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Steve D

Amiga Demo Party #2 -- Heartbeat

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REQUIRES cc4-tex.wad
Plays on Map22

Download here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/rnqk33wce7y428h/OD22E.wad

Edit: Difficulty settings are implemented, so if you feel tempted to ragequit, try HNTR before going to HMP.

It's hard to believe that the last official Amiga Demo Party map appeared in 2014. Holy crap, 3 years ago. :D

As with previous maps in the ADP style, it's meant to be a stressful, fast-paced blast of non-stop violence. All-out war from beginning to end, but meant to be completed in 15 minutes or less by skilled players. I take longer since I'm not a skilled player. ;D

Unlike previous ADP maps, it doesn't start with you pressing a switch and then facing an immediate 360-degree attack. This time, you can actually size up the initial situation and think about how you'd like to attack it.

This map was initially developed for 50 Shades of Graytall, but I sucked really bad at using that theme, a likely reason why it was rejected. I like the gameplay, though, so I decided to re-texture it and added a new outdoors area. I retained some of the Graytall, Doortrak and Fireblue elements that I think actually worked in the shitstorm of ugliness that was the original map. They'll be very obvious. ;)

Another break with tradition is that this map contains a PC MOD instead of an Amiga one. It's "Heartbeat," by Gaston. It was saved in a weird format playable on Amiga apps like Eagleplayer and Hippo Player, and at first didn't work at all in Doom ports. Luckily, plums was able to convert it to a proper XM format. Thanks, plums!

A few screens;













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Ooooh... new ADP, based on that Graytall prototype map! Gonna have to play this when I get home!

(I hope you made that final trap two-pronged this time!)

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This one might be a bit easy for you, given your skill level. Gameplay is the same as before in the original Graytall part, except for the old exit area, so the start room and the Rocket Launcher Room are, for me, the nastiest parts. The BFG Room is hazardous if you make a mistake with the heavies. The new outdoor area is sort of a breather, and players at my skill level should have no real problem, so for you it will just be a bit of a workout.

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FDA and a quick unplanned max since I left too much stuff behind in the FDA.

Cool map Steve. Everything up until the outside area is as promised, however from that point on it felt a bit lackluster in comparison. The Arachs do a decent job of keeping the player on the move but there's so much open space that evading the projectiles is rather easy. Clearing the ledges felt more like a clean-up job than a challenge to be honest. I dunno, maybe a Cyber on the ledge near the end instead of Arachs would've worked? Or maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment. Also where's the grand finale??? Music seemed quite loud, it drowned out the sound of the last lift for me in the FDA for example so I was a little confused there for a bit.

Flow on the first half of the map is great on the other hand. There's a ton of supplies but it allows for reckless playing and makes maxing really fun. Cyber trio area is awkward in a good way and I definitely approve of the PEs there causing distraction. Ammo balance seemed spot on as well, there's enough cells to do most of the dirty work if you play it right but not so much that it gets spammy.

tldr the outside areas could've used some more bite imo, otherwise great fun!

Edit: Heh, looks like Vorpal's view on the first half of the map is the complete opposite of mine. A matter of opinion I guess! Also the Rev swarm did seems a tad dickish at first but I didn't have much trouble escaping reliably when I did the max so ehh.

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If you're still working on it, some things I would change:

1) the entire first two sections of the map are pointless for the player to play, because even if partially/fully cleared out, there's still at >75% chance of not being able to squeeze through the first revenant teleport spam. So the only sane thing to do at the start is to beeline for the megasphere and if you win the lottery on the "squeeze" then you can think about combat and progressing.

2) progression is punished at all times, encouraging the player to tiptoe and resort to cheese tactics / door+corner camping. I guess its accepted slaughter style that everything useful (weapons, powerups, seemingly defenseable positions) is met with an immediate trap/arena battle, but I think the map would benefit greatly if the encounters happened independently of the player obtaining goodies, generally. For example, "trickle in" teleporters instead of "everything all at once" teleporters, or have various groups of enemies on timers in monster-closets triggered as soon as the player moves from spawn, or "I consent to this at this time" switches the player presses.

3) the presence of cacodemons in the fireblu bfg room is problematic, the heights involved with the reduced visibility from the fireblu platforms results in a lot of body-blocking by a caco you can't see. Removing 2-3 of the superfluous platforms and re-organizing the remaining ones a bit for added visibility will eliminate the problem I suspect. While the reduced body-blocking will make the encounter arbitrarily easier, it will also increase cyberdemon mobility making the encounter harder (there's a lot of areas where cybs get stuck and useless, there).

