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

Tested the new MAP15. There is still some of tutti frutti, more or less at 902, -1693, -64.

 

Regarding secrets: the first two secrets near the starting room seem broken. And there are two monster closets tagged as secrets.

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Okay so I'm going to make a post requesting for some new maps. 5 for Blastfrog & 2 for myself.

 

Jayextee do you want me to ask for a new map 17 & 20 for you as well? I'll hold off on map 12 for now.

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1 hour ago, Jaws In Space said:

Jayextee do you want me to ask for a new map 17 & 20 for you as well? I'll hold off on map 12 for now.

 

Yes. Yes I do, thanks. :)

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On 3/19/2017 at 5:53 PM, esselfortium said:

If some areas could be reshaped and made less orthogonal to avoid the X-Treme™ long lines of sight, that would help a lot.

I dont think new forums can just copy quotes to paste into last post for editing....

 

Anyway MAP12 has sniping archnotrons down those long halls, while cacos float overhead. Seems to be the gameplay mechanic of that long hall area. I moved mountainy area back a bit, so need to be deep into hall to even see it, so that really helps. I think I can manage with slightly narrower doors, while the natural vertex-laden areas are pushed back. With minimal effort, I cleaned area up quite a bit. Without losing its looks too much. Might also redesign halls to look good using more textures instead of structure. 

 

Do not give up on MAP12 yet!

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Tutti frutti is gone once and for all.

 

Interesting, if I run to the secret exit, it is possible one secret does not register properly. In order to register it, I have to open the door, backstep, wait until the door closes, reopen it and proceed forward.

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On the subject of map15.

 

I played through it. At the same time, I forced myself to think like someone who never played this map/Doom before.

 

The initial switch that opens another room with a switch is still very vague. I'm talking about the switch you flick after going up the lift. While you can technically make out a moving door out the window mesh, from the switch, it's still not that visible to notice. Might I suggest that this door use an Aquatex border (a striped texture probably), or to make it really stand out in the map to players, add two striped Aquatex bars in front of the door, which only opens by the switch. Would be a good idea to also make the switch have a texture border pf the same texture used, so that players can put two and two together.

Another thing is make the player notice this door first, then head outside for the switch. When I first played this map, I never really noticed that door because all the action was going on outside.

 

A lot of the switch hunts are vague like that still. I'll list out the bad ones later.

 

A minor thing here: the yellow switch opens a door down some steps. Would it be a good idea to make the texture border of this door also be yellow, rather than plain metal?

 

Props for making the yellow key visible though, and making it vanilla.

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Maybe some input from someone who never played the map before is needed.

I have to agree with Voros here, but as someone truly new to the map my reaction was a lot stronger - and a lot more negative. The gameplay of this map really sucks, it's absolutely not fun.

After five minutes of running through corridors I felt totally lost and the excessive use of switches to trigger some actions kills all momentum.

It's a badly designed maze at best, if you ask me.

 

The absolute highlight for me was the switch room at (-224, 320).

So you enter this room, the door closes.

You press one switch, nothing happens. (Actually it opens a door one corridor down, but you get no feedback.)

Right on the other side is another switch which opens two monster closets.

In one of these closets is YET ANOTHER SWITCH which opens the door again.

And to top it off, there's also a secret switch that, when pressed, OPENS ANOTHER SWITCH!

... which then opens a secret somewhere else entirely on the map.

 

So, to summarize, that single room contains 5(!!!) switches to open one door and one secret area (of course with no clue where that secret might be!) Talk about inefficiency.

One other thing that really bothered be here is the excessive amount of doors which makes the map feel incredibly cramped in most places.

 

And from a quick sampling, MAP12 looks to feature the same annoying gameplay and the same overdetailed and at the same time non-descriptive look, that makes the maps a chore to play. This is stuff I'd toss into the dumpster after half a playthrough if I was sampling new stuff on /idgames.

 

So, are the maps by this guy in Phase 1 as obtuse as this one?

 

Edited by Graf Zahl

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30 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

So, are the maps by this guy in Phase 1 as obtuse as this one?

Kinda. Zok adds lots of details, and odd switch hunts along with it. 

 

I probably count as the guy that "never played the map before", even if I did play it before.

 

You know, if you look back at my post history, you'll find me ranting about how I fucking hated my 20 minute playthrough of this map for the first time. Actually your post is pretty much the same as my rant, so don't bother looking.

 

edit: found it very negative reaction.

 

Edited by Voros

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I just make them vanilla. We can replace them or someone can edit them.

