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

6 hours ago, Litrivin said:

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.

I'll leave the gameplay tweaks to Jayextee. You are right, though, that the monsters here need to be toned down a bit.

 

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Ok, last technical tweak.

 

(-1027, +264): two enemies are paralyzed and they are unable of attacking, at least on Chocolate Doom and PrBoom -complevel 2.

 

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After some time I played through Graf's edit of map15, and its getting better for sure. My thoughts on how it can be improved:

 

In the hub room (the area with the three main doors), I took a different route in order to see if I could finish the map without being confused. In short, I went into the right door, collected blue key then the left door for yellow key. Two things bug me here.

1- The "main" door AKA plasma rifle secret room one. Its position in the map implies to players that it is an important door. A better idea, if you ask me, that doesnt make players think like this would be to just remove the door. In fact the whole plasma rifle secret is obscure, so why keep this room at all?

2- The real "main" doors. These two doors have a blue and yello rooms. might be a good idea to add a small marker near these doors so that they imply what keys are found here. 

 

Getting the yellow key is strange still. For the player's sake, adding a teleporter here wouldnt hurt or at least, adding a yellow label near the switch would help.

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Just pinging the topic to say I will get around to assessing new/updated maps -- had a bit of a scare with my health of late, but I haven't forgotten my voluntary duties here. :)

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37 minutes ago, Voros said:

Getting the yellow key is strange still. For the player's sake, adding a teleporter here wouldnt hurt or at least, adding a yellow label near the switch would help.

That part is indeed the thing I liked least about the map because the switch gives no indication what it does.

 

So, the side room near the switch with the imp it also opens could be converted into a teleporter that beams the player directly to the yellow key room. Of course that room then also needs a teleporter pad visible through the window and the door can only be opened from the inside.

 

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Does every possible switch need to always have an action directly visible to player? This is the only issue for yellow key. There is no more hunting as the door now faces player, it is very easily seen when approached. The yellow key is also highly visible. Linear path comes to dead end, follow path back. Realize the room with  the highly visible yellow key has been opened. 

 

Making sure every switch in every map has a visible action that the player can see is beyond strict.

 

There are tons of maps and many in Freedoom that do not have instant realization of switches. Almost all our maps do this. The one single switch in MAP01 does this. Two in MAP02. Probably every map actually. If all switches need to have their results visible, then all maps need adjusted. 

 

This is entirely  different than open area maps that have many routes and open flow. A door randomly opening can be a  problem in those. 

 

 

Edited by Catoptromancy

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The yellow key room switch is an important part of the map. There is literally no sign on exactly what it does or where to go. Adding a simple label next to the switch would help a lot.

 

map01's switch makes sense, as we first see the secret then the switch. Map02's switches has labels. Yes, a lot of maps don't have a direct visible result, but let's face it. That yellow key switch is poorly designed for fresh players.

 

We saw the yellow key room, ok. How does one understand that the switch opens that door? It could be anything, because for all we know it could have opened any random door in the map.

Edited by Voros

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Sounds good to tag switch then. I think there is still that ambush when backtracking and area is shorter too. Teleporting a player to easily find-able area does not sound right.

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Anything is fine, as long as the player knows what that switch did. That's the important part.

 

Short areas should stay. The map is already so big :P

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This is probably a minor thing, but the starting area of map15 has an uncanny resemblance to Doom 2's map15, doesn't it?

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I have just a quick question regarding MAP17. Do I have to make an actual city map sandbox style or I can simply do a city-themed map? I am making it nonlinear but not an actual city map that is sandbox like Doom 2 MAP15 etc..

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Do what you feel. I'd prefer something non-sandboxy personally; but whatever works better to your style of mapping will result in a stronger final map IMO.

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Okay, I just played Graf's latest revision of MAP15 and my thoughts?


Couple of changes and I'd call it 'good enough'. Somehow the switch to open the blue key area should be clearly-marked (I'm thinking a Pac Man-style 'pill trail' of health bonuses to lead the way; not totally, but when in the general area -- we can probably see fit to remove the equivalent value of medikits/stimpacks for balance, IMO there's more than enough health as-is); and said switch really ought to lower a teleport pointing the player where to go.

After that? Nothing much. The map is switch-hunty, but IMO it gets a free pass by virtue of being MAP15; putting the player into the hunting mindset may bring them into the spirit of finding that hidden exit (which, by the way, I can not find. Just an 'exit door' with no visible way of opening. Whoops).

 

As for the red key fight, I kinda liked it personally.

 

And I agree with this:

 

On 22/03/2017 at 1:02 AM, Litrivin said:

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.

 

Shotgunning the mid-tiers was a bit of a slog if I'm honest.

 

Kudos for @Catoptromancy making it vanilla-compatible and still really detailed, too. Man's a legend.