4) excessive enemy "sniping" platforms, ESPECIALLY the starting room's 4 corners. They add a huge amount of difficulty, and promote cheesey gameplay (well I better kill this horde by funneling them into a bottleneck or corner, because I can't go out in the open with all the snipers). Then if they are dealt with (which is an annoying task), later they just get repopulated and we're back to the theme of discouraging the player's progress.

P.S. I'm not suggesting the map is too hard, but I'm suggesting the design currently steers the player mentally away from fighting aggressively and to instead tip-toe around and AVOID anything that looks like it could help them for fear of triggering the next invasion.

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Ah, yes, I remember I played this back when it was a GRAYTALL map. Twice, in fact, I seem to recall you were trying out two different ideas for how to handle the big climactic fight. If I know you, Steve, I'll bet that what you ultimately did was combine them, eh? :D

I don't recall feeling like I had to play ultra-conservatively and progress at a snail's pace back then, FWIW, but of course those were different versions, and I'm somewhat well-acclimated to the modern Duffstyle at this point, I suppose. Perhaps things are different now, will have to give it a whirl one of these days.

Whatever the case, I'm glad you didn't shitcan the map, and I look forward to the ADP machine gradually gathering steam.

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Veinen said:

Edit: Heh, looks like Vorpal's view on the first half of the map is the complete opposite of mine. A matter of opinion I guess!

I'm on your side—first half is rippin' fun, but the outside area is kinda dull. I think the big reason for that is that the outside area handily rewards circle strafing and the layout generally pushes you away from exploring it until you've sniped a considerable amount of enemies, especially the hitscanners. I suppose it could be more fun if you tried to rush your way to the exit, but as it is now it's kinda a whimper to end the map on.

Loved the rev teleport ambush that Vorpal hated—that kind of huge middle finger to the player is so my style. I slipped by it the first time but got (literally) boned the next. I think the optimal tactic is to activate them and then just suppress the group with rockets, especially since you can easily dodge rev missiles in that tiny hallway. I do agree that the cybs need a little more maneuverability in your ugly GRAYTALL room, though they still did manage to kill me a few times.

Suffered 6 deaths total Steve—1 at the revs that emerge out of the door at the start, 1 to your dumb chaingunner brigade (of COURSE you'd do that), 1 to the teleporting rev ambush, and then 3 miscellaneous deaths to cyber rockets either in front of me or in my peripheral (I was too busy trying to snipe the PEs). Shame the final room isn't used for anything—I was all ready to get my assed kicked by monsters but instead received a whoopin' from the torch pedestal platforming :P

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Just ran through it.

Agreed that the Rev trap by the SSG is slightly problematic. The issue I have with it is twofold -- the SSG weapon auto-switch screws up the flow here, since you need rocket DPS to survive the trap, and since you have so little room until you're forced into the narrower switch nook instead of the slightly wider hallway in front of it (where Rev dodging is viable), there's an element of luck in whether the first Revs charge forward aggressively (in which case you're fucked because "Good at Doom" happens), or if they shoot first (in which case you're fine). I'd consider making that hall a bit longer, and spawning the Revs slightly further from the switch -- just to make sure that the player can't get luck screwed quite the same way.

The outside part just doesn't work. Too hard to hit the Rev snipers with rockets, can't approach them effectively, there's no pressure to stop me from just running circles in the lake forever (those waves from the shaft you come down from are unable to levy any real pressure, since they only represent one attack vector and struggle to get out of their little elevator shaft), it just turns into a Chaingun grind. It gets even worse if you *do* spend your rockets and cells fighting it from the bottom; what ultimately happens is you have to grind out the Vile sniper with the single-barrel, then tediously bait the last Cacowave away from the ammo at the top, and run by when they move away from the stairs. And why are all the rockets and cells in the area placed somewhere so that you can't get to them until the map is over?

And what's with that anti-climax exit? Yeah, the lone zombiemann is a classic gag, but you have a huge dramatic room with no fight at all? Wut?

Disagreed with Vorpal on flyers in the Graytall/Cyber room. I like having the incentive to fight from the upper platforms. I also like how the limited Cyber movement makes it more likely for them to split up, which can cause one to get you (One caught me! Luckily, I had 180 health at the time.)

