Phase 2, MAP12 > MAP 20 (plus secret maps) management thread

Given that I've volunteered to be the 'czar' of Phase 2's second episode, I've just been playing through with some thoughts as to the management of this episode.

 

This first post will be changed of course, but here are my initial thoughts:

 

MAP12

For starters, it bombed Chocolate Doom with a VPO somewhere between the yellow and blue doors. It has a fair few tutti-frutti on step textures, and there's a texture used for the yellow and blue 'bars' that either isn't aligned right, or is the wrong texture. Will fix.

 

I'll also say that this map is long. I don't believe it should be MAP12, and given the size of MAP14 I think it prudent to switch the two. It's a good map (I did play it through using ZDoom), well worth fixing for VPO/HOM to keep it -- in fact, with a few exceptions I think it better to fix rather than ditch.

 

MAP13

From my own, this was a tech base that's serviceable enough with the futuristic-looking city skyline. Thinking the northern outdoor areas could do with a lick of polish (probably visible details beyond the mountains that can't be reached), and embellishing the penultimate encounter a little; maybe get rid of the Spider Mastermind replacement all together? This is a tougher map than the following, but will work if MAP12 and MAP14 are switched.

 

MAP14

Another Nex Credo map of mine. I want this as a pistol start map, in the MAP12 slot. Pretty happy with it, even if there's a graphical error I couldn't seem to be able to fix on the ceiling detail near the red switch.

 

MAP15

Gonna have to return to this later; the very level start giving me huge HOMS already wasn't a good sign; again, I'd rather fix than ditch but this one might well be a nightmare to leave til last.

 

MAP16

Serviceable, but very very cramped. May be able to mitigate this with a lower monster density? Also, a walkway with blocking lines just before the drop to the yellow key (looking out to some inaccessible scenery) could do with a fence texture.

 

MAP17

--blank slot--

Jaws In Space requested this for the third episode.

 

MAP18

The old MAP06. A few small changes away from completion.

 

MAP19

Yet another Nex Credo map by me. Strong enough, save for the identical and lazy areas behind the red doors; in fact the entire North of this map could stand to be redone (I could do it if needed). Also that final encounter could do with a rethink. It's a little too small a space for what I've got going on there, even if I do like the Archvile nastiness.

 

MAP20

--blank slot--

Jaws In Space requested this for the third episode.

 

--EDIT--

Jaws In Space is nabbing this and mashing it up with the better parts of MAP29 to make a new third episode map.

 

MAP31

Last of my Nex Credo maps. This has been discussed elsewhere; secret exit needed, do something about the north-east cybie for 'fairer' MAX runs. Perhaps embellish details a little? If I simplify the 'cross' ceiling window outside the red key room it buys a few more visplanes to spend on pretties? Because this map sorta needs some.

 

It also needs a proper secret exit to MAP32 as well. Can do this.

 

MAP32

--blank slot PENDING--

Waiting for response re: Shadow of the Wool Ball secret.

 

---

 

SUMMARY

MAP12 and MAP15 are in need of hefty work to get vanilla-compatible, MAP17 and MAP20 going to the third episode. MAP32 is in limbo for now.

 

Everything else? Small fixes in places, but serviceable.

 

Discuss, by all means.

Edited by Jayextee

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The old map06 was moved up to map18 because of its difficulty.

the old map18 was removed entirely.

 

check out the git build of Freedoom soon (not yet though as a bunch of new commits were added recently, so in less than 24 hours a new build with the new stuff will be present).

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9 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

For starters, it bombed Chocolate Doom with a VPO

 

Unless I missed something, Freedoom is mostly designed for PrBoom. Or did the development team decide to make it vanilla compatible?

 

EDIT: Uh, yeah, I'm the fool and I didn't catch that memo. Whoops

Edited by Astymine

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@Voros Will check it tomorrow, I should be getting to sleep about now. Will also update OP.

@Astymine As far as I'm aware, the current goal is as follows:
a) maps should be vanilla/chocolate compatible, and
b) maps should be proven completable on all difficulties with 100% kills and 100% secrets.

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If map32 is ditched, do you plan on making a fresh map for it, or using one of your previous maps?

 

IIRC, map32 is a placeholder by Catoptromancy. I'm not entirely sure though.

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Can toss MAP32, it has experimental gameplay...yes there is plenty of ammo.

 

Map12 and Map15 I was planning on converting to vanilla, eventually. If you really want to keep them by their general layouts, I will still fix them up.

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I find the ammo of MAP13 somewhat scarce, at least for pistol starting at skill 4. Of course, I agree with the swap, it is needed badly.

