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Steve D

Abcess - 6-map Doom 2 episode - Now on Idgames

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PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT TO ENABLE 3RD PARTY HOSTING

 

FOR IMPORTANT INFO, PLEASE GO TO:

www.photobucket.com/P500

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13 minutes ago, bonnie said:

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ACCOUNT TO ENABLE 3RD PARTY HOSTING

 

FOR IMPORTANT INFO, PLEASE GO TO:

www.photobucket.com/P500

Are the pics not showing up? They do for me. They seem to want $400 a year for 3rd Party Hosting. That won't happen. ;)

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On the positive side, Photobucket is still on-point with my avatar. Otherwise . . . 

 

Shotgun Symphony is next. I still have to implement some of your suggestions, including those tricky co-op issues. I need to beef up the climactic fight on E1M7, and then rdwpa had a great suggestion for E1M8 -- tons more Cacos! -- but that will require a lot of new architecture -- another suggestion he made. Just been beaten-down with real-life work. But Abcess and Shotgun Symphony should both be on idgames before  mid-August. Then I go all-in to finish Realm of Intensified Chaos and I can finally move on to new material.

 

Hmmmm, it would be cool if you had something going, too. ;) 

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1 hour ago, Steve D said:

On the positive side, Photobucket is still on-point with my avatar.

That's because Doomworld is likely hosting it, not Photobucket.

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55 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

That's because Doomworld is likely hosting it, not Photobucket.

Thanks for the info. What a relief!

Edited by Steve D

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13 hours ago, Grazza said:

First of all, lose the title pic if you want this to be taken seriously.

Well, it's meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. ;D

 

And the large, open wound they're working on is an abcess. I'm not an artist myself and didn't want to bother anyone over a 6-map set, so basically it's look for a pic online or use a screenshot. So I went looking for abcess pics. This one came out well when I did the palette conversion with XWE, and it didn't lose as much detail as some of the others. 

 

Edit: All the gruesome open wound pics have been removed. Titlepic will soon be changed. The biggest benefit IMO is that the new titlepic will look cooler even though it won't be as stomach-churning. ;)

 

Edited by Steve D

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OMG. :D All I can say is that a warning would be nice next time. Some people are sensitive to such things...

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4 hours ago, Memfis said:

OMG. :D All I can say is that a warning would be nice next time. Some people are sensitive to such things...

Sorry about that. ;D

 

And now the real bummer. It seems I've misspelled the word Abscess. Now that hurts, because I'm not sure I still have the original pics, so I'm stuck with the spelling unless I change to an entirely new pic, maybe a John Wayshack drawing, but then there's copyright issues.

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56 minutes ago, dmg_64 said:

Yeah what the hell are those, makes it look like another Joke.WAD.

I honestly don't understand. This is Doom, right? Morbid imagery is IMO appropriate. There's already 30 screenies from the set. The notion that this is a joke wad should already be put to rest. Do people really place that much importance on a titlepic? I use ZDL, so unless I'm launching Risen3D, I never even see anyone's titlepic. As a mapper, I just like to map. Finding new music and titlepics is an enormous time sink which I'd never do except that it's considered essential for multi-map sets. But it's definitely pushed back several releases of mine while I search for something to use.

 

Like I said before, the titlepic is meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek. I did the maps 20 years ago and found the titlepics a year or so back. Give the maps a go and let me know if you think this is a joke wad.

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For those who hate the titlepic, your prayers may soon be answered, mainly because I have to change the name to its correct spelling of Abscess. I'm banking on the idea that zombie wallpapers have no copyright issues, at least for material that doesn't generate money, such as PWADs. I also started looking for autopsy pictures last night, but didn't have much luck. It's still an avenue worth pursuing.

 

Also, since I'm not doing vanilla maps, I'm wondering about using higher-rez titlepics. Not sure how that's done, I still shrink everything to 320x200. I play at 1920x1080, so maybe something at half that rez would work?

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@Steve D Some of us (probably myself included) don't really have strong stomachs, even if we've played a particularly dark and violent game for half, or all, of our lives - bear in mind that while no doubt gory and graphic, Doom's gory graphics are 1993-tier, meaning they are pixelated, comically exaggerated to an almost cartoonish extent (sort of like Mortal Kombat's silly-as-hell gore), bright red in hue instead of blood's actual color of sickly dark crimson - nowhere near realistic, in other words. A photographic image of a gross bodily blemish oozing pus is pretty much a different ballpark entirely.