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Ok, I'll give MAP15 a try. While I don't think I can improve on the layout, the pointless switch hunts and this compulsive need to have no dead ends without any useful functions is clearly the biggest issue here, and I think I can at least improve that part.

 

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Only the plasma gun is a switch hunt, reason why I moved blue key from there. The old blue key/new plasma gun room were not in the obvious routes of map, player would wind up hunting. I thought of leaving the plasma gun switch hunt and tagging room as secret.

 

While the rest of the switches are not intuitive, they open areas I made sure player would easily find. Having no immediate feedback from a switch is not bad, if player finds out very shortly. Room full of switches does not seem to do anything, but player leaving room would be directed down the newly opened route. When player hits a dead end, they will backtrack to find more doors open. Not really a switch hunt. 

 

Check out the C2M5 on repo, finished a week ago. It had quite bad switch hunts. Important doors/areas opened much like the random MAP15 switches, But player was not directed into their path. A true switch hunt. I added a switch to open blue key trigger room with overlooking window and also moved door to blue key trigger room, so as player hit switch, they see door open.  Also on C2M5, The secret exit red key switch open a door outside, almost visible. I widened, lowered, and shifted windows, player could now easily see door opening as they pressed switch. Also switch wall was taper designed for more visibility. I forgot what else I did.

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Many switches in that map are utterly pointless.

Some examplex:

 

Make the first door into the complex directly openable instead of having to go to the side room first. I think that is better utilized to put the shotgun there for a pistol start instead of putting it directly in front of the player.

Same for the door after climbing the stairs. Why press a switch on another wall, it may be minor but it's just annoying that the door doesn't work on its own.

Why is the switch for the yellow door in the blue key room? And why isn't the door itself marked? A far better solution would be to make the door itself directly openable with the key instead of hunting for a switch elsewhere which you may have forgotten about when needing it.

 

I also cut out the computer maze leading to the switch that opens the room with the switch (ugh...) for the blue key room.

 

That's as far as I got but let me say that the gameplay design of the areas I checked so far had been atrocious, always preferring a switch over some immediate action. It's a recurring and very annoying theme throughout the map.

 

I'm going to leave the Plasma Gun puzzle in, but the sector should be marked as secret. And maybe some other secrets should be cut, I find the Blur Sphere in the start room particularly pointless.

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While we are at it, MAP12 is a true switch hunter. I thought of making all/most doors directly openable. But the hidden switch doors be keyed. So player knows they can backtrack to goodies rooms once they find the key,  instead of guessing what door open. Important function keys can be replaced with switches.

 

I think this may work.

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16 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

Why is the switch for the yellow door in the blue key room?

More like why is the blue key in the yellow switch room. Blue key is now visible, and player beats area to obtain. This routing allows player to play half of either  side  of  map first. Once they hit dead end, a door opens. Yellow key side has blue key, blue  key side has  yellow key. 

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Ok, but what I was asking is, why was it necessary to put the opening switch for the yellow door into a side room instead of on the door directly?

The map is full of such pointless switches and those are what brings gameplay down.

Another thing is, the way to the blue door is an endless string of corridor after corridor after corridor. Here cutting out a section really may improve things.

 

I think when this gets addressed and the 5-key room brought down to two switches it should be better, with the only critical remote switch being the one for the yellow key room.

 

 

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If consensus on MAP15 is to throw it out, I'm fine with that; but given the work Catoptromancy's already done, I would prefer to see if it's salvageable at the very least. I didn't get to play it properly quite yet, but what I did play seemed a bit switch-hunty so I can see from where the criticism is coming.

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Here's my attempt:

 

http://www66.zippyshare.com/v/TxrgwbVE/file.html

 

 

What was changed?

- removed Blur Sphere secret.

- main entrance door right after start is directly openable.

- shotgun was moved to the side room where the switch for the door was previously. To compensate for the lack of weapon when pistol starting, the Revenant from the side room was replaced with a shotgunner.

- door after the stairs can be opened directly.

- made Plasma Gun sector a secret.

- made yellow key door directly openable.

- removed the computer maze because all it was there for was a switch to open a room with another switch (i.e. utterly pointless)

- removed two redundant switches in the 5-switch room.

- cut out a section of corridors before the blue key door (this was just reinforcing the impression of a maze without adding anything of value.)

 

I still can't say I like the map much, the same goes for Zok's other maps, it's not a mapping style I find engaging.

Especially the path to the yellow key switch suffers from severe linearity, despite already having cut a part out - but looking at it it's just a long and winding corridor with two small side rooms.

