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Jimmy

realms of ZO0N. [v4]

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~* Welcome to the world of the sleeping. The endless void of the uncertain subconscious. *~

~* Can you defeat us? *~


Download -- [v4]


Technical stuff:

IWAD: Doom 2
Map(s): MAP01-03, *04 pending*
Gameplay: Single + coop play
Ports Tested: PrBoom+, GLBoom+, Q/G/ZDoom, Zandronum (dev build), Eternity Engine
Format: Boom
Build Time: Yes
Textures: Zoon-tex (all included)
Requirements: Jumping and crouching off, freelook optional.

For all credits see the WADINFO lump in the file. (Will be the whole text file eventually.)

Known Bugs:

Spoiler

  • PLENTY OF DEHACKED WORK IN THIS. I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HOW BADLY ZDOOM MODS BREAK THIS. you can blame Obsidian though
  • FIXED - The custom bitmap message font will not display in PrBoom.
  • ADDRESSED - Magic orbs give 10 when dropped by bishops in ZDoom, but 20 in PrBoom.
  • Magic orbs' pickup messages do not appear to be changed properly in PrBoom.
  • The new weapons might be imbalanced, or too much/little ammo for them might be an issue, one way or the other. This has turned out difficult for me to address.

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Hooray! More Jimmy maps for me to play through :D

Very cool screenshots here, I quite like the color contrasting against the dark backgrounds. Definitely going to give this a spin as soon as I can.

*adds to ever growing stack of maps to play*

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Played map01. This is great. New gameplay changes all make sense and fit perfectly with existing monsters.

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This better not need the newest fork of zdoom with a one off use of decorate that doesn't even benefit the wa- OH IT DOESNT
THATS GOOD :D

-will play!-

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FDAs for all maps. Cool stuff, this really felt like entering an unfamiliar world, having to learn a new set of rules and gradually becoming more confident. In particular, it took me embarassingly long to get accustomed to what happens with some corpses, which resulted in a very silly moment on Map03. 20 "cells" from one killed bishop seemed like too much, but I see you already listed this as a PrBoom bug. Nothing can be done here?

I think this is one of the best custom palette wads that I've seen so far. The colors work quite well together and never make you question the author's sanity. At a few points it seemed a bit weird to encounter the default graphics (for example, techbase-y crates and lift flats such as FLAT1 looked really alien to me) but overall you pulled off the texturing really well.

A few complaints about Map03. Firstly, the dark parts were a little too dark for me, so after a while I just "cheated" and enabled gamma correction 2 (usually I have it off). Secondly, the inclusion of a slaughter arena annoyed me slightly. It might be just me, but I feel like ridiculous hordes of monsters don't quite work in atmospheric wads like this and ruin the immersion somewhat. It didn't help that it turned out to be nothing more than a basic circlestrafing exercise. Thirdly, the cyberdemon placement was surprisingly generous (you can just camp), but honestly I didn't mind it so much. The fact that it seemed to have a more aggressive attack scared me enough. :D

The use of "ambush/deaf" flag was sometimes strange. I'm mainly talking about monster alcoves, like hell knights on Map01, or lost souls in sectors 370 and 374 on Map02. They are supposed to be dangerous, but some of the enemies won't even notice you unless you come up to them. Or perhaps they are there to surprise the player later? Another weird ambush was on Map03, where you take the "plasmagun" (a very cool weapon, much more satisfying to use than the original) and suddenly four barons appear around you. I think I was extremely lucky to get out. Or maybe it's actually easier than it looks. Not sure, let's see what others say.

Inspiring stuff overall, almost a shame that it's going to be only 4 levels. But at least that guarantees the style won't get old. Anyway, there is always a possibility of other mappers making their own wads with this.

edit: last thing... In my opinion, the animation ZFWCROK# is too disco-like, if you know what I mean. Although you can probably say that about the original as well.
edit2: the title doesn't fully fit the screen? - http://i.imgur.com/airAOm4.png

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severely perturbed by the way the green enemies' corpses damage you. for most of the first map i was *really* confused how i was getting damaged, and when i realised i just couldn't justify why you would make it a mechanic lol. what does it add to the game?

anyway. the first map looks cool.

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Memfis: Thanks for the demos! :D Yeah MAP03 is probably the least refined of the three, considering most of it got made in the last three days, heh. If the darkness is a problem, look for a secret visor. :D

You're right about certain monsters being deaf when they shouldn't be, I kind of make it a point to deafen almost everything so I can properly examine encounters on a room-by-room basis, though I'm sure I can afford undeafening some if not most once I'm done.