 

I'm not saying you mustn't have it as your TITLEPIC, especially if you're concerned with preserving the legacy of the levels, but it'd perhaps be in good taste to find something more in keeping with Doom's aesthetics. dmg's snap judgements are a little ill-advised, BUT the shock value of those pictures is probably enough to turn a lot of your potential player base away. It's like seeing one of those thumbnails on YouTube for "world's biggest cyst removal" and all that general gross-out-style nonsense, and I can't imagine anyone in their right mind would be keen to look at anything beyond the thumbnail. (Though I guess those views must come from some subset of people.) The only folks I can imagine won't get turned off by seeing a real-life human abscess onscreen when they fire up Doom will be physicians, or those who've experienced such maladies themselves.

 

You also, uh, may wish to consult Doomworld's FAQ to verify if posting photographic content of that kind to a message board which is public is allowed, just a thought...

 

Either way I like the look of the levels and I'd be happy to play them - I mean no offense with this long-winded post. D:

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1 hour ago, Steve D said:

I also started looking for autopsy pictures last night, but didn't have much luck. It's still an avenue worth pursuing.

lol goddamn steve it's a little 90s game where you shoot colorful demons, not a death metal album cover. If you want something bloody yet aesthetically pleasing, use one of Jordan Eagles' works (like this). Also I don't think copyright issues necessarily apply to repaletted, low res pictures, no? It's not like you're selling the wad or claiming the art as your own.

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9 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

You also, uh, may wish to consult Doomworld's FAQ to verify if posting photographic content of that kind to a message board which is public is allowed, just a thought...

 

Either way I like the look of the levels and I'd be happy to play them - I mean no offense with this long-winded post. D:

Thanks for the heads-up, Jimmy. I removed the pics. I don't want to get post-helled! :D

 

No offense taken, either. Thanks for your input. It's conceivable that I have either a stronger stomach than some or a more depraved sense of humor, take your pick. I can't say I was ever truly satisfied with any of those pics, even though I thought they fit the theme. The main problem for me was the graininess and flatness once they got palette-converted and shrunk to 320 x 200. They just didn't look that great, which I reckon will always be a problem no matter what I use.

 

Another note: I'm a big fan of the early industrial band SPK, and although those initials were used for several different word combos, I always preferred the original version, Surgikal Penis Klinik. They used pics of vivisected bodies not only on their album art, but also projected in live performance. Saw them in San Francisco back in the day. They were amazing.

 

Anyway, the funny thing is that I now have so much creepy wallpaper art that the whole issue of whining about finding titlepics is over forever. I literally cannot make enough mapsets to use all the art I currently have, so everything is groovy now. :)

 

Now the really big question, since DoTW brought it up while we watched Suitepee's excellent livestream of Insertion for the Ironman League. Should the spelling be the IMO cooler-looking Abcess or the correct spelling of Abscess?

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You and your cheerful 90s sleaze, Steve. I don't reckon I'd have assumed this was a jokewad or meant to be transgressively shocking for the sake of it from the present image, but given some of my other schlocky tastes in media I guess I probably am pretty desensitized to imagery of that sort, real or staged.

 

Hopefully the new image I suggested works out a mite better, should still fit what you're going for while being significantly less objectionable,  I reckon.

 

Matter of the titlepic aside, I would heartily recommend folks give these maps a shot, as there is nothing quite like them out on the market these days. In some ways it's obvious they are from a long-past time, but Steve has joyfully embraced modern standards of violence and largescale combat unlike any other author from his time, and so these make for big bloody romps that should entertain skilled players on UV while providing others approachable massacres in big, abstract environments of a wholly different sort from surrealist masters of the present day. These maps are just plain fun!

 

Incidentally, since Adam already busted your chops about Shotgun Symphony, I'll also take this opportunity to poke you in the ribs a bit and ask you not to forget KrauseHaus, either. ;)

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The RC5 beta with new titlepic is here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/czxtpkpmxov0ozi/AbcessRC5.wad

 

OP has updated link.

 

RC5 is just my internal numbering system. The other RCs were the result of changes I made when going through the maps on HMP. There was a missing item plus missing monsters and monsters stuck together because of messed-up difficulty flags on various maps, including a really bad one on Map06. I still have more tweaking to do on alla dat stuff.

 

My thanks to those who pressed me on the titlepic. I think the new one looks pretty cool, I just hope no one else has used that pic. If anyone knows of a project that's already used it, please let me know. i don't get to play as much Doom as I'd like, so I might have missed it even if it was in a famous wad. Here's the new one in .bmp format for a quick look;

 

 

I'm leaning towards using another Breathless track for Map06. I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts.

