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TheCastle

Doom2 - Redemption Of The Slain Full Release and Download

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Oh man, a new TheCastle map! Gotta get stuck into this one later.

(I can't believe this hasn't got feedback yet, you're arguably one of the top ten Doom mappers in my opinion!)

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Doomkid said:

Oh man, a new TheCastle map! Gotta get stuck into this one later.

(I can't believe this hasn't got feedback yet, you're arguably one of the top ten Doom mappers in my opinion!)


I am demonstrably one of the worst devs at selling myself. I spend every waking hour working working working so when it comes time to actually say "hello world" its laughable how few people will even know who I am lol

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im playing this with "creepyambientindustrial" and im having a blast.

if youd like to help me with a map pack in your spare time holler at me. this thing is solid

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TheCastle said:

I am demonstrably one of the worst devs at selling myself. I spend every waking hour working working working so when it comes time to actually say "hello world" its laughable how few people will even know who I am lol


No shit (no offence, i just can't believe this didn't get more attention)... get this posted on the zDoom forums for one if you didn't already. Add screenshots to the OP. Get it on the idgames archive (if it takes zDoom stuff?).

For anyone who didn't realise, TheCastle is a pro who worked on No Rest for the Living, so yeah, this is definitely worth checking out. I didn't bother with Brutal Doom when playing and the quality was still very apparent (perhaps even emphasised?! hehe).

The design philosophy video contained within the link is very cool viewing for any Doom mapper regardless of your style or whatever. Always interesting to hear things from the perspective people who do this stuff every day for a living, definitely food for thought in there.

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scotty said:

No shit (no offence, i just can't believe this didn't get more attention)... get this posted on the zDoom forums for one if you didn't already. Add screenshots to the OP. Get it on the idgames archive (if it takes zDoom stuff?).

For anyone who didn't realise, TheCastle is a pro who worked on No Rest for the Living, so yeah, this is definitely worth checking out. I didn't bother with Brutal Doom when playing and the quality was still very apparent (perhaps even emphasised?! hehe).

The design philosophy video contained within the link is very cool viewing for any Doom mapper regardless of your style or whatever. Always interesting to hear things from the perspective people who do this stuff every day for a living, definitely food for thought in there.


Actually, the creator of Brutal Doom linked an older beta of the level on Facebook and I got a bunch of attention. My Youtube now has over 100 subscribers! XD

If you liked that video here is a video of me building the final bridge battle in the level.
https://youtu.be/tDc_f9hdoUg

Sometime tomorrow I will be posting a full playthrough of the map on the Black Metal difficulty setting which is pretty long but its super hardcore.

Later tonight I will be doing some response videos to bugs people have discovered and I will be fixing the bugs so I can patch the level up.

I am having a lot of fun with this even if its not getting huge attention. Maybe people just don't really care too much about it.

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I'm holding out for the fixed version of BD to be released before I give this a spin, but it certainly looks like an impressive bit of work.

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TheCastle said:

Maybe people just don't really care too much about it.

Having watched this map's development for a while, I wouldn't say that people aren't interested but rather that its requirements have done a number to greatly limit its audience. For the obvious starter, the necessity of Brutal Doom is certainly a handicap rather than a boon. Brutal Doom players haven't traditionally shown much interest in BD-specific custom maps outside of Mark's own Starter Pack, and custom map players aren't going to want to be forced to play with a gameplay mod, whether it be because they don't prefer BD or that they'd rather load their own choice of gameplay modifications.

On top of this, there's the required error fix that needs to be applied to BD to even simply start the map. No matter what the mod in question is, this alone is going to severely impact the number of players who will be able to play the level, and that's after already asking one to download both Brutal Doom and the Metal Soundtrack if they didn't have either prior. Of course, this Brutal Doom error isn't a problem on your end, but its consequences are going to hurt your map more than it will hurt BD itself.

For the record, while Brutal Doom isn't a necessity on a technical level, the map unfortunately isn't particularly playable without it. BD is balanced around low ammo counts since enemies likewise take far fewer shots to kill, and that's what this map is built around. However, if one were to try to brave the level in vanilla Doom (or any gameplay mods closely tuned to vanilla's balance, as most are), feats such as felling a Cacodemon or Hell Knight with three Shotgun shots aren't going to happen, so you'll exhaust the limited ammo supply exceptionally quickly. I tried playing this new version of ROTS without BD, and in the first open courtyard, I emptied every last bullet as efficiently as I could and still ended up with ten Cacodemons and three Hell Knights left to take on with nothing but my non-Berserk fists.

And that's a shame, as Brutal Doom doesn't do much to enhance the experience. This is a fantastic looking map with really smooth flow and solid and engaging encounters, and it would perfectly suit vanilla gameplay if it just had some extra ammo. That said, there is a cheap way to make it playable with vanilla gameplay without reworking the weapon and ammo balance: enable the "Double Ammo" flag in GZDoom's Gameplay Options menu. It's not ideal as it tends to inflate Cells, but ammo will overall become more reasonable yet still pretty tight.

