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dobu gabu maru

Saturnine Chapel - Now on /idgames

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IDGAMES LINK: https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/levels/doom2/Ports/s-u/satchap
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"What does fear taste like?

May I savor yours?"




Download Saturnine Chapel (Ver.A) here. If you're foolish enough to play on skill 4 you're not going to have fun. It's basically ready for /idgames, but I'm looking for a bit more feedback on skills 2 & 3 before uploading. Plus someone's bound to find a bug somewhere.

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Surreal atmosphere, very good.

I gave it a couple of quick runs through on HNTR and HMP. I think the noble/crusher trap is very similar (the same?) in both, although it wasn't too tough either way. On HNTR i ran out of cells (iirc) on the very last Revenant so maybe an extra ammo pickup or two if you want to be kind. The Cyber fight felt significantly more difficult on HMP cause there was no health boost at all (it was pretty easy on HNTR really, perhaps the megasphere is overkill). Hope this helps.

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Here's a really bad skill 2 FDA in which I don't finish (I think I got very close?)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/x9l50z9adob744l/saturnine_chapel_skill2_fda.lmp?dl=1

Hopefully it's useful to you in some way :P I should have saved, but kept forgetting.

I thought the blue armor trap was unfair (though I hate using that word!) due to the way it causes my first death (immediate high dmg melee hit from the HK), but later I noticed there's a window where you can see what awaits, so that's actually pretty cool.

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Oh man, I remember the screenshots you posted of this a while back. It looked amazing! From the sounds of it, its probably gonna be too difficult for me. But I will absolutely give this one a spin soon :)

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ChapĆ³ Dobu what a beastly and beautiful map. I've only played HMP and i don't wanna know how this plays on UV. I was allready spoilered about the weapon limitation by one of the pictures you posted some time ago and it's definitely a unusual yet yery refreshing approach. The map itself isn't really just a map but more like a piece of art if you ask me. The custom Hud and Menu Gfx add a very coherent feeling, i really like that. Visually this is absolutely amazing and inspiring, the amount of voodoo and sector trickery behind the scenes must have been a ordeal to set up. The shapeshifting sequences were mindblowing. Difficulty wise this was even on HMP almost too much for me but i assume this is mainly designed for professional players so i won't complain. Gonna try it again on HNTR later just for comparison.

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Played through this last night, fantastic map. Some ball buster encounters but really fun/creative.

Streamed it on my Twitch channel, I'll link the VOD below. The first 2:40 are your map.. Spent some quality time with it. Beat on both HMP and then UV but used saves in UV.

https://www.twitch.tv/megablast98/v/111970437

Thanks for making the level!

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Wow, Dobu, just WOW!!!!!

This is an absolute freaking masterpiece of architectural genius. I was staggered from beginning to end, but the exit design just blew me the fuck away. I don't even know how to study how you pulled that off. Silent teleport, maybe?

In a way, the map was a huge -- literally -- joke. You have this immense outdoor area surrounding an awesome looking building, and then it's a series of in-yer-grill phone-booth fights. This is not my favorite form of Doom combat. Given that I'm a low-skill keyboarder, this approach rips me to shreds, and knowing that you keyboard Doom yourself, I figure you must be an even bigger masochist than I am to design and then actually playtest these miniature shitstorms. I think I might have survived one of these fights on the first try, and suffered multiple deaths on most of them, with only the Cyb and Noble fights at the end being what I'd call relatively easy. Actually, the exit fight was pretty easy, too, since it only took me 3 tries to beat it. It was pretty much the only fight where I had cover. Yet despite all my complaints and my tendency to dislike this combat approach, I actually enjoyed getting my teeth knocked out again and again. :D

I played on HNTR, since I've learned that if Dobu warns people off of UV, I'd better take him seriously. The toughest fight by far was the blue key battle. That was pure evil. After the first couple deaths, I fired a chaingun burst shortly after grabbing the key since that seemed to bring the Chaingunners out sooner. The faster they opened fire, the better my chances that they'd infight the Revs. More often than not, there'd only be 1 Rev fighting them, I'd tank damage from the other and the Imps, and the Chaingunners melted me at the end. There were 3 times when I almost survived that fight, and I came close to a despair-quit because I doubted I had the skill to ever win. I really wanted the SSG bad in that battle, or more cells going in, but then it wouldn't have been as tough, would it? ;D Victory came when I got rid of the Revs quick enough to maneuver the Chaingunners in such a way that I could fan my CG back and forth, just enough to pain-chance them with small hits so they'd stop shooting long enough for me to kill 'em. BTW, that was an eerie cinematic effect having the monsters appear from behind that diaphanous nukage curtain. They emerged like ghosts from the mist.

