Gameplay Discussion and Map Design

Now all maps are vanilla compatible or limit removing, we can focus how well they play. Many posts on the forums or irc have discussed maps that need adjustments. I think it would be great to fine tune pretty much any map. Maybe even some classic freedoom maps need a big adjustment.

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First post! MAP04 lift secret needs to go. I spent a little while trying to get there, and just assumed it was already removed. Noone would look for that or accidentally find it.

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C3M1's shotgun pickup. I mentioned this in the other thread, which I'm sure you saw.

Map02's cryptic key card door/switches, darkness, etc. AlexMax explained it better. Map should be shortened a bit too. The progression from map01 to map02 feels like Doom 2's progression: boring. Whenever i get to Doom 2's map02, my mind becomes bored as fuck because of that map. Not to mention it's basically Doom 2's map02 also.

Map03's automap pickup near the end of the map. Frankly, I don't feel like like looking at the automap upon picking it up, just because the exit is right there.

Map07's design. It depends on luck mostly, which is a bad thing. The lack of space makes it terribly not fun to play. But I like the fast paced gameplay, the design of the map needs more work/progression. It's nice have a map that becomes a stress relief once in a while eg map17.

Map11 is a clone of Doom 2's counterpart, but I'm not if Protox made anymore progress with his renovation.

Map12's cryptic design. Add some labels over doors/switches, then we'll see how cryptic it becomes. In fact all Zok maps (map15, 28, c1m5, c2m5) have this design.

Map25's difficulty as I mentioned before, needs to be toned down more. It's overkill.

Map26 is a clone of Doom 2's counterpart also.

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Voros said:

Map11 is a clone of Doom 2's counterpart, but I'm not if Protox made anymore progress with his renovation.


I gave my last edit in map11 to amanrade he is finishing the map for me, but i'm not sure when he is going to finish it.

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Map09's baron/hk fight should be mandatory. This presents a good challenge at the right time. And a few misalignments here and there.

Map18's rails near the red skull key (or was it yellow)? While I like how clever this section is, with the Revenant opening the door again, the rails look like a mess here. How about adding some vertical posts along the way like if it's a fence, and making the water into lava, so players won't be tempted to try to jump in? The exit of this map also should be changed to some other location.

Overall, it seems the maps in episode 3 of Phase 2 need the most work really.

As a sidenote, it seems that C6TEXT (before map32 story screen) isn't being displayed in PrBoom+ anymore. Not sure why.

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I registered just to comment on this.

On Map02, you can defeat the map in less than 15 seconds on any port that allows jumping. (Tested on most recent version of freedom as of this post.)

All you have to do is turn left, jump on that first barrier, then jump up to the walkway where the exit is. Then you just shoot or walk around the worm, and then you can click the exit skull.

I'd recommend either putting up a wall around that final walkway (to prevent jumping up there), or make the exit door require at least a yellow key or all three.

edit: Jumping is turned on by default in some ports. Disregard my post if you want.

edit2: I think the new vanilla/limit-removing direction is great, and I like the new maps. Some of the old maps were a little too big and/or confusing to be "fun". Also, some of the textures seem to be of a little better quality than they used to be. I like a lot of these maps more than the original Doom 2/1 maps, although Shareware Doom will always have a special place in my heart.

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Some people don't think vanilla/limit-removing mappers should care how people who leave jumping turned on ruin their own fun.

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Jumping in some areas will be accounted for later. Was thinking of replacing exit door with two colored bars. Bars would be of different color than the easily jumpable key, so 80% of map is still required to be played.

EDIT> Actually you need red and blue keys to get yellow, making exit door itself yellow forces entire map to be played.

grommile said:

Some people don't think vanilla/limit-removing mappers should care how people who leave jumping turned on ruin their own fun.


Jumping is an important part in some ports. I have carefully adjusted a few parts to prevent jumping, but have not tested many areas in a jumping port.

MAP08 has bars in front of exit doors, in old versions of Freedoom you could crouch under them. Very tiny adjustments that are unnoticeable or just work well with map can prevent too much port abuse.

MAP10 has a dead easy blue key grab, but players are still forced to play most areas. Then there is the yellow key long jump in same map. I think will probably make map actually harder, since player can then play through areas in reverse order. Nothing entirely map breaking(I think), so acceptable. We can allow jumpers explore but can limit them if they should be forced into a fight.

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It's apparently intentional, but on C2M3 you can walk back into the portal at the start of the map, and all it does is put you in a pitch black room that saps away your life.

I just thought it was a little weird.

Edit: Sorry... I didn't mean to be rude about it. It just caught me off guard when it happened (I didn't know what was happening, and thought maybe I was being attacked like at the end of the original E1M8).