To illustrate this, here's my HMP playthrough recording of the map in vanilla settings except with Double Ammo:



I did have a little foreknowledge as I played this new version without Brutal Doom up to the aforementioned Cacodemon/Hell Knight courtyard and the previous version up to collecting the Blue Skull before throwing in the towel due to the lack of ammo (also without BD). Nonetheless, I think this is an apt demonstration that vanilla gameplay is more than viable here.

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Hey TheCastle,

First I wanted to mention I found out about this via your Youtube backstory video that was posted to reddit yesterday. I watched the entire video and it was pretty interesting as I hadn't thought of FPS level design in those terms before. Sure, it could have been probably 15 minutes shorter - but it was still a cool watch.

So I downloaded the level today and I've just started playing it. But before I do, I wanted to provide some feedback on the install etc.

  • gzdoom-rots does not have the .ini extension that your batch file is specifying.
  • The .ini file has a bewildering control scheme setup. I assumed it would at least be WASD but it is not? Honestly I would not bother including an ini file if it forces a very non-standard control scheme on the player.
  • Texture filtering is turned on, which I understand is a taste thing but personally I think it looks ugly.
  • Again, to reiterate I'd just not bother with the .ini file. Well, I don't think it works in the current state anyway with the invalid extension.
  • Asking general public to edit the Brutal Doom pk3 is just too much I'm afraid. Is it a problem to just include Brutal Doom in the download? I mean, Sgt Mark includes many different mods/music/levels/textures by different authors in Brutal Doom. I would think it would be enough to credit Sgt Mark? Or alternately, link to a fixed .pk3 so no messing about is necessary.
Anyway, I'll give some gameplay feedback once I finish the level! Thanks for sharing this BTW. :)

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Woah, its so trippy to see the level in standard Doom like that! hmm so the level is just lacking in ammo to be playable in standard Doom? Though you chose to play in Hurt me plenty, its worth noting that ultra violence steps things up a lot. I probably could have balanced this to be a classic doom style experience but my goal was to make it feel like someone plopped a modern day AAA shooter into Doom.

I really like that you managed to get the music to work.

Ill contrast your play test with a Brutal Doom Black metal play through I managed to upload yesterday. You want to talk about night and day differences. haha!

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grahf said:

Hey TheCastle,

First I wanted to mention I found out about this via your Youtube backstory video that was posted to reddit yesterday. I watched the entire video and it was pretty interesting as I hadn't thought of FPS level design in those terms before. Sure, it could have been probably 15 minutes shorter - but it was still a cool watch.

So I downloaded the level today and I've just started playing it. But before I do, I wanted to provide some feedback on the install etc.

  • gzdoom-rots does not have the .ini extension that your batch file is specifying.
  • The .ini file has a bewildering control scheme setup. I assumed it would at least be WASD but it is not? Honestly I would not bother including an ini file if it forces a very non-standard control scheme on the player.
  • Texture filtering is turned on, which I understand is a taste thing but personally I think it looks ugly.
  • Again, to reiterate I'd just not bother with the .ini file. Well, I don't think it works in the current state anyway with the invalid extension.
  • Asking general public to edit the Brutal Doom pk3 is just too much I'm afraid. Is it a problem to just include Brutal Doom in the download? I mean, Sgt Mark includes many different mods/music/levels/textures by different authors in Brutal Doom. I would think it would be enough to credit Sgt Mark? Or alternately, link to a fixed .pk3 so no messing about is necessary.
Anyway, I'll give some gameplay feedback once I finish the level! Thanks for sharing this BTW. :)


oh its on reddit? Link please! I didn't know someone posted it.
As far as the controls I set it up to be WASD as the default controls of GZDoom use the arrow keys. I also set other options I thought feels right for the mod in the ini. It seems to work when I tested it on other PC but I am kind of thinking most people who will play this have their stuff setup anyway.

What I dont want is people unfamiliar with doom to load this up and end up with a non WASD control scheme. :/

as for the blood.txt My understanding is the next version of Brutal Doom will fix this. I will likely update things to reflect the new version of Brutal Doom.

I also uploaded a new version of the level last night. It includes various fixes and changes.

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TheCastle said:

oh its on reddit? Link please! I didn't know someone posted it.
As far as the controls I set it up to be WASD as the default controls of GZDoom use the arrow keys. I also set other options I thought feels right for the mod in the ini. It seems to work when I tested it on other PC but I am kind of thinking most people who will play this have their stuff setup anyway.

What I dont want is people unfamiliar with doom to load this up and end up with a non WASD control scheme. :/

as for the blood.txt My understanding is the next version of Brutal Doom will fix this. I will likely update things to reflect the new version of Brutal Doom.

I also uploaded a new version of the level last night. It includes various fixes and changes.

