Gameplay Discussion and Map Design

In C1M1 there is an armor secret in the the room with the imp mob. I had no idea there was a secret here because there was no indication of one. Thanks to a YouTube video, I found this little tidbit out.

fraggle said:

we should be holding [C1M1] up and telling people - this is Freedoom's visual style. Let's make all our levels like this.

This should be considered as another milestone for Freedoom v1.0. Would do it myself if I had a PC/until I get one.

Milestone 1: Limit removing
Milestone 2: Aquatex rextexture
Milestone 3: Vanilla compatible

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Hypothetical milestones 2 and 3 could be combined, though, considering they are a move in the same direction.

A 0.X.Y release, or multiple such releases could be an alternative to a release every year, or every two-three years, with the obvious exception of major changes or the achievement of a milestone.

I know that downloading the bleeding edge version of Freedoom is an option, but not everyone will want to dig through all the release notes/commits all the time.

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Map01 has a secret room with some armor bonuses but there is no indication here either, that there is a secret room here. IIRC, this was intentional, but I don't think that's a good idea. I also think Soda was the one who edited the map be like that.

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Just some comments on some maps before I go to bed, will have screenshots later.

MAP06 - This map is HUGE spike in difficulty. Can we not have jerk chaingunners, revenant snipers, and ammo rationing this early in the WAD? I like the flow of the level, but it's way too hard for a MAP06.

MAP07 - Ugh. Not a fun map. Putting arachnatrons on pillars means you're reliant on auto-aim or just running up in their face and hoping you don't catch them about to fire. Also, the Plasma Rifle is first (I believe) introduced here without any fanfare, and the other weapons are just dumped into the map with tons of ammo.

MAP08 - This map is kind of neat. However, the map has an incredibly odd flow with very little texture variation, and sometimes the signposting on where you're supposed to go next is not obvious - it's a little bit too easy to miss the place where you're supposed to head to next and end up back at the center of the map with no progression and no idea what to do. Also, the constant ceaseless monster noises are annoying, as are the troll doors that don't open with the use key or troll windows that you can't jump out of.

MAP09 - I only got a little bit into this level, but wow, I like the aesthetic and the little bits of hell creeping in of what I've seen so far. Depending on what the rest of the map is like, maybe this would be a better MAP08.

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To me. i don't really see how c3m1 is similar to doom's e3m1.

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JohnnyTheWolf said:

I still cannot believe we are arguing over whether Freedoom is inspired by Doom or not

Me neither. Such conversations aren't constructive. If you find Freedoom resources which are too close to originals or give you "deja vu" then please just file a bug and we can remove them.

Voros said:

Milestone 2: Aquatex rextexture

For the benefit of everyone else, I had some very positive comments about the new C1M1 and its use of the Aquatex textures.

I'd love to see these used more to give Freedoom a more distinctive look and feel. However, I am at the same time wary of using Aquatex as a lazy "magic sprinkling" we just throw over every level. My point was more this: I have for some time wished that Freedoom could have a more distinctive, unified look and feel. C1M1 provides a vision of what that could look like - the monsters, textures and level design complement each other in a way that makes the project for perhaps the first time look like it has a coherent art direction.

Retexturing and more use of Aquatex could help to bring this to more levels, but it needs to be done thoughtfully by someone who understands what they're doing. I suspect that just adding Aquatex and announcing that "milestone 2 is done now" isn't going to cut it. Ideally it should be a single person (or maybe two, working closely together) with a good sense of art direction and aesthetics who does any retexturing to ensure a consistent look.

I'm also skeptical that making this a "milestone" is a good idea. Unlike converting to limit-removing/vanilla, this isn't a technical objective that can be achieved. Rather it's about the project developing an distinctive art style, something that needs to be continually and iteratively improved upon. Crucially there's no real reason that it should block other work on the project.

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Voros said:

New c3m1 is much better.
FDA: https://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1719610
Died two times (the second death was because I was trying to see if I could just rush to the exit asap)


Nice, nice. Watching this through, I was thinking "hmmmm, maybe I could do with a couple more small health packs in the zerk area" but nah, you dealt okay in the end. Besides which, too much aid would really de-fang that last area and I feel the map's a bit front-loaded with difficulty as it is (although you deciding to full-on punch the trilobite, great stuff).

