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Benjogami

Emergent - 4 maps - on idgames

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I had a lot of fun with my DMP16 map, so made a few more like it (the DMP map lives in the MAP03 slot, with some subtle enhancements).

Emergent is 4 small Boom maps, designed for pistol starts. They're meant to be played without saving, on a difficulty setting that will kill you quite a few times before you get an exit. Enemies are shuffled early in the maps, and will spawn in unpredictably, which (hopefully) will make your repeated attempts fun. ;) Or you can save and get a more predictable experience. Whatever floats your boat, I suppose!

All midis are from Thexder.

there's also a MAP31 but nevermind it

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Spectre01 said:

Serious question: How much platforming is there?


There are 4 short sections of required, dangerous platforming. 2 of them have inescapable falls. 1.5 of them aren't shown in the screenshots, so you can see approximately 63% of the required platforming. ;) That's not including generally awkward but not outright dangerous traversal, of which the start of MAP03 is full of.

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Played map01. Cool idea. I replayed the start for a couple-minute stints after my first exit, and it feels like many of the possible combinations aren't really conducive to fun in any way. Like, god forbid you start off with a ton of hell nobles blocking off the first switch + SSG, or a distant PE warps in from somewhere, or the vile ends up being either on a really high turret or guarding the exit area (prior to you going over there). I feel like some randomization around a set core would be stronger.

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The maps look good from the screenshots but...

Benjogami said:

2 of them have inescapable falls

No offense here, but that is one mapping pet peeve I have. Inescapable pits are annoying as hell, which usually end up in me either a) rage quitting if it's an instant kill pit or b) noclipping out.

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If you don't like inescapable pits, you don't have to play the maps, but it's wrong to argue that they are objectively bad or something.

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Sorry Benjo, fell into an inescapable pit at the start of map01 and ragequit. :(

Played the first 3 maps with out of combat saves. I'm sure the maps are more fun to play saveless when you know where all the weapons/armour pickups are to grab at the start. I'll echo what rdwpa said where some of the randomization makes for spikes in difficulty. i.e. Getting a Vile spawn on the ground at the start of map02 vs behind the red door or as a turret. Also, you can AV-jump here on map03 and camp/snipe a large portion of the room (or all of it with mouselook). I was also missing 2 enemies at the end and for some reason they were back in the left teleporter area that I took first. I guess the Cacos/Souls can warp out of the right side and then end up there.

Edit: Played all of them now. Ended up nuking a single exit Manc in map04 with the BFG. Doesn't seem worth the risk to grab it earlier as there aren't that many enemies anyway. I have no idea how the switch progression is supposed to work in map31 so I haven't finished that one.

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I'm just genuinely curious how anyone can support a map design in which it's possible to get permanently stuck and die somewhere (if you don't save, obviously). I don't understand how that's good map design.

It's one thing to do it in a side scroller where you restart the level and lose a life, but in a full 3D shooter it's not the same thing.

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Some people just like punishing platforming with an element of instant failure. I don't, but if someone wants that in their map then I see no issue.

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Nevander said:

I don't understand how that's good map design.

The point is that they're neither objectively bad nor objectively good. Their challenge can be annoying or fun depending on the scenario and on the person playing. Also, if their presence is well communicated to the player before he falls into them, their appeal may (or may not) increase.

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Nice, just finished Map01 and i like the idea of the randomized enemy placement though i had a few very unfortunate combinations with rather tedious PE/Vile positions. Hence i kinda agree with rdwpa. I'm also not a huge fan of the berserk placement. Gonna take a look at the other maps later.

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Thanks guys.

@rdwpa and tourniquet, I hear ya about the randomness. I kinda like the "anything can happen" aspect, even if some of the things are annoying. That said, in MAP01 the PE is usually out immediately, and is usually the first thing you need to deal with (whether it's far away and annoying or less far and less annoying), so I might just replace it with something else. I'll also see if I can find a better place for that berserk ;)

@Spectre01, ah yes, I forgot to add block lines around the TPs on MAP03. I'll definitely add those. The main pit in MAP01 is escapable. If you meant the pits in the very first room... well... sorry about that ;) The MAP04 BFG is meant to be a risk/reward enticement to rush to it and then have an easier/faster time cleaning up, but it might not work quite like I hoped. Maybe if I add a lot more cells up there? :D

In general, regarding inescapable pits, I understand why they might be annoying, but I like them. Especially in short maps that are supposed to be dangerous, like these ones, I don't think it's particularly harsh to immediately kill the player for not executing some movement correctly. It's not much different than taking a cyber rocket to the face, or whatever else might instantly kill you. Platforming is also uniquely RNG-free and completely in the player's control, so it couldn't be more fair :D Unless the player is forced to do it while under fire or when blocked by enemies, but in these maps you have the choice to clear stuff out first. And that's another reason I like platforming! In some cases, it can be used as sort of a soft lock-in, where there's a risk/reward to try it before monsters are cleaned up.