Here is the reddit link:
https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/5ydeyz/the_inner_workings_of_redemption_of_the_slain_a/

What I'm saying is that in your ini, it doesn't appear that WASD are mapped to anything? When I loaded it up, it was non-mouse look and arrow keys for movement. I checked inside the .ini and could not see WASD mapped.

I'm quoting the .ini control mappings below:

1=slot 1
2=slot 2
3=slot 3
4=slot 4
5=slot 5
6=slot 6
7=slot 7
8=slot 8
9=slot 9
0=slot 0
-=sizedown
Equals=sizeup
tab=togglemap
t=messagemode
LeftBracket=invprev
RightBracket=invnext
enter=invuse
ctrl=+attack
`=toggleconsole
shift=+speed
\=+showscores
,=+moveleft
.=+moveright
alt=+strafe
space=+use
capslock=toggle cl_run
f1=menu_help
f2=menu_save
f3=menu_load
f4=menu_options
f5=menu_display
f6=quicksave
f7=menu_endgame
f8=togglemessages
f9=quickload
f10=menu_quit
f11=bumpgamma
f12=spynext
sysrq=screenshot
pause=pause
home=land
uparrow=+forward
pgup=+moveup
leftarrow=+left
rightarrow=+right
end=centerview
downarrow=+back
pgdn=+lookup
ins=+movedown
del=+lookdown
mouse1=+attack
mouse2=+strafe
mouse3=+forward
mouse4=+speed
joy1=+attack
joy2=+strafe
joy3=+speed
joy4=+use
mwheelup=weapprev
mwheeldown=weapnext
mwheelright=invnext
mwheelleft=invprev
dpadup=togglemap
dpaddown=invuse
dpadleft=invprev
dpadright=invnext
pad_start=pause
pad_back=menu_main
lthumb=crouch
lshoulder=weapprev
rshoulder=weapnext
ltrigger=+altattack
rtrigger=+attack
pad_a=+use
pad_y=+jump

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Entirely possible I completely goofed then. Ill take a look later. I might just remove the ini file altogether.

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So I just finished it. Awesome level! :) I can't imagine what a massive amount of time must have went into this...

I ended up on UV difficulty:
867 kills
4/18 secrets (I did find and finish the secret level!)
1:08 playtime (I took my time to admire the level, certainly could have done it 15 minutes quicker without much problem)

Here are some random thoughts:

    * Architecture and lighting of the level is pretty amazing. It really shows off what is possible if level designers go zdoom-compatible. But also it takes a lot of talent and an eye for detail to pull this off. Well done!
    * I'd say your goal of the level 'feeling' like a 2017 game is successful. With all the lock-in fights it feels most like Doom 2016. Personally I am not sure if I prefer this straightforward level design to something like say, Valiant, though. In fact I'm pretty sure I don't. Not a knock on your level, just style preference.
    * The only time I got 'lost' was in the circular areas with the patterns on the ground above the secret level. One of the recessed switches wasn't easily visible with all the dead bodies. I don't really know if these switches should even be recessed? One of my pet peeves are switches that are hard to see.
    * My biggest problem with the level was performance. In just about every single open area, or in heavy combat my fps dropped below 30. I am almost always locked at 60fps in all other Doom levels. I'm guessing it's all the dynamic lights? My system: i5-3570k + R9 290 + 16gb RAM. I am running 1080p and everything tweaked for speed. This made the map much harder than it would have been as it was quite hard to aim consistently with low FPS.
    * I actually like the choice of Brutal Doom compatibility. There aren't enough Brutal Doom-specific maps and certainly none I've played of this quality. And if you play normal maps in Brutal Doom, the difficulty is off (just like playing normal Doom on this map).
edit: forgot to mention I love the dynamic music... Especially on super-long levels like this it's a great idea.

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Yeah the level is almost exclusively lit with dynamic lighting. I can definitly see the FPS thing being an issue on lower end machines. Not sure if I can solve it.

I might actually look into the switches being too obscured and maybe tweak that. its bad especially for someone who plays without mouse look.

I did a video last night of me looking over feedback and I made some changes to improve the level further.

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/127782723 = my playthrough in Brutal Doom.

Overall a fun wad, although the final fight on the bridge seemed a bit inbalanced w/ Brutal Doom. Lovely architecture throughout and mostly challenging & fun gameplay encounters. An excellent ZDoom wad.

A real shame this is to be TheCastle's Doom 2 swansong, but I hope to see more of his work in other things. Also it was nice of him to be in the Twitch chat to receive a barrage of questions about the map and himself.

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I found the final fight kind of anti-climatic. It starts off easy (which is good); ramps up to very very hard when the pain elementals, mancubi appear along with a legion of imps; and then the final Cyberdemon is a cakewalk considering the abundant ammo and the cover opportunities around.

If it was up to me, I'd tune down the middle section a bit and then ramp up at the end - have some other monsters accompanying the final cyber so it isn't so easy to take care of him.

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