Of note as well; peering through the window of the end structure is something I didn't do whilst testing, and it turns out there's a happy accident going on there with the teleporting imps/serpents. CLEARLY I R GENIUS. :P

Also, my singular "obvious" secret didn't seem that obvious. Happy about that.

The ceiling height should be higher for the parts with the stimpack showns during the two way entrance, as it is bit uncomfortable.


Yeah, I've no idea how I've consistently missed bumping my head on those things. I must be taking an inner track as I rush to the zerk. Changed, will upload a new version. :)

You really should do one for c3m5, then chapter 3 will be complete.


Ooooh, don't tempt me. I'll see. Will get to RC1 of my own project first, if you don't mind waiting, then have a play around. I didn't mind kicking this one out over a couple of hours because it's a shorter map; and after seeing the comments here and playing the older C3M1 for myself I thought "well, someone's gotta do something about that". Totally agree with the "knife fight in a phone booth" commentary. :3

EDIT

re: Aquatex usage. I did think about sprinkling some in whilst making the new C3M1 but they're not really suited for Hell maps. Bases, sure. Not so much Hell.

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This is just my opinion, but how about using Sinister Intention's map02/map01 in the map06 slot, and moving the current map06 to slot 18?

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Sounds like a plan, although it may make more sense stylistically to move MAP06 to MAP16 and move MAP16 and 17 one slot up, with MAP06 containing considerably more tech than the surrounding ones of MAP18.

It'd also move MAP16 out of the 'Suburbs' slot. Although there is no visual reference to the original, I can't shake off the feeling that the name was taken as inspiration for making the map.

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^ then slot06 will remain empty. What will go there? Then there's the empty slot26 still needs filling in.

Other than that, sounds like a good start.

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Voros said:

This is just my opinion, but how about using Sinister Intention's map02/map01 in the map06 slot, and moving the current map06 to slot 18?


Both will require some detail to be chopped/changed to meet vanilla standards and I'm willing to do it. Same with the other Sinister Intention map you used (MAP26 IIRC?).

Incidentally, would you like me to strip the Plutonia-esque exit/entrance pads of all my maps (save for C3M1, created specially for this project) and do more conventional switch/teleporter exits?

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Voros said:

^ then slot06 will remain empty. What will go there? Then there's the empty slot26 still needs filling in.


Looking at Sinister Intention, how about MAP05? Or maybe a bit of shuffling, moving MAP22 to MAP26 and putting SI's MAP05 in the MAP22 slot?

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Graf Zahl said:

Looking at Sinister Intention, how about MAP05?


Again, I know this HOMs in vanilla. Can work on that and switch out those Plutonia exit/start pads -- y'all let me know if I should be doing this (because if someone else wants to, that I am also fine with).

Also, ugh, I should a fucking chaingun somewhere in here. My no-chaingun approach to Sinister Intention hurt this map the most for pistol-starts.

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Let's keep the plan simple: move map06 to slot18, use NC's map04 as the new map06.

And I must say that the current map06 looks nice with city sky in the background.

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I am currently testing Freedoom Phase 2 MAP11 (Extreme Carnage, pistol starting and no saves) and I find the ammo somewhat scarce. There are too many Pain Lords and Pain Bringers in the path to get that yellow card, and that new crusher can be exploited just to kill the first Pain Bringers which teleport into that zone.

Maybe, a berserk pack obtainable after getting the yellow key could be useful to enhance the balance, so that a player can recover from damage and save some ammo by punching some monsters.

Possible spoiler regarding secrets of MAP06:

Spoiler

Another question: is that overdrive sphere from the very end of MAP06 reachable without no clipping? I have not guessed yet how to open that secret.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9NdAao9y_4

I just watched this video. I think many principles can apply to Freedoom, and all maps really.

Freedoom should be and has been harder than id's iwads. When doom was released many people have never played an fps. Modern fps players can jump into a new game and not need to learn the basic skills, or general strategies. So Freedoom as a modern iwad should be harder. Skill 4 should challenge decent doom players.