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Benjogami said:

In general, regarding inescapable pits, I understand why they might be annoying, but I like them. Especially in short maps that are supposed to be dangerous, like these ones, I don't think it's particularly harsh to immediately kill the player for not executing some movement correctly.


Haven't played the maps yet, so I'm not sure which method you used, but I think if you're going to have this kind of punishment, it's important to auto-kill the player rather than making them wait on a damaging sector to die or manually restart the level. As far as I know, this can be done at any compatibility level using teleports and voodoo dolls, right? (Edit: actually, I can see how that wouldn't be possible for a platforming section. Personally, I still think it's preferable to let the player get out but punish them with the most damaging liquid possible rather than make the pit inescapable. Oh well!)

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Just played trough map01 and died a few steps away from exit on map02.

Designwise it looks pretty damn nice.
What I dont cant really get the hang of is the random factor like some of my pre-posters said.
If maps are more on the challenging side it can get pretty annoying to not be able to learn a specific strategy on how to approach things, but thats just my 2 cents, you said you're aware of that so I think its a matter of taste.

But as I said, the design is very nice IMO and I enjoeyed the choice of music.

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Nevander said:

I'm just genuinely curious how anyone can support a map design in which it's possible to get permanently stuck and die somewhere (if you don't save, obviously). I don't understand how that's good map design.



Don't fall in. It forces the player to move carefully and plan his route, or lure combat into safer areas. It's a great way of using the player's biggest advantage against him. Without saving they can be troublesome but I have no problem at all with inescapable pits. Many of my own maps feature them.

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Beating those without saves takes more time than i expected but yeah finally finished Map02. Overall i liked this one a lot, going for the red door seemed slightly easier than picking the blue one. The one true run-killer for me was the Vile which warps in after entering either the BK or RK door. Unless you take him down quickly you'll have to waste a lot of ammo for the resurrected mobs and in my case i ran dry a couple of times.

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Thanks again guys! Link for RC2 is in the OP.

Changelist:

- Changed title/inter/menu graphics

MAP01
- removed PE, changed 2 HKs to revs
- moved berserk, added more rockets to slime
- aligned some textures

MAP02
- tried to prevent monsters getting stuck in closets
- changed items on blue side around to make blue-first more viable
- added skill settings to start fight

MAP03
- tried to prevent monsters getting stuck in closets
- added block lines around TPs
- added skill settings to start fight

MAP04:
- fixed a line skip
- added skill settings to start fight

MAP31
- added a couple megaspheres
- added some more ammo
- fixed broken lift

tourniquet said:

[...] going for the red door seemed slightly easier than picking the blue one. The one true run-killer for me was the Vile which warps in after entering either the BK or RK door.


Yeah, I felt the same. I moved the plasma up to try to make blue-first better, but I think a big factor that makes red-first easier is that the potential AVs that spawn outside when you enter will often group up with the rest of the monsters on the wall outside and not res stuff, whereas the blue AVs seem to always run right into the building and undo all your work. :D

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Alright, a few small changes for RC3. Feeling like this might be final RC, but still open to all feedback.

- Improved M_DOOM gfx
- MAP02: fixed a couple missing/wrong textures
- MAP31: moved a megasphere

Link is in OP.

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I thought I was done but I couldn't help "testing" some more and then messing with stuff. Link for RC4 is in the OP.

ALL MAPS
- Tweaked difficulty settings

MAP02
- Added a hall and 40 cells to blue side
- Lowered switches

MAP03
- Improved start fight
- Reworked a bunch of the TP destinations to prevent turret guys from having lots of replacements, and so that fatty/cage populations would be more various

MAP04
- Tried to improve cyber mobility

MAP31
- Added another megasphere and some more ammo
- Improved lighting (lol)
- Marked a sector secret

EDIT: I'm dumb. Ever since RC1 there's a real dumb monster chamber on MAP3 that leaks monsters, which isn't a huge deal but probably impacts spawn variety. I'm gonna sit on that fix for a bit in case there are any other changes that strike my fancy. Long story short: there will be an RC5 eventually, but it might just be for one fix.

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So far I UV-maxed the map01, but I feel like I got pretty lucky with arch-vile placement.
I really like the concept, personally. Of course some monsters are bit problematic ( ex. viles - worst place for them is on the blue key platform ).
Didn't finish the map02 yet, didn't get too far into it. Just getting key and incinerated by arch-vile.

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Grats on the release Benjo. I enjoyed Map03 and Map04 the most. Map31 is hilarious.

This is a really cool idea though. I think implementing this sort of thing into individual encounters in maps would make runs really interesting!

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