I do have one objection -- in the fight immediately preceding the blue key battle, you have one of those goofy "hit this switch, then run to the place where another switch is revealed, hit that switch before it's hidden again, lower the lift, and run to that lift before it raises up and leaves you stuck." Dude, I hate these things. How does a keyboarder put in something like that which just seems like cheap frustration? Would it kill you to lower that panel permanently so I don't have to waste time wondering what the heck happened when I hit the first switch?

The other slightly dodgy move is the bit with the Mancs out beyond auto-aim range. I know puzzle fans will love it and there's no way you'd change something that obviously required tons of work -- and what a great cinematic it was! -- but I did groan until I figured it out. Good thing I savescum, because if I had wasted too much ammo and been forced to restart the map, I would have said vicious things about you. ;)

Speaking of ammo, you and your testers obviously spent some time perfecting the health/ammo balance for HNTR. I found myself in more or less constant ammo stress but never ran out. I only ran out of health when monsters beat it out of me, otherwise, the supply was sufficient and I fiended for armor rather than medikits. I wouldn't complain if more stimpacks found their way into the map, but then, it wouldn't be as tough, would it? ;) I vote for keeping the Megasphere in the Cyb fight. I have enormous respect for players who can stay on the racing walkway, but I couldn't do it, so I needed the Megasphere to fight that Cyb from the suddenly toxic nukage. Although the fight was easy, I tanked so much damage from the pain sector that I finished with only 65% health.

BTW, that racing walkway was brilliantly weird. Did DotW do an FDA where he stayed on it?

Magnificent work on the sequential lighting effects, whether it was on the floating bookcases or the staggered lighting on the building's exterior. In the latter, you put a lot of work into an effect most players will notice for just a moment, if at all, but it's one more bit of artistry that makes this amazing map stand out.

Get this up on idgames and I'll make my first-ever Cacoward nomination.

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10/10 for aesthetics and atmosphere.

8/10 for architecture, because I didn't like the length of the walk from the spawn point to the focus of the action.

Unrated/10 for gameplay because the encounters as constructed are outside my current comfort/competence envelope so I didn't complete the level.

Magnificent stuff, keep up the good work!

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This map as the stuff I like: midi, atmosphere, encounters, theme but damn lag on gzdoom, shame :/

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Thanks for the replies and the vids guys, it's really heartwarming.

SteveD said:

The other slightly dodgy move is the bit with the Mancs out beyond auto-aim range.

Fun fact: if the player is using mouselook and kills one of the turret enemies, I warp in half a dozen archviles to punish them :) Regarding the moving circular platform, the player isn't meant to stay on it the whole time but to kind of orbit around it, adjust their course according to where the cyber is and where they want to lead him to be. If you want to have fun, I suggest checking it out on UV Steve ;)

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You can cheese the fight with the baron+manc+revs by hitting the switch from the ledge above before it is properly revealed. Not a huge deal on HMP but takes all the pressure off on UV. I discovered this by accident because I humped the window on my first playthrough.

The circular cyber fight is probably roughly the same difficulty on HMP/UV thanks to the soulsphere on UV; fighting two cybers there isn't really so mechanically hard, especially since you don't have to stay on the platform; wait to see what MrZZul has to say about that though.

I'm not really a fan of the action in the dark bookshelves; doesn't seem either fun or challenging in an interesting way compared to the rest of the fights; it's more just like an exposure to awkwardness along the way. Bumping against the walls and stuff while doing the switch sequence is a big part of that.

Favorite stuff was everything else. :P Real fun.

Make the square for the shotgun secret a bit bigger imo; it's really easy to grab the SG without triggering the secret.

