Freedoom phase 2, cluster 1

I promised a demo. This is not representative of what I intend for this mapset, this is an early WIP where I'm trying to work out which maps go where, and which maps I use at all. Run it in a port that can handle missing textures.

 

Here's the WAD.

 

I apologize for the rough state, but I have higher priorities than this and I do believe I have to the end of this year to come up with something more finished.

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Everything I said via PM still counts. And sanitise the WAD. I had to remove all the sounds, sprites, patches, flats and music myself.

Edited by Voros

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I suppose sharing my (old) PM wouldn't hurt.

====

Quick feedback.

Map02: Your unfinished retextured map02 from before, isn't it? Do me (or us) a favour and make it not a direct clone of Doom's map02. For starters:

the keys should directly open the doors, not by two switches.

Increase overall brightness.

Change the underground pinky room entrance (the one with the two square holes). Use a lift, or even wackier, a teleporter. Increase brightness here too.

Put the player start somewhere else, such as in front of the big yellow door.

Lower difficulty level.

Change most of the water flats to something different, like metal/concrete flats. Keep water flat in the spectre room with the yellow bars.

Map03: An old Freedoom level, and from the looks of it, an iteration of the current map03. Only uglier and more linear. If this is your plan for map03, I think it's a better idea to keep the current map03 instead. It's better both visually and design layout. Frankly, I don't think people will like playing this older map03.

Map05: Another old Freedoom level, I think. It's got architecture similar to map08, so same map author I guess. This map feels "old" and wasteful. Large areas, strange design. Feels like something from the early 2000 or so. Get on with times, right? I think this might have some potential , so I hope you make it less like a newb map and more like a professional one. Or use the current map06 (Nex Credo's map04) for this slot.

Map06: The current map09. Yeah, that's not a bad idea. It could certainly use polishing with the visuals, but the layout should remain untouched.

Map08: see map11. Feel free to use a Nex Credo/Sinister Intention map. No one seems to complain about any of those maps.

Map09: Oh crap. Wasn't it settled that the Jenesis map should remain in slot18? Jayextee seemed to agree with this. The general consensus seems to be keeping it in slot18. At least 3 people agreed with this. Looking forward to your response on this matter.

Map10: Hey, I know this map! Dragonfly's map submission, excellent work putting it in map10. I give my thoughts on this later.

Map11: Map08 redux. I'm all up for this, but what about map08? This leaves a paradox. Good choice though, the current map11 is too much like Doom's. Also, this map is vanilla (I didn't push it to the limits, testing every angle, but it's vanilla).

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9 hours ago, Voros said:

Map09: Oh crap. Wasn't it settled that the Jenesis map should remain in slot18? Jayextee seemed to agree with this. The general consensus seems to be keeping it in slot18. At least 3 people agreed with this. Looking forward to your response on this matter.

I think it was and in the last repo download I got, there was something different (from Nex Credo) in the MAP06 slot - but I also remember Blastfrog loudly complaining about that map.

 

9 hours ago, Voros said:

Map03: An old Freedoom level, and from the looks of it, an iteration of the current map03. Only uglier and more linear. If this is your plan for map03, I think it's a better idea to keep the current map03 instead. It's better both visually and design layout. Frankly, I don't think people will like playing this older map03.

 

Fully agreed. Why replace a perfectly fine (albeit not outstanding) map with something this rough and unfinished? And from looking at the layout I cannot see anything that may redeem this map.

 

 

Overall, I see that it's obvious that this isn't even close to being finished, but what I can definitely say is that instead of improving things, the opposite has happened. I hope there's enough time left to fix this later.

 

 

And finally, something general about the current state of affairs, not exclusively directed at this episode:

 

I had the feeling that several months ago things were going well and smoothly with rapid - and public - progress being made.

Then those idea of the "Czars" was implemented and I cannot honestly say that things have been going that well afterward. Suddenly most work was done in private and the public repo is not seeing any updates anymore.

I have to seriously question the entire point of having a repo here. Why even set it up if it isn't used the way it's supposed to be used? Hell, it wasn't even used well BEFORE, but now it's just ridiculous.

Ideally every "Czar" should have their own branch in there and frequently commit their changes for public scrutiny.


 

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I'm still butthurt about Blastfrog's vision of cluster 1.

 

As for the repo, I'm also concerned as to why there hasn't been any activity on the repo.

 

There is a massive texture replacement waiting to be added via PR.

 

Maps are out of the question, given how they are now under the control of several people.

 

I have assigned several new tracks to maps I believe need them, although its become hard assigning new tracks when the soundtrack is already full of excellent tracks. If only more people did more upbeat tracks that fit FreeDM. No PR yet.