I do need to find better crate textures though, yep. And I'll see what I can do about the M_DOOM. Cheers for playing!

Oh and how were you able to camp the cyber fight?

jmickle66666666: I figured this enemy would be polarising, although I kind of warmed to the concept once it was in. Did you take the right-hand branch at the start of map01? I tried to telegraph it so you could get an idea of how those monsters work - in close-quarters so that running over their corpses at least is more of an inevitability, plus you have the radsuit on so if you're perceptive of that you'll know it's not the damaging floor hurting you. (They also have a unique obituary if you die to the corpses.)

Basically both the slime dweller and the catharsi both serve as area-denial when you kill them (in different ways). With the former in particular you have to be careful where you kill them, luring them out of closets and into open spaces where their dead bodies can more easily be avoided. Watching my brother play it, he figured it out pretty quickly though suggested the corpses melt away after a time. I have no idea if this is possible with the current DEHACKED setup so maybe Obsidian can weigh in on that.

Anyway tl;dr I kinda like 'em how they are but I understand the aversion, heh.

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With the cyberdemon it's as simple as staying in the cave and not jumping down to the arena. :D I wonder if you forgot some trigger there...

Regarding damaging corpses, I thought they were really interesting and original. The initial surprise effect was cool and later it was fun how I had to pay attention where I kill them. I would probably make them do less damage but I'm not sure if DEHACKED allows that.

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Memfis said:

With the cyberdemon it's as simple as staying in the cave and not jumping down to the arena. :D I wonder if you forgot some trigger there...

Nah it's just a case of me not figuring you could do that, lol. But yeah thanks for pointing that out. Your demos put me in mind of a few other things I need to change to clear up the pacing and direction a little better.

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FDAs for 01-03.
The gimmick of putting the R667 monsters into a Boom mapset and thus altering the core formula was interesting. The necrostaff felt a bit OP due to all the bishops going down easily and constantly dropping ammo for it.
Overall the difficulty was quite easy, 03 was the most impressive map aesthetic-wise.

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FDAs for map01-03.
I must admit that this is quite interesting map pack, new monsters feel alright (despite the biggest annoyance of Klesk-like monster being ported here). I certainly would like to see more maps in similar style.

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You should use a dehacked mod to deafen the monsters for testing.

Anyway tagging this for a future playthrough when it's finished :D

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Thanks everyone for the demos, I've watched them all and taken note of what came up that needed addressing.

v2 is out.

Changes:
- MAP01's closeted monsters aren't deaf anymore.
- MAP02 has a couple extra radsuits.
- MAP03 has some more ammo.
- Final fight can't be cheesed anymore.
- Crucial switches made more obvious.
- Some new sounds.
- Egregious texture misalignments fixed, for the most part I hope.
- Beefier-looking voidstaff attack (thanks D64 for sprites).
- Extensive testing in Eternity Engine, plus some EDF lumps that define the new strings in a working manner. Thanks heaps to Altazimuth for guidance.

Still lots of room for improvement, I imagine. I'm workin' on it.

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v3 is ready.

Changes:
- Added par times for all maps.
- Converted the bitmap smallfont to individual graphics. Color-remapped them to be completely within the green range minus the drop shadow.
- Added Boom translation tables. Many thanks to Altazimuth for doing them.
- Changed the M_DOOM to a previous iteration without the "realms of".
- Increased the damage done by Bishop attacks from 1 to 3.
- Reduced the radius of damage done by Slime Dweller corpses. It's still pretty much equally fatal if you just stand on top of one, though.
- Enemies can now die to Slime Dweller corpses. Including Slime Dwellers. :^)
- New sprites for the Baron's attack courtesy of David G (ItsNatureToDie).
- Imp/catharsi ball now uses all 5 frames of its animation effectively.
- Added GAMEINFO (doom2.wad now loaded automatically on ZDoom startup).
- Added MENUDEF. Just changes some colors in the ZDoom options menu.

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This is really fun, the length is just right. I was surprised when a green corpse first damaged me but I figured out what had happened pretty quickly and laughed. Agreed that the guys flying around in pajamas hit too weak in v2.

To echo a little of what Memfis was saying, I'm not exactly sure how the pervading darkness is played to the wad's advantage. It certainly provides contrast and adds to the magical atmosphere. But because darkness is such a prominent feature of Zoon, a part of me is expecting it to do something more, perhaps affecting gameplay.