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^^ I had a little look at HMP since Dobu posted the thread, and I'd say that, this being a small map with few monsters, and where every encounter is carefully staged, the primary difference in difficulty between HMP and UV doesn't really shine through on a per-encounter basis, but rather in terms of completing the map in one life. In the HMP balance, leaving aside the oddity of the sniper/cover exercise, you generally receive enough stuff to carry you through the next fight (assuming solid play), largely independent of how you did on the previous encounter. In the UV experience, even though you sometimes receive more stuff to work with (and occasionally more than small differences in actual monstercount may initially seem to strictly require), the overall balance is so tight from the outset that you realistically have to do well throughout the map in order to surmount almost unavoidable hills of attrition that show up in a couple of places, most notably the toxic well fight with the platform-snake and the twin cyberdemons, where it is much more difficult to be in firm control of the amount of toxin damage you soak in exchange for not eating a rocket--this includes the weird wooden observatory fight, which has no healing whatsoever formally attached to it, meaning that even if you spent the few free stimpacks and medikits in the commons in a very responsible/reasonable way earlier in other fights, you can still be fucked. Tough luck. Likewise if your blue armor didn't last far enough into the level, which puts a nasty multiplier on the damage-tax of the poison well fight. The last bit in the cement grave is something of an exception, since there's enough stuff in there that it largely stands alone from everything else in balance terms, but generally speaking the map's a sort of endurance exercise in UV, one that makes up for its atypical brevity with its uncommon viciousness.

It's the sort of level where the real crux of the endeavor is in learning and experimenting (with the per-encounter practice this incidentally entails), rather than reacting skillfully on the fly, and in that sense it's well suited for those rare players who like to replay things on progressively higher difficulties as they gain more practice and familiarity. Once you have learned the lay and the order of things you can start acing it; it's just that the first few days of class will show you no mercy whatsoever should you choose to (or insist upon) playing skill 4 from the outset, presenting something more or less based in raw trial and error at first. There's a minority of us who can sometimes enjoy things that way, but suffice to say Dobu wasn't just blowing smoke suggesting most try skill 3 or even 2 to start out.

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dobu gabu maru said:

Fun fact: if the player is using mouselook and kills one of the turret enemies, I warp in half a dozen archviles to punish them :)


Well, that about sums you up, Dobu -- super nice, helpful guy on the forums, merciless serial killer as a mapper. ;)

As for trying the Cyb fight on UV, the big problem is that I'd have to beat the blue key fight at max difficulty, and I doubt that even my tolerance for massive deaths can carry me through. :D

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Played it on HNTR just to see what's it about. Really impressive visuals, some pretty unusual encounters, cool geometry shapeshifting and great atmosphere. 2017 and I'm still impressed with the creative stuff that people can pull off in DOOM. :)

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Hey Dobu. First I just want to say great map. Had a lot of fun with it. I did find a way to break the finale. Find the highlight of my stream below:

https://www.twitch.tv/mrzzul/v/112420345

I liked all of the fights except for the fight that occurs within those that really tight hallway with the two switches on the bookshelfs (leads up to blue key). I felt like that fight has a predetermined solution and the solution to the fight will always remain the same with either bad luck killing the player or the player taking hardly any damage at all (ie killing the hk on the side he starts, then plasma spamming the vile and rev on the other side).

The dual cyb fight I feel is fine. I noticed rdwpa's comment above. When I make a casual max I'll see if I can get it to where the cybs always stay in the middle of the arena. I am pretty sure I can on uv though because I did something very similar in my swtw02 max. Just not shooting for a bit will allow the cybs to walk towards you towards the center of the arena. But I havent tested it on this map.

Great map. Thanks for making it!

Edit:
Sorry I forgot to mention that this was played with prboom+ 2.5.1.4 cl9

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Killer5 said:

Hey Dobu. First I just want to say great map. Had a lot of fun with it. I did find a way to break the finale. Find the highlight of my stream below:

Damn, that is some crafty maneuvering you did there--good work finding it!

And I agree with you and rdwpa that the snakelight area is the weakest encounter on the map. I tried out a couple different enemy combinations but found they were either too unfair since the player gets easily cornered (two barons) or just too easy as long as long as you knew what was warping in (current setup). I did what I could there.

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I'd just make it a low-threat atmospheric encounter or something. HK can be swapped out for a spectre, or the vile for a rev, with the exit sequence adjusted to be commensurate with the threat level.

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rdwpa said:

I'd just make it a low-threat atmospheric encounter or something.

It's already pretty low-threat as is. If I was to reduce the encounter anymore I'd just throw it out altogether, as I want the battle to at least cheaply kill the player the first time they run into it. I'll toss the double-lift hitting stuff as a compromise.

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I mean a purely popcorn encounter, as opposed to one that presents itself as strategic in nature (i.e. location of the HK kill being important). I don't really think that all encounters should try to maximize threat level, nor does doing so even seem like the prevailing ideology of the map* (otherwise the BK fight would make it a lot harder to get rid of the AV at the outset, using the engine quirk about AV blast damage if needed, for instance). Also I think it'd work fine stripped down even more because the area is so spooky.