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tmorrow said:

The hardest part of the map is the zombieman that cruelly teleports in to guard the exit switch :-)


Exactly! Heaven help you if you're down at 10%, because that little fella just might take you out. ;D

That ending was my -- apparently unsuccessful -- attempt at Doom humor.

Many thanks to Veinen for his FDA and Maxdemo. I play this map aggressively, but I'm not skillful enough to play as aggressively as you did. You were in full-on Crazed Mode. I enjoyed the 3 pelts you surrendered in the FDA, and equally enjoyed how you outsmart the map in the Max. Your courtyard fight against all 16 Revvie snipers was very impressive. No way I'd try that. I run from side to side, in and out of cover. It takes awhile but I just enjoy running and shooting Revvies.

Your views on the outside area were the first that got me thinking I should remove it.

Edit: You're right, the music was very loud. I play on GZDoom, where MOD files are typically much quieter than MIDIs, so I have to crank them up.

@Vorpal. You definitely know from hard maps. I still plan to finish AV so I can play your E3 stuff, having already enjoyed your E2 murderfests. I can reduce the courtyard Revvie snipers by having fewer inside the monster closets, maybe just 1 each to reduce the clean-up time. And, as with Veinen's comments on the outdoor area, I can eliminate the high Revvie snipers and put them in different places on the ground. I agree with you guys that it was boring clean-up, especially because the high Revvies, while still in auto-aim range, were high enough to bork it sometimes, forcing the player to use a lot of rockets and take a lot of time. The goal of ADP maps is to keep the player running and turning, so clean-up has to be avoided as much as possible. I like your idea of reducing/thinning the Fireblu columns to facilitate better Cyb fire.

You played the first ADP map, and that was mostly Severe Incidental Combat with very few warp-ins and no monster closets. Very few items were trapped, so this is a much trappier map than that one or Heat Miser, which is still my favorite ADP map. I was hoping these traps would appeal to the player who says, "I wonder how nasty this trap is? Let's find out!" :D

@Dobu. Oh, c'mon, that Graytall room is cute as a June Bug! ;D Well, I guess we know why it was rejected, since that was by far the nicest of the original rooms. On the Revvie warp-in, I ripped-off that idea from Demonologist (Imago Mortis in MAYhem 2048), just like I ripped off the vine-dripping archways from tourniquet (Aberinkula, also MAYhem 2048). Although I think I can certainly spice up that outdoor area, maybe it would be better to chop it out and make a new map of it, and build a new exit area with a similar theme, but smaller and nastier. I can retain the ominous exit room but fill it with brutal fights and still keep that pipsqueak joke ending. BTW, it's nice to see you asking me to make a map harder for a change, but then again, this isn't a community project made for a gentler difficulty ramp. ;) BTW, I play the Revvie warp-in same as you, dodge and shoot rockets.

Demon of the Well said; "I seem to recall you were trying out two different ideas for how to handle the big climactic fight. If I know you, Steve, I'll bet that what you ultimately did was combine them, eh?" What an awesome idea! Why didn't I think of that? (Face-palm). For those who might be wondering, I had 2 versions of the BFG Room, the original which unleashes 3 Cybs, and a later version that replaced the Cybs with 4 Archies. I thought maybe the Cybs were too time-consuming to kill, and that Archies could mess things up with rezzing and maybe catch players out with their LOS attacks. In the end, I thought it was way too easy to BFG-slap them so I went back to the Cyb version. However, I think DotW is right. I at least have to try that idea out. BTW, Demon, it'll be awhile before this one is ready for final testing. I plan to slot it into the ADP-oriented megawad, and ATM I have 30 more maps to make for that one. ;)

@Cynical. I really want to keep that Revvie trap as aggressive as it is. You only trigger the trap when you go for the Megasphere, so you can stop and select the RL -- my way -- or you can keep the SSG and bull through like Veinen. I don't have enough directional control to do that, which is why I dodge and shoot rockets instead. If I savescum at the end it's usually because I tanked too much damage and want to come out with better numbers so I don't immediately die in the next fight.

Your voice is added to the chorus convincing me to axe the outdoor area and make a new one. I'll probably go with a Demonologist/Ribbiks style thing where you can explore the area and plan your routes before hitting the switch that brings the wrath of God down on you head. And of course i'll put huge fights in the exit room this time.

