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Quineotio

Thinking about abandoning this level - seeking feedback

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Requires zdoom 2.81 and Brutal Doom v20b.  http://crutherfordmusic.com/toxin_refinery_25.wad

 

I've been working on this level for over a year and it's become an unwieldy mess.  I wanted to make a huge, detailed level with scripted events ala half-life, with a non linear design, optional detours, kitchen sinks etc.  Basically I wanted to explore some of the more advanced features on modern ports.  But after all this time I'm not even half done, and I'm thinking the end result mightn't be worth the effort.  Nevertheless, there are a lot of ideas in there that I think are cool and I wanted to share.

 

I designed it for zdoom 2.81 but due to the size of the level it's starting to chug.  Changing the lighting and everything to look good in gzdoom isn't something I'm prepared to do and is one of the reasons I'm thinking of starting something new.

 

Screenshots don't really do it justice because there's a lot of movement and lighting effects, but:

 

 

The level isn't finished so there are dead ends, the fights aren't polished and I haven't put ammo in everywhere so you may need to cheat if you run out.  But there's about 30 mins of gameplay and things to do, buttons to push etc.  There are 112 scripts in the level, ranging from lighting effects (e.g. fluorescent lights flickering when turning on), doors with multiple moving parts, airlocks, explosions, lifts that malfunction in interesting ways, and other more complex scripted sequences.  I'm curious if people enjoy this style of gameplay, and I'd love some feedback.  If you play, make sure you find the yellow key card.

 

How to find yellow key if you're stuck:

Spoiler

The area leading to the yellow key is accessed near the beginning by entering the sewer next to the wastefall.

 

I wish I could give you the finished version to get feedback on, with new sounds, music etc, but it would be another year of work.  I still think there's enough there to be worth your time.  Please note that you NEED to use brutal doom or the explosions won't work properly.  I hope you have fun.  Please leave your thoughts.

 

EDIT: One more pic from the editor to get a sense of scale.

 

Edited by Quineotio

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1 hour ago, Quineotio said:

Requires zdoom 2.81 and Brutal Doom v20b.

if it unironically requires specifically zdoom 2.81 then yeah you should probably abandon it. unless you mean it will work with newer versions of g/zdoom and just didn't say so ya frickin noodle

 

edit: i don't mind being forced to use brutal doom at all especially if it's a zdoom map

Edited by bonnie

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8 minutes ago, bonnie said:

if it unironically requires specifically zdoom 2.81 then yeah you should probably abandon it. unless you mean it will work with newer versions of g/zdoom and just didn't say so ya frickin noodle

I started working on it before zdoom was abandoned, and before I knew much about engines and stuff.  I tested it briefly with gzdoom, but I couldn't get it to load with brutal doom.  It works without though.  I just really liked the zdoom aesthetic and it was working fine till the level got bigger.  I wasn't taking into account how massive it was going to be when I started.  In the end my ambition got ahead of me.

10 minutes ago, SArais said:

Looks promising, really, aside from the forced-brootle

 

With brutal doom, the explosions and gibs really stand out.  I also find that when designing brutal doom levels, it's often better to have wider corridors and bigger spaces, because the blood explosions fill in the detail and leave areas filled with gore.  And the enemies move quicker.  Even just the zombies shots being tracers adds a lot to the level I think.  Seeing gunfire rain down from across a chasm is intense.  Basically, I think that there are experiences you can create in brutal doom that won't translate well to vanilla, so rather than worry about compatibility I just went for spectacle.

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It's just that it doesn't make sense that it would require both zdoom, which uses a software renderer or whatever, and brutal doom, which requires mouselook. I get severely disoriented and a little bit nauseous and also my wrist starts hurting really bad whenever I try using mouselook in software renderers ;~;

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I was more speaking on terms of gameplay; but if the map is specifically designed around using BD features; then I guess it's not easy to work around.

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1 minute ago, bonnie said:

It's just that it doesn't make sense that it would require both zdoom, which uses a software renderer or whatever, and brutal doom, which requires mouselook. I get severely disoriented and a little bit nauseous and also my wrist starts hurting really bad whenever I try using mouselook in software renderers ;~;

I never thought of that.  I just got used to it I guess.  gzdoom looks weird to me, hehe.  But in future I'll design for gzdoom.