Playing on HMP (I think) the cyber fight was quite easy, even with jumping into the middle of the arena. I was surprised it was still going so easy after the PEs attacked.

I liked the levels 1-3 in ascending order; 3 is pretty sexy.

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Hey Jimmy, I gave this a run through (v.3) on my mac Zdoom 2.5.0 and had a lot of fun. Like with skillsaw's work, there's rarely any need to offer gameplay feedback because your layout, balancing, and enemy placement is so tight that it plays perfectly well as is. For instance, I ran out of ammo towards the end of MAP02, but 1) could berserk my way through the ending enemies and 2) had missed a box of ammo and box of rockets earlier on in the map. Fun levels, I really like all the new enemy quirks (yes, I did get blown up by a dropped grenade the first time); the cyberdemon finale was sooo evil due to the increased attack speed, something I wasn't expecting when I tried to weave through his shots. Love all these little touches—if there's anything I'm disappointed by, it's that the set feels too short! I would gladly play a whole episode with this "slime cave" theme and a legion bishops to hound me through its dark halls.

Couple o' things:

- I know you made it pretty obvious, but I still missed the bookshelf switch that raises the elevator in MAP01 for a good five minutes. I think it would have been easier for me to spot had I not been able to run outside and backtrack through the level for anything I might've missed. That, or it was a different color :P

- The exit door in MAP02 really needs the green key requirement (ie the colored linedef) to show up on the automap. I got the green key and was stumbling around for a bit wondering where the hell I had seen a green door (besides that one blockade), and only found it after using IDDT.

- Spotted this HOM in MAP03.

- I think there needs to be some way to establish early on that the slime floor in MAP03 isn't damaging, because I was avoiding it for the longest time and taking unnecessary damage in doing so. Easiest thing I can think of is to start the player in a big pool of it or something, or to take away any rocky foothold they can hop onto for the tunnel bit so they can come to that conclusion faster.

- It's a teeny bit hard to tell when the elevators to the skull keys have been raised in MAP03 when you teleport back into the central room. I think adding a stripe of color to the side of them should be more eye catching, especially since the first thing that grabs the player's attention is the skull pedestal in the middle of the room (I would warp the player in past it IMO)

- Have you tried to go through the whole right side of MAP03 without the secret plasma staff? I luckily found it but was wondering how doable that whole section is given how few rockets/shells the player has.

- I'm hoping Slime Dwellers make a comeback in MAP04!

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Hey dobu, thanks a ton. Super glad to see the maker of Saturnine Chapel digs my shit. :D

I don't know how to make that bookshelf switch in MAP01 any more obvious without making it glow or something, heh. (Might do that anyway.) It was in fact only lit up slightly before now (160, instead of 192 - vs. the rest of the room's 144 light level), and of course it has a candle in place of a green torch on top as an additional clue. There's definitely an element of crypticness I kind of want to keep in the maps without deliberately veering into outright puzzle-solving. If you found the bookshelf switches in MAP03 then you'll probably surmise that's the type of thing I like doing. :P

You're right about MAP03's non-damaging slime floor. Honestly I'm at a tiny bit of a loss on what to do regarding the damage amounts per map. MAP01's slime looks like it should damage (and does, but only by 10%), and MAP02's is meant to be molten silver or something so in my mind it makes sense to damage at 20%. MAP03's liquid, however, does not look like anything that occurs in nature. I sort of throw the phrase "liquid life" around in my head when I think of it, and maybe that contributed to the logic behind making it non-damaging in the map to begin with. Making it damaging now would likely ruin a lot of the progression, so I think I'll keep it as-is, and do what you suggested by starting the player in the stuff.

The green locks on MAP02 have been fixed. Thanks for pointing them out, I made the appropriate adjustments in LOCKDEFS, but then made a dumb error in the map itself so the lines still appeared yellow. x_x

I'll move the teleport destination in MAP03 so the player thinks to go to the lifts instead, good call.

I'm fairly certain MAP03 is beatable without getting the staff, but I might just consciously run through the map without getting it and see how I fare. It definitely has its challenge, that map, in fact I might go as far to say that in places it gets too clogged with monsters. I'll see what I can do here.

I... have no idea what could be causing that HOM. o_O I'll investigate, though I can't really make any promises about fixing it.

---

Speaking of the MAP03 and secrets, anyone found weapon 7 yet? <:)

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Hey, I've liked your stuff for quite a while!