 

There's also a sounds PR that should help make the death sounds less annoying, according to axdoomer.

 

Catoptromancy also made some placeholder sounds for missing sounds, which hasn't been brought up yet in GitHub.

 

And there's the E4 maps too.

 

I'm not sure why chungy or fraggle have been inactive on the repo lately, but I'm guesing its for good reasons. The PRs on GitHub are unrelated to the czars (mostly), so there shouldn't be a problem merging them. Who knows what's going on with maintainers?

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43 minutes ago, Voros said:

I'm still butthurt about Blastfrog's vision of cluster 1.

 

Good that you said it.

I wouldn't be that harsh considering that he hasn't really done anything except throwing out some maps and replacing others with inferior ones (which is bad enough.)

 

But whatever the vision is, I cannot really approve of taking the responsibility and then let it rot, for whatever reason.

Let's be clear The first slot in Phase 2 is what will ultimately make or break the entire thing, it's the first thing people will play and if that won't work it will drag down the other parts right with it.

 

Of course I even less approve of the maintainers (i.e. producers) of the whole thing not doing their job. Deferring work to others without providing any guidance and any rules to follow will inevitably result in an incoherent mess. Producing something good needs to be an active job, not leaning back and let others do the work on their own.

 

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12 hours ago, Voros said:

Map09: Oh crap. Wasn't it settled that the Jenesis map should remain in slot18? Jayextee seemed to agree with this. The general consensus seems to be keeping it in slot18. At least 3 people agreed with this. Looking forward to your response on this matter.

 

Blastfrog asked if he could use this map, I said no. And yet, here it is.

I really don't know how I feel about all this. There have not been clear lines of communication between Blastfrog and anybody else. I tried in my own thread; last update I made was that I was taking a break whilst I worked on a couple other things, intending to return to it - and I will. But everything else in there was pretty transparent re: my intentions with the maps, and I believe I stated that I wanted to keep MAP18.

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This whole czar thing requires teamwork. If Sodadoom isn't good, then someone else will have to handle the mess left behind. That's the biggest issue, if you ask me.

If it's not good and not committed to the repo, it'll still have a negative impact on those working on Freedoom.

Even though it's a rough concept WAD, personally I don't see how the "new" maps are actually more fun than the current ones.

Edited by Voros

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Just what I thought would happen and exactly why I was hesitant to share anything.

 

Everyone wants to complain and read far too deeply into what is literal scrap material that is meant to be heavily revised. I honestly want to work on this on a much slower timeframe, but nobody seems to want to give me time.

 

The old MAP03 for example is just there so I can use cool bits of geometry and rooms that were cut from later versions, I know the map as it is sucks horribly.

 

To note, I'm probably not going to use any new custom textures that aren't already in the IWAD.

 

6 hours ago, Jayextee said:

I believe I stated that I wanted to keep MAP18.

I thought you said you preferred to keep it but were fine with letting it up. Either you weren't being clear or my reading comprehension wasn't up to snuff that day.

 

6 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

But whatever the vision is, I cannot really approve of taking the responsibility and then let it rot, for whatever reason. Of course I even less approve of the maintainers (i.e. producers) of the whole thing not doing their job.

Let me make this clear: this is not a job, it is not a responsibility, it is a hobby. And it is not one that actually needs to move all that quickly, either.

 

I have, shall we say, "pressing financial matters" that popped up shortly after taking this position on. I work on my Doom WADs when I can. I would appreciate that time is not brought up at all until the deadline as set by the maintainer.

Edited by Blastfrog

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36 minutes ago, Blastfrog said:

I thought you said you preferred to keep it but were fine with letting it up. Either you weren't being clear or my reading comprehension wasn't up to snuff that day.

 

Whoops, looks like you're right there. I could've sworn I said to keep it, after all I'd rather gotten used to the idea of it being MAP18; I even planned some changes to make the blue key progression a bit. My bad; I've no idea why I had it very solidly in my head that it was to stay in the second cluster (ergo, I didn't update the thread OP to state anything otherwise).

Although fuck, that's another map we gotta source.

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@Blastfrog So, ive been waiting for this topic :), leme know what you need ok?

@Jayextee You need another map? If you want i can try to fill that map slot... :) Just shoot me some idea as to what you want.

Also, do you have a thread going?

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Even if it's a hobby, it still needs guidance. All other projects tend to have a specific goal, thus providing a foundation to build on. Freedoom seems to lack this.

IMO, Freedoom shouldn't take another decade to finish. People change over time. What might be considered quality today may be known as garbage in future.

@Soda why don't you clearly describe your plans first? Most of us probably thought that you were going to replace the maps with such inferior ones. Now, you say you just want to borrow parts of the map(s), such as architecture, and use them. Use them where? Really confused on exactly what you have in mind.