 

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18 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

finding that hidden exit (which, by the way, I can not find. Just an 'exit door' with no visible way of opening. Whoops).

 

Press the use key at (-252, 767).

 

By the way, nodes of map15_gz2.wad should be rebuilt in any case because PrBoom prints this in the terminal window when warping to the edited level:

 

P_LoadReject: REJECT too short (0<85492) - padded

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1 hour ago, Jayextee said:

Somehow the switch to open the blue key area should be clearly-marked

 

 

 

Considering that you can see the switch from the door, this could be used so that both this one and they yellow key switch get some similar markers so that the later yellow key switch's function is easier to deduce.

 

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Honestly, I didn't know which of the many switches finally opened the area; and which of the others were superfluous things that ended up in secrets, which I seemed better at finding than the actual map progression.

But I thought "this is sorta okay, MAP15's about secrets anyway".

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There aren't really that many mandatory switches anymore. AFAIK, the ones you absolutely need are:

 

- the blue key room switch. (This is the one in the cut down computer maze, the one you can see from the door it opens when looking through the window to the right.)

- the switch to open the corridor to the blue key door.

- the one to open the room with the above switch again.

- the stair building switch right before the yellow key room switch area.

- the yellow key room switch.

 

And with the exception of the last one, they are all relatively close to their target.

 

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Okay, then. Just my bad. ;)

Perhaps a small trail of health bonuses at the three-door junction indicating which is the best first door to approach (blue key room switch) could theoretically soothe backtracking? I like the trail idea, it's certainly a more elegant solution than a big Petersen-esque arrow on the floor. ;)

Yellow key room switch seemed logical though, what with the blue key coming first and the red key door being clearly marked as an exit the yellow key room being opened just seemed to make sense. Also, it has the additional swarm of enemies after being switched, so I'd be reluctant to put a teleporter there - perhaps the far side of the area, so enemies still have to be battled?

As always, I welcome other people's thoughts on all this.

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To reduce the risk of a new player wandering and backtracking, I would consider tagging either the door at (48, 1346) or the one at (-656, 1024 [more likely this one so one can see there is a yellow card to hunt while disallowing further progress without owning the blue card]) as one door with the proper blue stripes which requires a blue card. Of course, by doing so the current blue door should be a normal door without blue stripes.

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The trail idea is indeed a good way to make players go in the right direction. In fact, if that was there from the beginning, the map would've been a lot more fun to play through, because cohesion I guess.

 

But the problem, if you ask me is the door that leads to the switch related to the plasma rifle secret. It's positioning in the map implies it's the main door, and the other two mandatory doors don't seem like it.

 

May I suggest something very simple? (The room with the three doors, specifically, the door with a lift behind it) a "watchtower" room has a switch which opens a room (which has another switch) that opens the plasma rifle room. There are two "watchtowers" here. Here's what I'm saying. One tower has the switch used to open that room near the red exit door. On the other tower, add a switch that'll open both doors of the yellow and blue key rooms (essentially the doors can't be usable then). I thought it was weird when I came into this area, and found only one switch among the two towers.

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If @Jaws In Space doesnt plan on keeping map24, would it not make sense to hand it over to @Jayextee, and possibly transform it into a map17/map20?

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If I forgot to post before, I am not fixing MAP12. Even with doors closed there is massive HOM and VPO. Many areas are quite salvageable, but gameplay and routing will be highly affected.

 

Maybe will fix later, but no plans.

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Catoptromancy, if it'll save you a ton of ballache just forget MAP12. Can scout for a replacement if we really need to.

Also, checking in to say: taking a little downtime at the moment from this. As far as I know we've no hard deadline, so a break every now and then to eliminate the risk of burnout seems apt; especially given that this isn't my only creative project. If I'm not active for a while, know I haven't ditched FreeDoom.

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Would using this as a base suffice for map12? Sergeant_Mark_IV brought this up as a map09 for 0.10 IIRC. I also think he used this map as base for a map in the Starter Pack, but IDK as I haven't played that mapset.

 

The map has some tutti fruttis, a few segs overflow and 1 HOM IIRC. Nothing too big, 95% of it is vanilla.

 

Worth mentioning: there's a massive difficulty spike after obtaining the blue key. Becomes a freaking slaughterfest if you ask me. 

Edited by Voros
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4 hours ago, Voros said:

I also think he used this map as base for a map in the Starter Pack, but IDK as I haven't played that mapset.

FWIW, it's also in 200minvr.

 

You'd probably like the starter pack, just from the recognisability factor -- there's half a dozen or more old freedoom maps in it in various disguises.

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New MAP15 needs a node and reject rebuild, PrBoom-Plus complains about truncated reject lump.

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Yes it does. I guess Talon didn't do that, even though I mentioned it.

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