguys and cacodemons surrounding you and shooting at you at point blank. I never thought of E1 as being particularly difficult but this episode has changed my perception of it forever. The combat here was pretty nuts but it made for a sense of accomplishment having fought off that horde of cacodemons / shotgunguys.


I really liked the first episode of this. There were a lot of neat gimmicks and traps to make the maps interesting. It didn't take itself too seriously and the maps started out with teeth so you had to pay attention to what the hell was happening at all times. It's certainly the most difficult Ultimate Doom mapset I've played to date. Good job.

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Voltcom9 said:

- E1M1 was a cool intro, lots of neat gimmicks and interesting combat scenarios right off the start. I'm not really keen on seeing a Cacodemon in the first level of the game but that's more of a personal nitpick.

Yeah, I wrestled with that myself, but there's no other enemies tough enough to use as a guardian for the exit. E1M1 is a bit of an outlier anyway, with a very un-E1 teleport exit as well.

- E1M3 actually looks polished compared to the prior maps of the set and I really liked the gimmick of hitting the buttons to filter the nukage into water. This was a short and frantic map.

- E1M4 was ok.

...

-E1M5 ... The gimmick ambush worked really well here IMO.

It's so interesting seeing which maps resonate with different people. You liked E1M3 and M5 and didn't like M4, but I've heard from others that M3 and M5 are boring, and that M4 is one of the highlights of the WAD. If anything, I think my biggest failing here was designing levels scatterbrained enough that no one player actually enjoys (or, on the other hand, dislikes) all of them.

-E1M8 OMG. ... The combat here was pretty nuts but it made for a sense of accomplishment having fought off that horde of cacodemons / shotgunguys.

Oh boy. Something definitely went wrong here. You weren't supposed to survive the shotgunners -- I had intended for the baron's death to be a death sentence for you as well. Maybe changing the shotgunner swarm to spectres?

Looking forward to your thoughts on E2 and 3!

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