And Map15 is, I'm afraid to say, a little confusing. I finally figured it out, but I had absolutely no idea what most of those switches did, and there are a lot of switches. I think I found the yellow key room on accident. I also thought I was supposed to find something (like the yellow key) in that maze room, so I spent way too much time there. I still have no idea how I unlocked the yellow key room. I also jumped into the pit with the red key, and there was no way to get back up (found the switch to raise it all up, but missed it the first time; thankfully I had saved the game prior to diving in).

Map16 has an interesting exit. After stepping on the switch, there is something like a 2-3 second delay before the map ends. A cool idea, I have to admit, but I didn't know what was going on until I replayed the end of the map and looked down. Not sure if it serves any particular purpose, though.

Catoptromancy said:

Jumping is an important part in some ports.


Some custom maps (PWADs) for certain ports actually require jumping, too.

And since not all maps are megawads, sometimes you'll go back to playing the IWAD's maps when you finish the custom map.

Thanks for being willing to make a few edits regarding jumping. Besides, I'm not really promoting jumping by pointing these things out. I'm actually trying to make it more difficult for jumpers.

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Four Loko Is Gross said:

It's apparently intentional, but on C2M3 you can walk back into the portal at the start of the map, and all it does is put you in a pitch black room that saps away your life.

I just thought it was a little weird.

well its was intentinal, looks like people dont like this back portal feature, better i remove it :\ (i mean the damage room)

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Upon stepping on the platform on map16, look outside at the city and watch it explode for 2-3 seconds. That's what the switch does.

Also, thank you for your opinion on map15! This is exactly the case I'm talking about Zok maps (Zok made map15 btw, along with others). They are too cryptic in nature. Take a look at how I felt on my first play through of map15:

Voros said:

Here's a brief story on my recent map 15 playthrough:

Spoiler

I started out and pressed whatever switch I found. Now after two minutes of wandering around, I realized that maybe that door I saw earlier might have opened. What do you know, it has.

So I go in through door, and there are more doors everywhere. Entering through one that's open, I see a red door labelled "Exit" and a room with a switch that can only be activated with a yellow key (this room is locked).

OK, so I know there is a red key and yellow key involved.

Now I keep advancing through whatever doors I find and whatever switches I find also. I keep wandering around the map for 3 minutes at least, until I find the blue key.

Great, so there's a blue door now?

So I keep on going through map like a mad man, flicking switches and opening doors, searching for the blue door. And more wandering around, I see that I somehow had opened the room with the yellow key switch.

But I don't have a yellow key!

So I keep moving around the map, this time looking for the yellow key. And what happens? I find the blue door.

So I go through it and the rooms inside and find a switch. I flick it. OK, now what did that do?

And AGAIN I'm aimlessly wandering around the map until I'm back in the room with many doors. One of the doors has mysteriously opened.

At least give a fucking clue on what that switch did. Like a label or something.

And what lies in it? The yellow key. So I grab it and then realized something: I forgot where the room with the yellow key switch is. I literally forgot.

And AGAIN I'm wandering again, until I'M found it. I pressed the switch and went in the door that opened. Followed my instincts and went through the rooms there and the red key appears.

Yay.

So I grab it and run back out and head back to the door with the exit. And finished.

Did I enjoy it? NO. dragging on and on with switches and switches.

Were the puzzles satisfying? Fuck no.

Was it all worth it? It took me a fucking 20 minutes to finish it. And half of that was aimless wandering.



No wait. Thank you for being here. Freedoom needed more outside opinions from playtesters (if you play, you test anyway).

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I need to massively edit all of Zoks maps. I try to make sure switch hunts are minimal. On MAP15, can put a large window so yellow key is plainly visible. Then switch that opens door is labelled yellow.

Feedback on all maps is goods from everyone is good.

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Catoptromancy said:

I need to massively edit all of Zoks maps. I try to make sure switch hunts are minimal. On MAP15, can put a large window so yellow key is plainly visible. Then switch that opens door is labelled yellow.

Feedback on all maps is goods from everyone is good.


It may not always be pleasant to receive constructive criticism, but I think this project can benefit from it.

I don't like being the bearer of bad news, but previously, a lot of other playtesters have been critical of the maps (for 0.10.1 and prior). If the maps for the next release are significantly improved (and a lot of them have seen significant improvement), more people may feel inclined to contribute artwork and maybe more maps. If it's "fun" as opposed to a "proof of concept" project (and it has already proven that it can work as a functional IWAD replacement), it will attract more people.