And the general consensus of map18 seemed to be to keep the map as map18. Why tone it down just to have it in an earlier slot? If a map was made to have Revenant snipers, hiscanners, Hellknight traps, etc. it should stay that way as much as possible. Especially if the design works appropriately.

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3 hours ago, Voros said:

Even if it's a hobby, it still needs guidance. All other projects tend to have a specific goal, thus providing a foundation to build on. Freedoom seems to lack this.

 

How true. I don't get it why the people who chose to lead the project are just sitting back, doing nothing and watching the mess unfold - and this was a mess with announcement and yet they just let it happen.

To be honest, this project needs a new leader, if you ask me. It's really surprising that people still haven't given up on it.

 

Maybe some coup is needed to boot out the ones that call themselves 'leaders' but don't lead and install someone who is willing to get it done *ACTIVELY*...? >)

 

 

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IDK what you mean by "*ACTIVELY*", but eh.

In my eyes, they are mainly the maintainers of the Freedoom resources. They manage the repo, create new releases, etc. What Freedoom could use, alongside the maintainers, is/are producer(s). Someone/a group that will handle the creative part of the project, making sure quality is present in each contribution and is legit, provides good feedback, open-minded (as much as possible) with new contributions, fairly active with contributors, and basically layout a good base for Freedoom to build on.

Maybe someday, this might happen. At the very least, someone who provides motivation to other contributors would be nice.

I know raymoohawk's sprites provided a healthy dose of this. Catoptromancy's mass vanillafication was a good step forward too.

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31 minutes ago, Voros said:

IDK what you mean by "*ACTIVELY*", but eh.

In my eyes, they are mainly the maintainers of the Freedoom resources. They manage the repo, create new releases, etc. What Freedoom could use, alongside the maintainers, is/are producer(s).

 

See, here's the problem. If they are merely maintainers of the repo, that's fine - as long as submissions get handled. But it doesn't look like that.

Furthermore, if they are merely maintainers but not producers they should not be in the position to hand out work to others. If they think they are the boss, they should act like a boss and provide some guidance and rules, not let people muck around in private and possibly create a mess - while still leaning back and watching the mess unfold.


 

31 minutes ago, Voros said:

Someone/a group that will handle the creative part of the project, making sure quality is present in each contribution and is legit, provides good feedback, open-minded (as much as possible) with new contributions, fairly active with contributors, and basically layout a good base for Freedoom to build on.

 

You know, that's what the 'Czars' should really do - not monopolize the work in one hand but managing their respective part of the game - maybe doing some work themselves but overall setting up some guidelines and delegating what can be delegated. In any case, for a project like Freedoom that should also mean setting up development so that external feedback is possible.


None of that happened because the upper management didn't properly manage. If they don't want to do that, they should install someone who will, and who won't let the repo rot.

 

Sorry, to be blunt, but the mere notion of the term 'Czar' says that there was a fundamental misconception of how things should proceed, instead of handling it as a community project these people were ultimately set up as dictators.

 

31 minutes ago, Voros said:

Maybe someday, this might happen. At the very least, someone who provides motivation to other contributors would be nice.

I know raymoohawk's sprites provided a healthy dose of this. Catoptromancy's mass vanillafication was a good step forward too.

 

Agreed. That's what I meant when I said that a few months back things were looking good and it seemed like the project was moving in the right direction.

But now it looks that everything came to a screeching halt because there's no longer a centralized instance where the project can be checked.

 

If nothing changes it won't come as a surprise if the project isn't in a better shape at the end of this year - or even at the end of next year...

 

 

I guess in many people's minds Freedoom has long become a laughingstock due to bumbled and incompetent development. There's so much stuff that has been added and tossed out again that one truly has to question the leadership. I think the most telling aspect is that some 14 years ago I compiled a 13 level episode out of the usable existing material - but when one looks at the current Freedoom, including the current work by the 'Czars', there's one single level left of that episode in a recognizable state from back then (That'd be MAP16.)

 

 

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What can we do about it? What's done is done after all. Might as well see what happens during the v0.12 release.

Edit: Although it doesn't seem like v0.12 will be that big of a release. Sure it'll probably have some better textures, some maps and music at least, but that might be it. If there were no "czars" just "creative directors", people like Catoptromancy would most likely still be working on the maps, thus progress, leading to motivation.

Hopefully raymoohawk gets his hands on a PC at some point, so that he can continue with his excellent sprites. Or if anyone's upto it, let someone else continue his work. I remember raymoohawk said he uploaded the Photoshop files as a backup.

Edited by Voros

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