 

Anyway, I have one concern. Currently, both MAP31 / MAP32 neither use Wolfenstein SS soldiers nor Wolfenstein textures. Well, the replacements assets, actually, either the current ones or these cats of Shadow of the Wool Ball if added finally. In fact, unless I miss something, these soldiers are used only in MAP23 (out of the scope of this thread) and no level uses these textures.

 

In my opinion, at least one of these levels should feature these assets.

 

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9 hours ago, Voros said:

If map32 is ditched, do you plan on making a fresh map for it, or using one of your previous maps?

 

IIRC, map32 is a placeholder by Catoptromancy. I'm not entirely sure though.

 

I was thinking about this before sleep last night, I personally want @MSPaintR0cks to make a Shadow of the Wool Ball level for MAP32 -- if I recall correctly, it has been discussed somewhere. 

 

8 hours ago, Catoptromancy said:

Can toss MAP32, it has experimental gameplay...yes there is plenty of ammo.

 

Map12 and Map15 I was planning on converting to vanilla, eventually. If you really want to keep them by their general layouts, I will still fix them up.

 

The gameplay of MAP32 wasn't the problem, it's a secret map so anything goes. It just looks so far from complete I can't even see what direction it would take. Not shitting on your map, it's just not a great fit as it stands; especially WRT being (possibly) replaced by a Shadow of the Wool Ball level -- which has been discussed already.

 

8 hours ago, Litrivin said:

I find the ammo of MAP13 somewhat scarce, at least for pistol starting at skill 4. Of course, I agree with the swap, it is needed badly.

 

Anyway, I have one concern. Currently, both MAP31 / MAP32 neither use Wolfenstein SS soldiers nor Wolfenstein textures. Well, the replacements assets, actually, either the current ones or these cats of Shadow of the Wool Ball if added finally. In fact, unless I miss something, these soldiers are used only in MAP23 (out of the scope of this thread) and no level uses these textures.

 

In my opinion, at least one of these levels should feature these assets.

 

Just addressed your one concern above, hopefully. ;)

 

And @Catoptromancy, I'll check your MAP19 shortly. I've not long since woke up and don't have the reactions for any kind of DOOM right now. Will report back. :)

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10 hours ago, Voros said:

The old map06 was moved up to map18 because of its difficulty.

the old map18 was removed entirely.

 

The new MAP18 (old MAP06) is great! Unless anyone's got suggestions I'd say we've got a keeper there with no changes required.

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19 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

I'd say we've got a keeper there with no changes required.

You know, when I first played that map, I asked myself what that first switch did. Apparently it lowered the blue key pillar. There was a very poor marker before, now that marker is gone. 

 

It could seriously use some kind of marker that tells the player "this lowered the blue key pillar!"

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Actually, good call. I did have to wander a little to find it -- thankfully, there isn't too much map in which to get lost. I know how I can do this, too.

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Another thing: Zok maps. Map12 and 15 basically. I found these maps to be really confusing because of the vague and long switch hunts. Everytime I hit a switch, I didn't know what the switch did because there's no marker of some sort the tell me. My first playthrough of map15, over 20 minutes long, more than half of that time was mindless wandering because I didn't know what to do.

 



Unrelated, but the new map06 is your map, just so you know.

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Regarding MAP18 (the current, not that clone of Doom 2’s MAP18), there are a few of possible fixes.

 

There is a phantom overdrive sphere, next to the exit pad. I see two options: delete it or create a proper and functional secret sector.

 

Entry / exit pads create HOMs for certain hardware renderers. I suggest replace them with the ones used in current MAP13.

 

These steps, pits or whatever they are named create HOMs. I suggest raise them to the same height of adjacent sectors.
 

Spoiler


prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_01.png

 

prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_02.png

 

prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_03.png

 

prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_04.png

 

prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_05.png

 

prboom_250_gl_osxppc_fd2_map06_06.png

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Voros said:

 

  Hide contents

 

 


Unrelated, but the new map06 is your map, just so you know.
 

 

 

I know, I know. Just putting it out there to @Blastfrog that I'm willing to make any changes to this map that he wants; I'm very willing to edit my own maps purely because I'm already so familiar with them.

 

As for the GL-mode HOMs reported, I shall have a looksee -- a couple of these look like they wouldn't HOM with rebuilt nodes (first two) but because software-only exploits are verboten, the 'shadowcasting' effects on the exit/entrance pads should go

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May I please have the current MAP18 back in my cluster? It being moved to the second cluster was a very recent change and I already had plans for this map.

 

As for the Woolball stuff, I was thinking that E1M1 and E1M5 could be MAP31 and MAP32 respectively. I know it's not a power of two (this can be worked around even in vanilla), but I was thinking the map "blocks" could be 80x80x80 instead of 64x64x64 or 128x128x128. This way, the viewheight would match up where it's supposed to (in the exact middle of the room), and the unscaled Woolball enemy sprites would appear correct too (in actual SotWB, they are 80% scale in their DECORATE definitions).