I would love it if Freedooms 1/2 were eventually viewed as worthy IWADs to be played in their own right, kinda like Ultimate Doom and Doom 2. I mean, I have a shitload of respect for the original gangstas of the Doom universe, but I also like what Freedoom is.

I think I stopped playing at level 18 last night... gonna get back to playtesting. Sorry about going off-topic.

edit: I like the text message before the start of Map21. It feels strangely Doom Comic-like. I don't mean that in a bad way. I also like Brutal Doom (although I'm not using it when playing through these maps, because it significantly alters gameplay to the point where it can be difficult to understand what the original intent was).

edit2: Is there a way to beat Map21 without jumping into the exit? I can't seem to activate anything that would allow me to teleport to where that pillar with the red skulls is. Nevermind. I figured it out. I'm probably just really tired.

edit3: No real complaints from me about the rest of the maps in Phase 2. They are beatable. Map30 is pretty cool. I hated the original Map30 in Doom 2. Haven't tried any of the secret maps, or about half of Phase 1, though. I'm probably not unique in focusing on Phase 2 for playtesting; even Doom 2 feels like more of a "complete" game than Ultimate Doom.

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Four Loko Is Gross said:

edit: I like the text message before the start of Map21. It feels strangely Doom Comic-like. I don't mean that in a bad way. I also like Brutal Doom (although I'm not using it when playing through these maps, because it significantly alters gameplay to the point where it can be difficult to understand what the original intent was).

edit3: No real complaints from me about the rest of the maps in Phase 2. They are beatable. Map30 is pretty cool. I hated the original Map30 in Doom 2. Haven't tried any of the secret maps, or about half of Phase 1, though. I'm probably not unique in focusing on Phase 2 for playtesting; even Doom 2 feels like more of a "complete" game than Ultimate Doom.

1. Hey I wrote that one :D actually I wrote (edited Phase 2's) most of the intermission messages. I couldn't think of anything worthwhile to write in it, so I just put those strange lines. You can change it yourself if you don't like it or not. Or maybe it's fitting for the last set maps in Phase 2, like saying to the player "shits about to hit the fan and you're gonna go with it." Hell, right after that message, you are greeted with badass music, so I think it's working.

3. Map30 is literally the same as Doom 2's map30. Not sure what makes Freedoom's map30 different.

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C1M3 is essentially a remake of E1M3. Anyone that has played Doom can see the similarity. The zig zag bridge is easily a homage to E1M3's version. Not to mention the starting area also.

The concept of E1M3 is there. The initial starting box room, the room outside which is basically a remake of E1M3's area, etc. Maybe some changes like changing the acid to say water, lava, etc, switching the keycards for several doors, etc. might help.

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Voros said:

1. Hey I wrote that one :D actually I wrote (edited Phase 2's) most of the intermission messages. I couldn't think of anything worthwhile to write in it, so I just put those strange lines. You can change it yourself if you don't like it or not. Or maybe it's fitting for the last set maps in Phase 2, like saying to the player "shits about to hit the fan and you're gonna go with it." Hell, right after that message, you are greeted with badass music, so I think it's working.


Eh, my ideas would probably get rejected outright.

My stuff would probably go along the lines of "After escaping from the mental institution, you feel a strange desire growing within you. A desire to rip and tear! Rip and tear!"

3. Map30 is literally the same as Doom 2's map30. Not sure what makes Freedoom's map30 different.


I think I had a few too many beers by the time I got to map30. At the very least, it looks better than the original map30. A lot of wads have different possible ideas on how to use an icon of sin as a final boss... and some don't even use the ios.

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Four Loko Is Gross said:

My stuff would probably go along the lines of "After escaping from the mental institution, you feel a strange desire growing within you. A desire to rip and tear! Rip and tear!"

TBQH, I loled at this. I still am. That's a good thing! If Freedoom wasn't so serious, I would have gone with that. Seriously, making players laugh is a good thing.

Four Loko Is Gross said:

I think the "Nazi" calls you "Upham", like the cowardly character in Saving Private Ryan.

The nazi/"drunken sailor" needs to be replaced badly. May I suggest that maybe, just maybe, when raymoohawk finishes whatever chaingunner sprite he made and is replaced, the one currently used as a chaingun zombie be used for that enemy.

I think it would be a nice twist, adding a enemy that looks just like the player.

================

C1M5 to C1M7 should be drastically simplified. They tend to take a long a time to finish (I finished Zok's C1M5 in 15 minutes in godmode, so it's safe to assume it would've taken me 25 minutes to finish that map. No pointless wandering here btw) and the fights can drag on a bit too long. In fact, the key quests should be smaller.