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3 minutes ago, Quineotio said:

I never thought of that.  I just got used to it I guess.  gzdoom looks weird to me, hehe.  But in future I'll design for gzdoom.

well in gzdoom, you can always switch to the software renderer, achieving the same effect as zdoom, ya silly walnut

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16 minutes ago, bonnie said:

well in gzdoom, you can always switch to the software renderer, achieving the same effect as zdoom, ya silly walnut

I think back initially there was some other reason for zdoom, like slopes didn't work or something.  There's so much to know though, it's been a learning experience.  I'm better at design than technical stuff.

 

I have lots of ideas I want to show off so I sometimes push ahead without knowing all the technical details to make it work best.  I have a better idea of how to approach the next project though.  I really wanted feedback on this level earlier, but felt like I needed to put a significant amount of content into it to be worth people's time.

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I don't think you should abandon it, If anything you should scrap parts of it you like and use them in other projects as a base map.

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Yeah, it's very commonplace to pick things you like from previous maps and recycle them in new forms in new maps.

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16 minutes ago, Unholypimp1n said:

I don't think you should abandon it, If anything you should scrap parts of it you like and use them in other projects as a base map.

I'll probably do some of that.  At least re-using the concepts.

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4 hours ago, Quineotio said:

Requires zdoom 2.81 and Brutal Doom v20b.  http://crutherfordmusic.com/toxin_refinery_25.wad

 

I've been working on this level for over a year and it's become an unwieldy mess.  I wanted to make a huge, detailed level with scripted events ala half-life, with a non linear design, optional detours, kitchen sinks etc.  Basically I wanted to explore some of the more advanced features on modern ports.  But after all this time I'm not even half done, and I'm thinking the end result mightn't be worth the effort.  Nevertheless, there are a lot of ideas in there that I think are cool and I wanted to share.

 

I designed it for zdoom 2.81 but due to the size of the level it's starting to chug.  Changing the lighting and everything to look good in gzdoom isn't something I'm prepared to do and is one of the reasons I'm thinking of starting something new.

 

Screenshots don't really do it justice because there's a lot of movement and lighting effects, but:

 

 

 

The level isn't finished so there are dead ends, the fights aren't polished and I haven't put ammo in everywhere so you may need to cheat if you run out.  But there's about 30 mins of gameplay and things to do, buttons to push etc.  There are 112 scripts in the level, ranging from lighting effects (e.g. fluorescent lights flickering when turning on), doors with multiple moving parts, airlocks, explosions, lifts that malfunction in interesting ways, and other more complex scripted sequences.  I'm curious if people enjoy this style of gameplay, and I'd love some feedback.  If you play, make sure you find the yellow key card.

 

How to find yellow key if you're stuck:

  Reveal hidden contents

The area leading to the yellow key is accessed near the beginning by entering the sewer next to the wastefall.

 

I wish I could give you the finished version to get feedback on, with new sounds, music etc, but it would be another year of work.  I still think there's enough there to be worth your time.  Please note that you NEED to use brutal doom or the explosions won't work properly.  I hope you have fun.  Please leave your thoughts.

 

EDIT: One more pic from the editor to get a sense of scale.

 

 

 

Hey, I've had a really similar experience with my RetributioN WAD. If you want to take a look send a message and I will send a link but while it was strictly a vanilla mapset I spent an unhealthy amount of time on creating the atmosphere, peppering the levels with all sorts of interesting-looking locations and alternative routes and secrets. Just like your map, the levels were really big, 40+ minutes big. Since they were my first ever maps it took me a LOOONG time to make them and for a really long time they were a huge mess, with all sorts of visual glitches, misaligned textures and uncompletable.

 

There is really nothing else to say except...you gotta keep hammering at it and it will eventually come out. I personally love the atmospheric kind of maps and yours seems to be right up my alley. I hope you finish it.

 

In the future it might be a good idea to make smaller maps because it really helps with developing your skills. I made a map for Joy of Mapping 3 and I learned a lot from making it, mostly that I can make a good quality map in under 1 year. I suggest you make a level for the next session. I just hope Jimmy hasn't forgotten about it.

 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

 

Hey, I've had a really similar experience with my RetributioN WAD. If you want to take a look send a message and I will send a link but while it was strictly a vanilla mapset I spent an unhealthy amount of time on creating the atmosphere, peppering the levels with all sorts of interesting-looking locations and alternative routes and secrets. Just like your map, the levels were really big, 40+ minutes big. Since they were my first ever maps it took me a LOOONG time to make them and for a really long time they were a huge mess, with all sorts of visual glitches, misaligned textures and uncompletable.