Much thanks everyone for all your help. I think I know where I want to take this map now. :)

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The problem is, you *can't* delay and wait for a weapon switch after grabbing the SSG. Too much stuff at your back. The double weapon switch is slow enough that the RL is not going to come out until after you've grabbed the Megasphere, flipped the switch, and turned back around. That's too much time; at that point, if the first Revs moved forward, you're already dead. Veinen's bulldog method is also luck based; Vorpal's 1-in-4 estimate seems about right to me.

Also, you might should have *something* to prevent someone from just grabbing the BFG, waiting for the Cybs to come out of their nook, and then just leaving to the outside as soon as they've gotten through the RL/Megasphere trap. Right now, there's nothing making anyone respect your encounters here at all.

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Well, the way I do the Revvie encounter is quite different. I frequently miss the RL pick-up, so I end up circling to provoke infights between the Cacos/Revs. The Cacos always win, and what happens is that as the battle goes on, a Caco cloud forms over the RL, so basically I have to kill all the Cacos/Revs with the CG/SG before I grab the SSG, at which point I can comfortably stop, take my time, ammo up, get my RL ready and then back into the Megasphere and immediately start shooting rockets so they hit the first Revs as they teleport in. As you've said, they don't always come in as neatly as I want, and sometimes they can sneak past the barrage and I have to tank extra damage when I blast a Revvie up close. Them's the breaks. ;) I also never press the switch until all the Revvies are dead. Bottom line, you can pause if raw velocity is not important to you.

It sounds like you're asking me to customize the trap for a particular way of attacking it. Thing is, I don't want players to bull through or sneak past, I want their backs against the wall and blasting away because I want pelts. I'm guessing you're asking for a more speedrunner-friendly version where the result of using a certain tactic is more predictable. I can understand that, and take it into consideration, but is it not the case that speedrunners have always had to deal with nasty traps where the design goal was nastiness itself, rather than predictable combat for the sake of speedrunners? It's a conundrum for me. I want my maps to be as speedrunner-friendly as possible, but I'm not a speedrunner, so I have to depend on players like you to guide me, but then again, I just want to go after players and stress them out and get their pelts. Players find ways to beat my maps that I never thought of, so it's a fun arms race.

I'll think on it.

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My thoughts should be taken with a grain of salt, since I'm not much of a slaughter player, and if my AV maps are fun slaughter that's an accident because I was just plopping down enemies "because well something should be in this room" heh

Regarding the first rev trap, there's 3 reasons that make it so unfun.

As Cynical mentions, the timing with the SSG weaponswitch and the short length of the hall makes for a likely death if you decide to fight or at best an annoying encounter (having to fight the doom engine switching weapons on you).

The density of revs that spawn in at that small space makes the "squeeze by" strategy another major gamble.

The way you say you handle the encounter is to clear out the first sections of the map, grabbing the SSG but not triggering the trap linedef so you don't have to contend with the weaponswitch. This kinda falls under my definition of "tip-toe" gameplay. This method also still has essentially the same chance of death as the others, so it's the MOST punishing method because there is a large time investment to get to this point (when considering someone trying to make a clean demo and not using save/load).

So it punishes two aggressive strategies as well as the careful strategy, I guess if I used saves then it's a non-issue since I can keep re-rolling the dice until I win...

All my complaining makes it sound like I hated the map, which I didn't. Just certain setups seem to be at a disconnect from "fun" as well as your stated goal of aggressive all-out-war gameplay, and with some minor tweaks I can see this as being super fun (ofc my sense of fun is subjective). Oh and I thought the "caco tunnels" were genius especially the ones that were populated by revs, so there's the dual edge: do I kill the revs and make caco travel easier? Hmmm

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SteveD said:

Well, the way I do the Revvie encounter is quite different. I frequently miss the RL pick-up, so I end up circling to provoke infights between the Cacos/Revs. The Cacos always win, and what happens is that as the battle goes on, a Caco cloud forms over the RL, so basically I have to kill all the Cacos/Revs with the CG/SG before I grab the SSG, at which point I can comfortably stop, take my time, ammo up, get my RL ready and then back into the Megasphere and immediately start shooting rockets so they hit the first Revs as they teleport in. As you've said, they don't always come in as neatly as I want, and sometimes they can sneak past the barrage and I have to tank extra damage when I blast a Revvie up close. Them's the breaks. ;) I also never press the switch until all the Revvies are dead. Bottom line, you can pause if raw velocity is not important to you.