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Voros said:

TBQH, I loled at this. I still am. That's a good thing! If Freedoom wasn't so serious, I would have gone with that. Seriously, making players laugh is a good thing


I'm not entirely sure what the plot of Freedoom (Phase 1 or 2) is really supposed to be about, aside from wandering around and killing monsters. The original Dooms suffered a little bit from this as well. I think Doom 3 explained things a little better, and Doom 4 had a significantly different take on the whole thing.

And there was even one part of Doom where they said you went on a rampage in hell because they killed your pet bunny. Officially, Doomguy is a little crazy.

A slight homage to the comic book in Freedoom probably wouldn't hurt all that much. Worst case scenario, Sergeant Mark IV decides to include it in his BD Starter Pack (it's a matter of opinion as to how "bad" it is for Freedoom to be packaged with one of the more popular mods; I also strongly suspect that a good number of his maps in that megawad started life as Freedoom maps).

edit: For true ridiculousness, Freedoom could include an extremely vague reference to impse (which would almost certainly not be noticed by a lot of end users). "Exhausted, you decide to use a berserk pack. It could be your imagination, but did that serpentipede just wink at you? Why can't we find a way to safely dispose of radioactive waste and protect the environment? Even if I personally stop this alien invasion. What kind of planet will we be leaving to our children? And our children's children. And..."

edit2: I'm not really finding much else to criticize, that hasn't already been mentioned. I'll probably start complaining again (maybe) when the next set of updated maps are uploaded to GitHub. In the meantime, I'll be playing Phase 1 and 2 with Death Foretold!

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Voros said:

Map06's difficulty/monster encounters should be toned down if is to stay in a slot as early as map06.

@ Four Loko, take a look at this thread: https://www.doomworld.com/vb/freedoom/90300-freedoom-story/ and a poll here https://www.doomworld.com/vb/everything-else/91045-freedoom-story-proposals/


Three questions:

Is it possible to add an intermission screen that pops up before map01, to explain things? Not so sure if a similar thing would be beneficial in Phase 1, since the chapters are so short that an extended plot would really only make sense in Phase 2.

Is it too late to suggest a story proposal? I'll put some actual thought into it, I promise. I majored in philosophy, so I can probably come up with at least one or two halfway decent ideas. And before you ask, my current career has absolutely nothing to do with my degree. I got it for shits and giggles, mostly.

Exactly how kid friendly does the plot have to be? I'm not asking to flood the intermission screens with curse words and BDSM fanfic garbage, but can it reference certain ugly things, like PTSD? No offense intended, but I would probably have an incredibly negative long term reaction to being in combat with the kinds of monsters that are in Freedoom. Doom itself is a fuzzy gray area since it looks like a lot of those monsters could have mutated from humans, but it still would suck.

edit: Idea suggested! Some areas were left wildly ambiguous, to allow for the possibility of future changes in many aspects to Freedoom.

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1. No not really. Possible in advanced ports like ZDoom eg MAP00 will the story screen thing, once it finishes, map will exit to the next map: MAP01.

2. It's never too late.

3. Who am I to judge? Just don't be too nasty.

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Double post.

Map06 should have a some kind of blue key indicator, one that is actually noticeable. The original indicator a bit too subtle to actually notice.

In fact, it feels like map06 clashes badly with the rest of initial maps of Phase 2, with what the difficulty spike.

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<cc_> I don't like that new feature in e1m2 to allow the monster to shoot through that one-way glass where you don't see them
<cc_> if you're playing for the first time you don't even know they're there

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Putting inps on UV and hitscanners on HMP and lower difficulties in the starting area is cruel. C2m5 shows this in the starting area, where on HMP, shotgunners charge at you, while on UV, imps charge at you. Imps use projectiles, so they're easy enough to avoid, but hitscanners are guaranteed to hit you unless you find cover (and there isn't any here in c2m5). There are a few more maps like this.

Put imps on HMP, shotgunners on UV for starting areas.

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DM03 slow plasma lift should go. I dont like randomness in DM games. Bonus points if plasma was on a MAP01 style pillar, with 2 lifts on each side of it... sort of MAP01 style. Vanilla players can plasma bump or use lift, while NS players can just jump up there. 2 lifts on side of round area can hide campers, or campbait.

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my reworked version of dm03 make plasma to work in same way in both ports (but the new bfg area need a touch up)

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I noticed map11 got into the repo. Is that the finished version? Frankly, parts of the map still resemble Doom 2's map11 too much.

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Voros said:

I noticed map11 got into the repo. Is that the finished version? Frankly, parts of the map still resemble Doom 2's map11 too much.



BTW, does anybody know if Kaiser made this map before or after releasing DSV4, as it is cut together from various parts of that mod?

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