Now that I think about it though, it's probably just that the strategy feels so rote since I've already encountered it; someone who hasn't previously encountered the idea of kill locations making a difference with AVs might have a different opinion. Or maybe not. Idk.


*I hope DotW likes my phrasing. :D

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rdwpa said:

I don't really think that all encounters should try to maximize threat level, nor does doing so even seem like the prevailing ideology of the map

It's not necessarily about maximizing threat level as much as (ideally) allowing every encounter to kill the player the first time they run into it. That's why there's no light enemies outside of the chapel for the player to mess around with; every fight is designed to be constrained and cruel because the theme of the map itself is trepidation. Of course plenty of players have outright crushed the battles I designed, but it's important to me to make the moderately-skilled player feel wary and unsafe as they make their way through the structure, and any kind of "fluke encounters" will arguably break that facade.

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"Yay, the exit button!!!...... Right??"


I remember the design progression of this map from your Twitch channel, so I gave it a shot. And yes, I really liked the way of your design method with only just stock textures from Doom 2 with Boom level design techniques. Despite of the large size of the level, the majority of combat scenes took place with small places, reminding me Swift Death for some reason. Among the suggestions from other players so far, I agree with DotW's quote "It's the sort of level where the real crux of the endeavor is in learning and experimenting". I can't remember how many times I pressed the quicksave & quickload button throughout the game. And here's my opinion of this level with HMP:

+ I think I don't need to mention about the architectural design. It's always stunning to see this kind of work with just original textures from Doom 2. Nice work!

+ Ammo and health items are placed pretty good with proper quantity on HMP. Although they are not enough for my brief UV playthrough, but I believe UV is definitely not for me.

- About that cyberdemon encounter, inspired by MAP29 of Sunlust I presume. I liked it and I also hated it. It's basically a exam to test player's luck by none other than RNGesus. The player should hope cyberdemon to stay away from the wooden train, circling around the arena pretty fast. If the cyberdemon blocks right in front of the train, the only two options are either chew the rocket or jump out the train. Two things I need to suggest for this encounter: make the damaging floor less harmful from -10% to -5%, or leave some healthpacks around the edge of arena to show some mercy. Alternatively, you may place a small secret area, presenting a radiation shield suit.

- As I mentioned from above, lots of combat took place in small rooms with lethal monster placement, begging for RNGesus to cause some monster infighting or less damage outcome from chaingunner's bullet or projectiles from other monsters. I think it could be better if there were more combat scenes with large area to balance the gameplay experience. Just to be clear that I did not like Swift Death, which the majority of gameplay took place in small rooms with ridiculous monster placements.

Anyway, good job with making this level. :)

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For some reason I feel like making a cheap Chinese knockoff called Tangerine Snapple. *Shrugs*

That aside, excellent map! Gameplay isn't my cup of tea, but I dig the aesthetic and mechanics!

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I'm afraid I got stuck in the dark cubic disco-library segment. Killed an AV, HK and revenant, but uh, couldn't figure out where to go after that.

EDIT: nevermind, just wasn't perceptive enough. Full feedback report on the map soon.

EDIT EDIT: Okay, final thoughts.

Astonishing surreal (and intimidating) visuals and architecture. Truly ridiculous how much mileage you get out of the stock textures. It feels like this world has come direct from a dream or something. Utterly insane map mechanics like all the various light effects and the first cyber fight. I shudder to think how many tags this whole thing needed.

Played on HMP. I didn't care for the gameplay all that much, although there were definitely some genuinely great encounters, monsters were used fiendishly well. The last battle I couldn't finish due to being on 14 health and simply not being able to stunlock the cyber despite numerous attempts.

No bugs that I could see, just a solid damn map.

Hope 2017 delivers many more surreal experiences like this one, they're right up my alley.

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I was thinking about that snake lighting room..

Could you add more puzzle elements to it? Like even more switch crazyness or something? Like strictly a puzzle section with some light fighting?

Maybe more than two switches.. and each switch press spawns in a different enemy eventually ending up with a vile which will most likely rez something because the ground is full of corpses?

Anyways I'll continue thinking. But.. if there will be no changes made I will stop thinking :P.


Edit:
Or maybe.. no puzzle elements at all.. just switches.. each press spawns in some monster.. after pressing them all the way out opens.. but slowly?

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