 

There is really nothing else to say except...you gotta keep hammering at it and it will eventually come out. I personally love the atmospheric kind of maps and yours seems to be right up my alley. I hope you finish it.

 

In the future it might be a good idea to make smaller maps because it really helps with developing your skills. I made a map for Joy of Mapping 3 and I learned a lot from making it, mostly that I can make a good quality map in under 1 year. I suggest you make a level for the next session. I just hope Jimmy hasn't forgotten about it.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback :)  Yeah I've made some other levels where I don't put so much detail in.  It's definitely a balancing act between detail and finishing.  I like the idea of a massive complex that you can explore but it seems to get exponentially harder to finish as it gets bigger.  I have retribution but I haven't played it yet - so many maps to play.

 

I'm eager to hear from anyone who has played the level to know what they think of some of the scripted sequences.  Will help me to know what type of things to put in future levels.

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On 5/20/2017 at 2:46 AM, Quineotio said:

I'm just going to bump this once.  Really hoping for some feedback on the level.

I know it's been a few months, but did you decide to continue on with the level? Hopefully so, given that you were looking for feedback.

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No.  I was really hoping people would actually play the level and give me feedback on what's there.  I spent a lot of time on things that I thought were new ideas, I wanted to know if it was worth all the effort.  After no-one played the level I lost enthusiasm for doom.  I'll possibly make something in the future, but keep it more simple.

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I think I would quite like to test this level sometime (even though you've abandoned it), since I've been curious to see mappers making maps specifically designed for Brutal Doom's advanced features. Having played one of your previous BD efforts, I'm surprised I didn't pick up on this one either. Expect a livestream playthrough soon-ish.....

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Rework it to not be Brutal mandatory and as a suggestion, break the map into chunks if it has gotten too big.

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3 hours ago, Suitepee said:

I think I would quite like to test this level sometime (even though you've abandoned it), since I've been curious to see mappers making maps specifically designed for Brutal Doom's advanced features. Having played one of your previous BD efforts, I'm surprised I didn't pick up on this one either. Expect a livestream playthrough soon-ish.....

Cool :)  I hope it works for you, it has lots of scripts and such.

 

2 hours ago, Glaice said:

Rework it to not be Brutal mandatory and as a suggestion, break the map into chunks if it has gotten too big.

 

It has to be brutal doom, even if only for the explosions.  But also the monsters work differently, so you need to design the levels differently.

 

I can't really break it up.  It was going to be a huge facility and there are links between all the different areas, and lots of scripts.  It would be a massive effort to pull it all apart.  It was all working until a point, then it started to get slow and I realized I'd never be able to finish.  I learned a lot, but I just need to have a smaller scope.

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https://www.twitch.tv/videos/181504446 (1st map played)

 

I would like to see you finish this map, in all honesty.

 

While I didn't see too much in terms of the advanced GZDoom/Brutal features I was hoping for, there were some cool things in this level. (ignoring the unfinished detail/level areas) I liked the Cacodemons rotating around the stone pillar, and the toxic waste transfer part. (although the Cacos that come from that area need to NOT hang around awkwardly in the air afterwards) Gameplay was generally alright also.

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Thank you for playing :)

 

I don't know what features you're looking for with Brutal Doom.  The explosions, the hitscanners shooting from long range and general gore change the experience.  There are a lot of details in the level, and a few scripted sequences you didn't see.  The goal was to make it highly detailed and repeatable.  I know it's hard to really get into an unfinished level, but basically what you played was the beginning 3rd or so of what I had planned.  There's some stuff that I spent a lot of time on that is hard to notice - like in the sewer tunnel leading into the main crater, there is ooze on the ground that lights up temporarily when you walk over it.  It's hard to know if that type of stuff is worth it.  The idea was to have so much detail that the player finds SOMETHING interesting on each playthrough, and hopefully finds new things every time.

 

I was planning to add music and sound effects as well.  The gameplay I was going for was kinda half-life, where you're always in control but interesting things happen along the way.  I had so many ideas...

 

It's funny that you missed the yellow key card.  It's on the lower level after you pump the toxic waste.  I guess I should lock you in that area till you find the key.  If I ever go back to the level I'll fix up the cacodemons in that area too.

 

Watching you play, it was good to see that generally things worked out as I'd planned.  It gives me faith that I'm on the right track.  It's hard to know how things are going to play out when it's all in your head, which is why playtesting is so valuable.  You've played 3 of my levels now, and it's been so helpful, thank you so much :)

If you have any questions about the level ask away.

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