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So I've done yet another beta, RC7:  http://www.mediafire.com/file/p339iivuvhb83a9/AbcessRC7.wad

 

OP has been updated. This will be the final release candidate.

 

After a full playthrough of Map06 on HMP, I still ran into some stuck monsters and missing ammo. Those issues have now been fixed. I also decided the first big fight was too easy on HMP, so I added a couple of the troublesome monsters, which for some reason I had swapped for easier monsters before.

 

The HNTR playthrough is next. Since hardly anyone plays HNTR, I'm not too worried about tweaking that skill setting immediately.

 

I still really want playtests of Map06 at least. I'd say that in its current configuration, there's a distinct possibility that people may ragequit the map in one of the big fights. So this is your chance to hold me back. ;D You can see that I am amenable to suggestion by looking at the titlepic issue

 

Keep in mind that I just wanted these fights to be difficult. Ragequit was not the goal, but for players at my skill level, the challenge is pretty high and Map06 is definitely not FDA-friendly.

 

Another note -- if anyone is capable of editing MOD files, there's a scratch sound in Heat Miser that I'd like to have removed.

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A couple of FDAs for 03 and 05 of RC5. These were fun. I did these to relax between other runs, so I jumped around through the mapset a bit first. A bit too busy to type a feedback post at the moment. I'll try to give 06 a go later.

 

abcessrc5_0305_rd_fdas.zip

 

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6 hours ago, rdwpa said:

A couple of FDAs for 03 and 05 of RC5. These were fun. I did these to relax between other runs, so I jumped around through the mapset a bit first. A bit too busy to type a feedback post at the moment. I'll try to give 06 a go later.

Thanks a ton, rdwpa. Awesome runs as usual. I'm both shocked and gratified that I got you down to 5% in Map03. That particular area saw the biggest changes, because the rising HKs and all the teleporting enemies are new. The outside area with the Plasma Gun secret has also seen a lot of work, with new enemies and structures. The rest of the gameplay is more or less as it was in '97.

 

Amazing performance on Map05. Getting the Cyb and Mastermind to infight was a great move, well deserving of the fist-pumps. ;) You did it in a situation beyond my ability to make it happen -- I'd have definitely died from super-chaingun bursts. That's probably my favorite of the maps because there's more ways to approach some of the bigger fights. Your battle for the Rocket Launcher was surprisingly intense, with enemies coming up both stairs while Cacos harrassed you from without. Because of foreknowledge, I've already killed almost everything by the time I grab the RL. It's more fun the way you did it. In this map, the biggest gameplay change, aside from the new dark lab area, is the Cyb.

 

I didn't see any ammo or health balance issues. Everything seemed on-point.

 

RC7 is advised for Map06. Even though the stuck monsters were primarily an HMP issue, from time to time a couple monsters got stuck on UV as well, not so much in GZDoom or PrBoom as in Risen3d, which I'm using for the lower-difficulty runs because its auto-aim and RNG seem extremely player-hostile compared to PrBoom and GZDoom, so it makes things more exciting.

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I played the first two maps (I ran out of time before playing the rest of them) and I remember these maps when they were shotgun symphony.

 

I remember being frustrated with the hitscan snipers and meager ammunition. There's still a lot of pistol sniping and its hard to carry a shotgun shell inventory that goes into double digits until very late into the map. I was able to get through after a few attempts but I had this lingering feeling that I had to have missed some shellbox or chaingun somewhere. What do you like about this kind of gameplay steved?

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Some casual playthroughs (semi-FDAs, but I was familiar with the first 5-10% or so of each map, including the first encounter in 06, from doing exploratory glances yesterday for the maps that'd suit what I was in the mood for). 

 

abcessrc7_010206_cpt.zip

 

Yeah I'd concur that 05 is a very good map: the setup from the mastermind onward is the sort that I wish I'd see more often in Doom maps, an engaging freeform battle that spills between lots of different areas.

 

01-02 were a couple I wasn't in the mood for yesterday, with all the ledge hitscanners and emphasis on small-arms combat. Amusingly in 01 when I first saw a chaingunner I thought for a second, 'wait what's a chaingunner doing in a D1 map' -- the Shotgun Symphony origins aren't too hard to discern. In 02 the instapop trap in the water near the end made me chuckle, because I was just thinking, 'no way is this area trapped'.