Yeah, the bookshelf is definitely one of those hard-to-determine things since it'll greatly vary from person to person. I think it's pretty obvious looking back on it, but the problem is that it's integral to proceeding through the map as opposed to being an optional secret or something, and a lot of people (myself included) are kinda "thing" blind as we play through the game, unable to pick up on certain cues. It's not something that needs changing, I just figure I'd let you know for reference :P

I also looked at the HOM and it's caused by the teleporter sector descending when the S1 switch is hit. To be fair it's one of those really quirky things that only happens on my mac Zdoom but not the Zdoom I have on PC, which is probably why no one else has seen it. Your guess is as good as mine as to why that happens!

And I stumbled upon weapon 7 only after finishing MAP03 and looking at the automap for clues as to where I missed a horde of enemies--that's a pretty cool weapon! Naturally I

Spoiler

killed myself with it attempting to "maximize tracer damage" the first time :D

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Heh, yeah hopefully the secret area with weapon 7 goes some way to telling the player how to use it. I'm almost positive it's gonna mess with all the players who find it, by having that extra-explosive element to it. :P

---

Download v4.

Changes:
- Increased voidstaff ammo usage back to 40.
- Magic orbs, dropped or not, now always give 20 in ZDoom and derivative ports.
- Made MAP01's lowering bookcase glow.
- Moved some problematic stalactites on MAP02.
- Fixed MAP02's door and bars to be green on the automap.
- Fixed MAP03's key switches to show up as blue and red on the automap.
- All obituaries show in green in Eternity now. (Thanks Altazimuth!)

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Safe to read for those who played map03...

Spoiler

It is quite tempting to try an avj once you go up one of the lifts near 976:3568 in map03, and it is quite easy to get stuck in one of the enclosed cubicles in the middle as a result. I wonder if curiosity "killed" only this duck, or if more will follow and meet the same fate as time goes by. We are probably getting into rather exotic ways of breaking maps here, but the avj idea really was the first thing that crossed my mind the first time I looked around that place.

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Played through this earlier in Eternity Engine, so here's some feedback (in no particular order).

  • Par times don't seem designed for the levels in their current form. As a test I tried running through them with a basic knowledge of the level with no monsters and still didn't match par: I probably could for the first two with a speedrunning-like attempt, but the third one seems incredibly unlikely. This probably isn't something important to fix until release candidates but I figure it's worth noting.
  • Amusingly, the first two times I took damage from the Slime Dweller I had assumed leaky radsuit. Maybe consider using a blood-of-pool sprite to make the player more easily suspect something, probably not that important.
  • Most of the initial encounters for new enemies don't convey their uniqueness:
    • Bishops are an enemy best approached directly albeit at a slight lean, whereas their first usage is in a room more fit for circle-strafing
    • A tightly-packed Imp Trooper (Catharsi?) group would better show off the potential for delayed death explosion
    • Similarly, Slime Dwellers placed in front of a few fodder Imps could show off their effectiveness against enemies
    • Those mini overlords have no windup time, so giving the player plenty of space would help to prepare: they may also have a smaller height (or consider a smaller height such that the tentacles aren't part of the hitbox), and so having them first appear through a small-ish opening could be cool
    • All this said, the new enemies are a fresh, enjoyable experience and the way they're used is good most of the time.
  • First level seems far easier than the next two. I didn't mind the simplicity of MAP01, but the difficulty curve ramped unexpectedly fast. Personally I suggest adding some difficulty instead of removing it, as the other two come across as more refined.
  • I agree with dobu's suggestion regarding purple liquid: definitely spent some time worrying at the start of MAP03 (especially considering MAP02's 20% blue-gray liquid). Maybe just have the entire final room in MAP02 be purple liquid and a bunch of health bonuses or something. Took me a while to notice the stairs available at the start of MAP03 too, ended up getting lost going the long way.
  • Plenty of great encounters already! MAP03's are definitely the most interesting in terms of stand-alone challenge, whereas MAP02 expects the player to go fairly quickly via dependence on radsuits.
  • I like the "any skull" door, but it'd be more amusing if there was a non-trivial use for it. MAP03 kind of does but that only amounts to a berserk pack.
  • Don't be afraid to weapon-starve the player a little more, pistol's fun enough (and many enemies with low enough HP) that it'll last a good while. By comparison, SSG trivializes a lot more here than in Doom2.

Wish I had more to say on the aesthetics other than "looks and sounds really cool" but I don't have much confidence in such opinions. Hoping to eventually play MAP04!

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