It sounds like you're asking me to customize the trap for a particular way of attacking it. Thing is, I don't want players to bull through or sneak past, I want their backs against the wall and blasting away because I want pelts. I'm guessing you're asking for a more speedrunner-friendly version where the result of using a certain tactic is more predictable. I can understand that, and take it into consideration, but is it not the case that speedrunners have always had to deal with nasty traps where the design goal was nastiness itself, rather than predictable combat for the sake of speedrunners? It's a conundrum for me. I want my maps to be as speedrunner-friendly as possible, but I'm not a speedrunner, so I have to depend on players like you to guide me, but then again, I just want to go after players and stress them out and get their pelts. Players find ways to beat my maps that I never thought of, so it's a fun arms race.

I'll think on it.

I would really recommend NOT expecting the player to clear out all of the starting monsters before going after the SSG/Megasphere trap. "Run from the shit that's not really threatening me, hit the switches to bring in more enemies" is a tried-and-true method of playing this style of map, and plinking all of that shit down with SG/Chaingun is going to be tedious as hell.

Another benefit of my "make the hallway a bit longer so that the player has a bit more time before they get Good At Doom" suggestion is that it actually makes it HARDER to SSG bulldog your way out of the trap ;-) If you want players to stand and deliver, that's one way to enforce it, AND it improves the overall flow of the map. Win-win!

I still say you should move the SSG. Possibly put it with the SG and Chaingun? No one is going to want to sit around and plink at all of those enemies without explosives, and there's not that many shells in the first room anyways, so I don't think it's going to make the player too strong too early. Alternatively, you could put it next to the Rocket Launcher.

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@Vorpal
@Cynical

Busy day so it took awhile to get back to you.

I've decided y'all are right. Neither the trap nor the overall gameplay will suffer if I move the SSG. I was originally thinking I'd just swap the RL and SSG position, or maybe put the SSG in front of the switch that provides access to the RL room, but that location would cause an auto-select when the player needs to have a weapon out -- I prefer CG -- to deal with those Sergeants coming out the door. So I'll put it right near the CG and SG at the start, which should eliminate all the meta-gamey issues.

BTW, it's not so much that I "choose" to kill all the Cacos and Revs before grabbing the RL, it's that my poor directional control means I miss the RL grab on about 80% of my attempts. My reaction isn't, "Oh, cool, I get to kill all the Revvies and Cacos first!" It's more like, "Oh, great, now I have to kill all these jagoffs with the CG and single-shotty." Once you miss the RL, it's hard to get another shot because the Caco cloud forms directly above it in a hurry. So now I have to circle around, but Imps, Sergeants and even more Cacos are pouring in. This is always the toughest part of the map for me and most of my deaths happen after I miss the RL. Sometimes I take 4 rockets simultaneously, mostly I get blasted by Sergeants. The outside sniping Revvies are also big killers because it's surprising how often they don't end up infighting the Cacos and get me instead. So it ain't no tiptoe, it's literally the most challenging part of the map because I'm tip-toeing into the yawning jaws of death. :D By comparison, the Revvie warp-in and the BFG room are relaxing. Just a reminder for Vorpal, I'm a keyboarder. All my movement is on the numeric keypad. I don't use the mouse at all. That's why I miss the RL grab so often.

For Cynical, the BFG room fight will be beefed up by adding 3 Archies. Add that to the narrower columns to clear the Cyb firing arcs and it should be nastier. I'll toss in more ammo to deal with the rezzing.

One more thing for Vorpal -- those Caco tunnels were inspired, along with my fondness for Cacoswarms, by Adam Windsor. IIRC, it was because of Map14 of MM2. I had never encountered that kind of Caco pressure before. They just kept warping in and I started running out of ammo and had to retreat. They chased me into a room with a key in a window, so I grabbed the key and leapt through it, and they followed me through that window. It immediately occurred to me that Cacos often get trapped behind walls, so expanding on the window idea led me to Caco tunnels, so the gasbags can follow you everywhere.

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Hah if it's any consolation, as a mouser I miss the RL grab a lot too and have to circle around multiple times. I like the difficulty dynamic there so I hope that stays, that one is def skill based (well, lack of skill in my case).

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