I was actually considering removing the entire part of the level but in the end felt too extreme.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

If consensus on MAP15 is to throw it out, I'm fine with that; but given the work Catoptromancy's already done, I would prefer to see if it's salvageable at the very least. I didn't get to play it properly quite yet, but what I did play seemed a bit switch-hunty so I can see from where the criticism is coming.

I'm not the fan of the map, but I believe it is salvageable at best. The main thing I learned about this map is that if one thing happens, another thing happens somewhere else on map. It follows this trend, so mostly easy to follow the progression (albeit very unengaging).

 

Its map12 that should go. It's pretty much in the same state as the old map13: lengthy, confusing, redundant.

 

Ive got so many ways to at least make map15 more easier for players to understand what goes on with each switch, in my head, but I can't do anything about it unless I get my hands on a computer. Again. It's all upto you guys :)

Edited by Voros

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I mostly agree. It is salvageable but that doesn't mean I like it.

And then thinking about Blastfrog planning to throw out maps that are clearly better than thi one, even in their current state... :?

My main gripe has been that almost nothing could be activated directly, it was mostly a switch right next to the object to activate. Such a setup really kills the pace quite efficiently, which is why I changed it for all such doors I found with the exception of the Plasma Gun puzzle and the yellow key room. Had I had a fourth key at my disposal I would have used that for the yellow key room, but well... if Boom is not allowed it has to remain a remote switch somewhere else.

 

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1 hour ago, Voros said:

The main thing I learned about this map is that if one thing happens, another thing happens somewhere else on map. It follows this trend, so mostly easy to follow the progression (albeit very unengaging).

What say teleporters to take the player directly to what else just happened?

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5 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

What was changed?

 

Opening the door located at (+1294, +1904) will break the entire map, creating HOMs everywhere and rendering the level unplayable.

 

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15 minutes ago, Litrivin said:

 

Opening the door located at (+1294, +1904) will break the entire map, creating HOMs everywhere and rendering the level unplayable.

 

It got the wrong door type, should have been 31 instead of 103.

What about the changes as such? I'm still waiting for some opinions if this version plays better, regardless of that single door that can easily be ignored (which is why I missed it when testing.)

 

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New MAP15 seems ok. Going to miss the computer maze. Could have shortened it, instead of entirely remove. 

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5 hours ago, Jayextee said:

What say teleporters to take the player directly to what else just happened?

If done right, life = improved.

 

Parts of the map like the yellow key room is activated by some switch far way, so a teleporter upon flicking would seriously make things better.

 

It would be especially useful in those cases, but for rooms like flicking a switch opens a very closeby door, I think it's a matter of making the player understand that the switch opened this and should go back to the door (which is only a paces back or so).

 

New MAP15 seems ok. Going to miss the computer maze. Could have shortened it, instead of entirely remove. 

I'm glad it's gone. Not a satisfying room at all.

Edited by Voros

Posted (edited)

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37 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

What about the changes as such?

In my opinion, very positive. Gameflow is fluider and more natural. I really hated the computer maze, and now it is history. I am going to play this without nomonsters on skill 4 to see the changes.

 

Anyway, I think this map suffers somewhat from overuse of Revenants / Dark soldiers, which replaced in the past certain chaingun / minigun zombies.

 

P.S.: There are leftovers on the automap of the removed secret with an invisibility sphere.

Edited by Litrivin

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1 hour ago, Catoptromancy said:

New MAP15 seems ok. Going to miss the computer maze. Could have shortened it, instead of entirely remove. 

I had no idea what to do with it, except having a redundant switch. Actually, this was the most pointless switch in the entire level - just to open a room where you have to hit - yes - yet another switch!

 

And seeing from other reactions it's 3:1 against the section, so all is well! :P

 

Updated version with the door fixed and the secret leftovers removed.

 

http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/JAN3Tory/file.html

Edited by Graf Zahl

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I have realized that currently there is no SSG and no berserker, due to the removed corridors. One SSG should be added, we are speaking about a map with many pain bringers / hell knights, so player needs something relatively powerful. Same for the berserker.

 

This map had in the past one ultraoverdrive sphere. I would restore it, replacing the secret overdrive sphere with an ultraoverdrive one.

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I'll look into it tomorrow. I hadn't realized that the cut-out sections contained important items, I was more interested in general flow of the level.

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One SSG should be added so that player can get it before than getting the blue key, because (due to the new flow) one flame bringer / arch-vile is released when getting this one. And the combat to get the red key should be reviewed. It is not nice having to deal with one flame bringer, multiple trilobites and these annoying sniper dark soldiers.

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