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Can if you like, it just means me having to source another map since I agree with throwing out the old MAP18.

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1 hour ago, Voros said:

Another thing: Zok maps. Map12 and 15 basically. I found these maps to be really confusing because of the vague and long switch hunts. Everytime I hit a switch, I didn't know what the switch did because there's no marker of some sort the tell me. My first playthrough of map15, over 20 minutes long, more than half of that time was mindless wandering because I didn't know what to do.

 

 

  Hide contents

 

 

When I convert map to vanilla I will fix the switch hunts. Plan on putting blue and yellow keys very visible in center area. Once player finds a dead end and hits the obvious switches, they will go back and easily find keys. Current blue key location I will leave the switch hunt and put in a weapon or armor and tag as a secret. MAP15 switch hunts are not really a problem to easily fix.

 

MAP12 is the tricky one.

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5 hours ago, Blastfrog said:

May I please have the current MAP18 back in my cluster? It being moved to the second cluster was a very recent change and I already had plans for this map.

That map is ridiculously hard for the first cluster, with the Revenant and chaingunner snipers, an Arch Vile (sure it can be avoided, but an Archvile in map06?) and the high enemy count. It fits much more better in the second cluster, given its theme fits nicely with E2 and is a fitting challenge for a map18.

 

Why not just use the current map06 for whatever your plans you got? I don't see why can't.

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How many times do I have to state that I'm going to edit the levels to have appropriate difficulty? Don't make me repeat myself, please.

 

And as for why I won't use the current MAP06: it doesn't meet my standards. It's too small, too simple, bland design, etc. I can't edit this level into something that meets my standards, I may as well start with a level that does.

Edited by Blastfrog

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I'm not sure what difficulty is "appropriate" for you, since you were the one who put that map in slot 6 and wanted map08 to be slot 3. This makes me think your appropriate difficulty is a bit higher than normal, hence my questioning.

 

I still don't see why you can't use the current map06. It's a fun map. I'm sure others also find it fun for a map06.

Edited by Voros
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5 hours ago, Blastfrog said:

As for the Woolball stuff, I was thinking that E1M1 and E1M5 could be MAP31 and MAP32 respectively. I know it's not a power of two (this can be worked around even in vanilla), but I was thinking the map "blocks" could be 80x80x80 instead of 64x64x64 or 128x128x128. This way, the viewheight would match up where it's supposed to (in the exact middle of the room), and the unscaled Woolball enemy sprites would appear correct too (in actual SotWB, they are 80% scale in their DECORATE definitions).

With regards to this:

calc.png.8f4fc42ab01c974c589cba96e835a36c.png
 

I'm thinking 96x96x96 would be closer and more convenient from the editing side of things: it's not a power of two, but that doesn't matter since (a) we can repeat horizontally in the TEXTURES lump until it does meet a power-of-two width and (b) can just put in some filler black space for the bottom 32 pixels since there's no reason to tile vertically in a flat Wolfenstein-esque map.

However.

am against putting a standard-Wool-Ball-map-then-a-boss-Wool-Ball-map on account of that getting once again too close to Doom 2's progression. To me, a more conventional map followed by a Wool Ball 'super secret' map seems about right; doesn't have to be that existing MAP31 of mine (which, last I checked, consensus was it's a keeper pending some changes).

 

Any other voices weighing in on this would be fine. I respect Blastfrog's input a lot, but I'll fight him on this if I have to. :P

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1 hour ago, Blastfrog said:

And as for why I won't use the current MAP06: it doesn't meet my standards. It's too small, too simple, bland design, etc. I can't edit this level into something that meets my standards, I may as well start with a level that does.

You don't have to read the spoiler.

 

 


Well it is map06 after all, out of 32 maps. You can't expect to be lengthy and hardcore. It's small, that's a good thing, especially for the first cluster. Simplicity makes a map more fun for the average user (you think anyone liked the old map13 for its complexity?). Ever since Jayextee's maps came in on v0.11, Freedoom's become a lot more fun to play, or at the very least, no more ragequitting. Bland design, I agree with you there though in terms of texturing :P

 

But nevertheless, it's a fun map. How about moving it to map04?
 

 

Its become some kind of leap of faith for me to trust that you'll do a good job, after that ditching-half-of-the-maps-in-the-cluster announcement. I'll leave it upto you and hope (or at least try to hope) that the end result is a satisfactory one (I doubt it though).

