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Subatomic

[RELEASE] Venenoso

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This is a small intro map for a new mapset I'm working on. There shouldn't be any bugs but let me know if you find any.

 

Edit: Forgive me, it's early in the morning and I forgot to mention this -- This is meant to be played using GZDoom v.1.8.10 or higher. Vanilla ports are not supported.

 

Download:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/hma5spxc64jp28q/VENENO.7z

 

Screenshots:

kOXCwmi.jpg

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9vwm8fS.jpg

 

 

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Man, no need to get desperate now.

I still got a pile of wads to process, and this one will certainly be qeued. But give us some time. You posted this only 6 hours ago.

Does it do mp?

 

 

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I'm not sure if I'm the right person to give feedback but I'll give it a try this once.

VISUALS:

-There are some nice details here and there, the best looking part was the secret nukage area

-I liked the lightning, I think you used some of the gzdoom light effects, I don't know much about these but it looked nice

-I would say that the biggest problem with the visuals is that many of the ceilings are a bit lower than they should be, you can improve how some rooms look just by making the sectors higher.

-Some areas seem a bit bland when they use the same texture for a while, something like having pillars on the corner or samall opennings in the wall with something inside might help with that.

-This is just me but there are a couple of places with 2 midtextures right next to each other which looks a bit weird, just one could be better.

GAMEPLAY:

-Most of the map consisted on monsters coming in low numbers from the front, maybe you were trying to keep it simple because this is the first map of a mapset but it's not very interesting. A missed opportunity was when a chaingunner and a specter are seen teleporting and they appear further ahead, having them appear behind while there are still enemies in the front would be more interesting and since the player already saw them teleporting it would not be cheap.

-There was not enough shotgun ammo, I had to kill several high-health monsters with the pistol, for some reason the chaingunners didn't drop their chaingun wich would really have helped to make it less tedious.

-Near the start some bars closed behind me while a closet with 2 imps openned in front, nothing wrong with that but it seemed a bit pointless as there is no reason to backtrack there.

-The worst part was a secret switch that teleported me in the middle of nukage, later I saw another secret with a radiation suit wich I assume is supposed to be used there, but it's a lot to expect of the player to not only find both secrets but also assume that they will need the suit when they press that switch, and with so little health in the map the punishment is very high.

-I didn't like the custom monsters that are invisible until they attack, specially the shotgunner, there is no way other than luck to avoid being shot before even knowing they are there.

 

Overall the looks are fine but the gameplay needs some work, I would recommend trying to make some larger areas and some fights with monsters attacking from different directions and heights. Trying to make the maps a bit non-linear is also easy and would make them more fun.

Also from what I've seen making your maps boom compatible would help to make more of the people here play your maps, most of the good stuff in this map didn't require gzdoom so not a lot would be lost.

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I'm hardly a veteran either, but I'd second Forli's comments for the most part.

 

  • Ammo/weapon/enemy balance definitely seems to be off, found myself using the pistol and even fists in encounters towards the end.
  • "Stealth" monsters that fade in and out are, from what I've seen, pretty controversial among Doomers. It feels cheap when you're running forward, are suddenly blocked by something you can't see, then BLAM take a shotgun to the face. Pretty much any kind of enemy can work in the right situation, but you REALLY have to craft the setup with these kinds of monsters if you're committed to using them. For example: an initial, straightforward encounter can establishes stealth monsters to be a thing in certain kinds of situation. Then you can throw a more complex version of that situation at the player, maybe when s/he is more vulnerable, and if you telegraph it you can create tension and unease. Here it was more of the BLAM SHOTGUN TO THE FACE variety. 
  • Agree x1000 with Forli on the secret nukage teleport. I found the yellow key rad suit first but didn't get it because I wanted to watch out for a major nukage area. On the trek out of the room found the teleport switch again. Pressed the switch (which I didn't expect to be a teleport to begin with)-->basically insta-killed. Not fun, felt like quitting right there. (Maybe not fair of me, either, but that was my reaction fwiw.)
  • Lock your visual style down. You've got at least one cool motif to work with--vats of nukage and metal rods that suggest machinery attached to them--and a set of textures that overall work pretty well together, but the level doesn't feel visually cohesive yet. Detailing seems a bit inconsistent. Compared to other parts of the level, the extended light brown area leading up to the teleport feels bland. When I got out of the crate rooms, in fact, I simply assumed I had moved on to another section of light brown rooms. It took a surprising amount of time to realize I was back in an area I had seen before. Detailing and visuals are less about making things "pretty" than helping the player inhabit the world you've built--they help the player understand spatial relationships, signal different phases in the overall narrative of a map, establish mood, etc. Some of the GzDoom light effects here are nice (I particularly liked the light coming from a newly opened door) but the visuals overall don't seem well-integrated with the overall experience of actually playing the map.

 

On the positive note, I like the mini-Cacos. Intrigued about what they're going to add to the dynamics of combat in map set as a whole. As I said, I think there's something to the nukage vats and metal rods/machinery motif that could be explored a lot more. Teasing the player with things they can see but not reach yet (i.e. blue armor initially) is a staple of good design, and works well here. Hope this helps!

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On the feedback to teleport chaingunners behind the player. We all like different stuff, but this is never a good thing in my opinion, at least keep that on the UV difficulty only, since Chaingunners drain your health quickly.

 

Congrats on your map by the way!

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone, I appreciate it. After reading everything here,  there are definitely some things I'll be changing/improving with the map.

 

The rad suit secret is a bit convoluted, and I think the issue for me there is that since I'm the one placing everything, I know where it is and how to reach it. I need to start putting myself in the player's shoes instead when planning secrets. There's no logical flow to it at the moment, unless you already know exactly where to go. Fine for the mapper, bad for the player.

 

With regards to ammo... I've been testing the map on the easiest setting so I didn't have to worry about getting killed. Ammo was never an issue. Obviously, most people aren't going to play on easy, so I'll be tweaking ammo supplies accordingly.

 

The stealth shotgunners/imps: I was intending them to be like spectres, with the wavy outline effect, but they are completely invisible. They can be a bit annoying when overused. I think what I'll do instead is remove most of them and keep only 1 or 2 of them for a trap/closet, and stick with normal versions everywhere else.

 

The chaingunners: I intentionally made it so they don't drop the chaingun because I didn't want the player to just faceroll through everything so easily on map 1, and I liked having a somewhat tougher enemy for variety. Unless this is considered a hugely terrible idea, I'll probably keep them as-is.

 

Regarding theme: I'll admit keeping a consistent theme has often been a weakness for me. I'll focus on the nukage/metal concept more and see what I can come up with.

 

About the bars that block the player early on: originally, I had a hell knight in the place where two imps are now instead. My intent was to force the player to fight him instead of running. But since this is map 1, I decided against having too many high health enemies like that and went with imps in his place. So those bars are a leftover from that and not really needed anymore. I will likely remove them.

 

Anyway, thanks again for all the comments and feedback. I'm taking a lot of it into consideration and will probably have an updated map ready in a few days.

 

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I didn't mind the stealth monsters, but I did mind the ammo shortage. I was also a bit annoyed that the chaingunners didn't drop their chainguns. Last thing I disliked from a gameplay perspective was the button teleporters to the nukage area: there was nothing that suggested these buttons would teleport you, so it was a surprise, and getting dunked in nukage by surprise is a bad surprise. It felt more like a punishment than a reward for finding the secret. It'd be better IMO if the button opened a door instead, allowing to go there by foot.

 

Visually, it was functional but a bit plain. I think you could use verticality more, not just minor height changes or stairways between areas.

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