Where we can really boost skill for the most hardcore players is in the secrets and items. Some secrets can be more than just a closet with an item. It can be a new area, with hard monsters guarding a nice weapon or powerup. Maybe just a few health or armor bonuses tossed in for players looking for 100% on the intermission screen.

C4M2 and C2M3 are great examples. All other maps with secret exits in fd1 and fd2 just require finding the hidden switch and secret exit opens. C4M2 and C2M3 require lengthy battles to reach the secret exit. C2M3 shouldnt have a secret exit, it has been retagged, but it expands the map for explorers.

I think we should have lengthy secrets with items that count towards percentage. Players that really want 100% on maps will have to fight for it. While players just trying to find the exit can avoid those areas. These/some secrets do not need to be hard to find, just challenging to collect items in and finish off monsters.

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Chocolate Doom crashes when the player is looking in this direction around this area of map09.

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Yes, I can confirm, “Error: R_DrawPlanes: visplane overflow (129)”. One possible fix would be to remove these two sky holes, without sacrificing that zone corrupted by hell. If this is OK, I will prepare a wad with the three fixes.

This is Chocolate Doom, screenshots are scaled (without interpolation, of course) from 320x200 to 640x480 in order to correct aspect ratio and make them more visible.

Spoiler








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Yes, just removing these two lamps is a more sensible choice. It is under 128 currently, the maximum of visplanes I have ever seen is 81, according to the IDRATE code of PrBoom-Plus (software renderer).

One question: I have noticed certain maps feature visplane overflows only when the player enters IDCLIP / IDSPISPOPD and goes to the void. Is this a problem or issue which should be fixed? I don't think so, just asking.

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I don't think trying to fix stuff that happens outside normal gameplay is a sensible goal.

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Blocking closed or timed secret areas initially I thought should be removed. As long as blocked area has no items, monsters, or secrets that count towards intermission percentages, then it they seem reasonable. So weapons, health packs, armor, and ammo would work in blocking areas that are also not labelled secret.

Could even put carefully placed monsters in the area, just make sure player can somehow kill them. Once area is blocked, maybe activate a crusher later in map to kill monster, or have a view-able window.

Also permanent blocking areas should not taunt player with visible items.

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What about enemies in unreachable zones which release weapons / ammo when killed? I find somewhat bothering to kill them just to find that I cannot take that ammo. The outdoor zone of C1M2 is an example. That unreachable zone of C2M1 (I assume this zone is actually for multiplayer), as well.

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Litrivin said:

One question: I have noticed certain maps feature visplane overflows only when the player enters IDCLIP / IDSPISPOPD and goes to the void. Is this a problem or issue which should be fixed? I don't think so, just asking.

Totally unnecessary to fix. You can even make Doom II and Final Doom VPO by doing IDCLIP and going out of bounds.

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C2M6's exit can easily be accessed by walking around the teleporter here, as demostrated by the crude gif here.

This crusher in c3m4 is fucking cruel.

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Voros said:

This crusher in c3m4 is fucking cruel.


when i was kid i had nightmares whit it too, just for refence :P

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MAP32, shotgunners at start face away. Fix secret tags. Teleport in lava pit, can teleport archvile. Block sound line in outside lava area, spreading swarms.

Lots of coop ammo.

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Permanent blocking secrets can be used, if there is a reasonable way to open them later. Will do this to c2m3.

MAP05: Allow jumping through window at start. Make exit door yellow. Jumpers can grab red key quick, but still need to get yellow. Cannot get yellow without blue, so entire map is still played.

C3M6: Cyberdemon on all skill levels. Skill 3 has a plasma gun and invuln sphere visible and in back of the cyberdemon room. Skill 2 has a BFG and invuln sphere in middle of cyberdemon room, between pillars.

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Skill level balancing can be more dynamic.

Skill 2: should maintain 'feel' of map theme and gameplay, just as easy as possible. Instead of removing or downgrading an enemy, add a bigger weapon and more powerups. Swap item or weapon locations, so player can use bigger weapons sooner.

Will post more later.


Maps should be able to backtrack from exit to get 100%. Maps can be made to not allow backtracking, just make sure items in blocked area do not count towards intermission percentage.

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