Edited by Voros

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48 minutes ago, Voros said:

I'm not sure what difficulty is "appropriate" for you, since you were the one who put that map in slot 6 and wanted map08 to be slot 3. This makes me think your appropriate difficulty is a bit higher than normal, hence my questioning.

 

I still don't see why you can't use the current map06. It's a fun map. I'm sure others also find it fun for a map06.

 

Actually, I'd put it in an earlier slot, say MAP03. Doom 2's first maps also are short'n quick. I see no reason why the first 3 maps here shouldn't be the same. See it this way: The map is already there, I haven't heard anything negative about it so far and 'I can't edit it' is a weak excuse.


The old MAP06 is indeed too much for an early map, it fits perfectly into the second half of the second episode and should remain there instead of being toned down just to put it into an earlier slot.

 

I have been producing some mobile games in my job and there I had to make do with what I got and see to turn it into the best product imaginable. Aiming for perfection and disrupting the entire workflow just to get that perfect vision done has no place when finalizing a product because the likelihood of success is low with such an approach. I have worked with people who were thinking like that and not once did it work out. Oh, all the stuff they made got finished - 6-12 months after the deadline most of the time.

 

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Yes that's the problem! Blastfrog is aiming for perfection, when that is impossible to achieve.

 

I'm glad Graf gets it.

 

@Blastfrog , you're better off managing your own fork, if you ask me.

 

edit: "can't". What was the point in becoming a czar then? You "won't" edit the map, that's what.

Edited by Voros

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The above is pretty much why I said, and I'll quote:

 

23 hours ago, Jayextee said:

in fact, with a few exceptions I think it better to fix rather than ditch.

 

FreeDoom doesn't need to be 'perfect': such a goal is unattainable. Instead, 'finished' is a better goal. And the way I see it, maps are relatively small fry compared to fixing (for example):

 

  • weak-ass monster sounds
  • flat-ass textures with little contrast
  • old sprites needing total redraws or redesigns to fit the new ones

And so on, and so forth. I too have made games from which I draw experience here, although admittedly probably not in as professional a capacity as Graf.

Edited by Jayextee

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Starting to convert MAP15 to vanilla. Then will get at MAP12. These will take awhile.

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Been thinking on this overnight, and I'm in agreement with general consensus in that the 'Jenesis' MAP18 is a better fit for the second episode; if not thematically then difficulty-wise. If it's okay with @Blastfrog we'll keep it where it is?

 

I think as czar sure, we should strive to give these episodes some direction and overall cohesiveness but, not at the expense of already-agreed consensus from other Freedoom contributors.

 

@Catoptromancy I don't envy you in your task there, and thank you for doing it. :)

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I think MAP18 should fit in where ever its difficulty currently is. It was designed to have revenants, archviles, and baron trap. Since areas were designed to have certain monsters, those monsters should stay. 

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I'm not aiming for perfection, I just don't have low quality standards. By "can't edit MAP06 into something I like", yes, that means I am unwilling to modify it, not that I'm incapable. At best, I may recycle some of the visually acceptable geometry, but you can bet I am not working with that map layout.

 

 

 

As I've said before, if the results are not good, they will not be committed to Freedoom. For those wanting to jump ship, they should at least wait to see the final result (and whether it's committed) before making any decisions like that. If they can't even be remotely rational, it truly isn't my problem or concern whether they go or stay. Blame them if they call it quits, I have nothing to do with it, so don't act like I do.

 

At this point, I've decided that I'm going to work on my mapset privately for the most part. I'm not required to sit here and listen to premature and mostly baseless complaints, so I won't. I'll release a demo when I feel it's appropriate. Until then, I don't want to hear anything from anybody regarding my mapset unless they're asking to collaborate. If you don't like my direction and want to have some kind of influence to change it, do so with work and not words.

 

 

 

-----

 

@Jayextee In regard to Woolball stuff, I insist that if we use an arbitrary scale to make it "feel right" (because 64 is too small, Doom's player is bigger than Wolf scale) that it be 80 units instead. You'd have to split every single wall per the intended texture width anyway, due to it being fit inside of a bigger power-of-two compliant texture. There's nothing that would be any harder in editing that way.

 

I don't know where you're getting 80% of 128 in that image, walls have nothing to do with it, and walls are 64 in Woolball anyway. When I referenced 80%, I was talking about the actual display scale of the sprites (i.e. they're shrunk/slightly higher res than 1 pixel per map unit). 64 is 80% of 80, so by using 80 tall walls, the sprites will appear the same size relative to the viewheight in Doom (41 instead of 32 as in Woolball) and relative to the wall size.

 

All of that only if we even go with a "correct" scale for the Woolball map. Over on the actual Woolball thread, @luckypunk has been doing Doom 2 sized textures.

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