 

06 is pretty fine difficulty-wise. It's also possible to just bolt from the first fight while holding down fire with the chaingun, fleeing back to the start area. In the last big rev fight there is lots of space, so that should be fairly manageable. 

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Here's my FDA for map06 of version RC7. Played with glboom+ 2.5.1.3 -cl2.

 

Finished without deaths in half an hour or so. I wouldn't say that the map is particularly FDA-unfriendly since all ambushes seemed perfectly manageable without foreknowledge (and with a healthy dose of cowardice). Note that I did find almost all secrets which might've been a pretty significant help since the rewards are pretty generous. Overall it's good fun.

 

The first big battle is probably the most dangerous event in the map since you're initially sandwiched in relatively tight quarters. The final arena is, in comparison, much less punishing if the player can just handle multiple Cybers at once (please ignore the face rocket in the demo, I forgot to dodge :D) since there is a lot of space to move around. I like the damaging floors in this part a lot, which add another dimension especially to the Cyber encounter. I had 200/200 so I wasn't too concerned about the damaging floors initially but if the player is not in such good shape, the battle can be a bit trickier I think. The sections in between the aforementioned ones could've been beefier for my tastes to be honest. The cavernous areas would've been perfect for some Caco-wave action or pesky distant Pain Elementals for example...

 

The age of the map does show in the general layout and style I think. I mean, this is more or less a hub map with linear completely linear progression. The map can be easily separated into a handful of large parts, each with it's own distinct texture theme. The music in this map didn't loop for me so it was basically silence after the first fight. I wasn't too dissatisfied by that though because the music was pretty damn loud in glboom+.

abcess06_FDA.zip

Edited by Veinen

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8 hours ago, 40oz said:

I played the first two maps (I ran out of time before playing the rest of them) and I remember these maps when they were shotgun symphony.

 

Actually, these maps were never part of Shotgun Symphony, and most of them predate SS by a good 6 months. I'm pretty sure I released 03, 04 and 06 before I even started E1M1 of SS.

 

8 hours ago, 40oz said:

I remember being frustrated with the hitscan snipers and meager ammunition. There's still a lot of pistol sniping and its hard to carry a shotgun shell inventory that goes into double digits until very late into the map. I was able to get through after a few attempts but I had this lingering feeling that I had to have missed some shellbox or chaingun somewhere. What do you like about this kind of gameplay steved?

 

On the issue of snipers and ammo starvation gameplay, the easiest answer is that when it comes to traditional base maps, my biggest inspiration is Toxin Refinery. My original Realm of Chaos maps had virtually zero Knee Deep influence, but over time I started gravitating towards that style, because finding secrets, especially if I could get all the secrets in a chain, soon became as much fun for me as the combat, sometimes even moreso. So finding the secrets in these maps helps the player a lot. The secrets aren't essential, there is sufficient health and ammo to defeat the maps, but if you don't find the secrets, you'll feel a lot more stress because your ammo and health is tight and you might get taken out by the next blast from a Sergeant. I'm actually happy if players feel that way, and of course, I'm trying to take them out. I also feel that the ammo and health balance is a lot friendlier than in something like Base Ganymede, where I found myself actually running out of ammo far too often.

 

And I do seem to remember a few high snipers in Map01 of Mutiny. ;)

 

There's another wrinkle with Maps 01 and 02, because they are both actually Map01s. The reason this is worth noting is that back in the '90s, a very high percentage of players played continuous, including me. As a result, our mapsets were designed for continuous play. I, and I'm sure many other mappers, tended to view hitscanners as 98-pound weaklings. What scared us was mid-tiers. Even Hell Knights were scary when your dodging ability left much to be desired. Plus, they don't die easy. We also maybe weren't that good at designing scenarios where the Meat Game, as opposed to the Hitscanner Game, was effective. And let's face it, most mappers who favor the Meat Game approach tend to use a lot of Revvies, and Revvies, with their homing rockets, are like dodgeable hitscanners. If you don't design good Meat Game scenarios, and you have a lot of mid-tiers as snipers, then what you end up with is a lot of trivial harassing fire and grindy clean-up unless you have a ton of rockets and plasma. So given all that, early maps in the '90s would tend to feature more hitscanners before we built our way up to the marquee monsters. After all, hitscanners can hurt you, but they die so easy. It's the Revvies and Mancs you have to be scared of. So Map02 here was the original Map01, and the original episode name was gonne be Deth2U, which is why Map02 is named Death To You. Map01 was actually started after all the other maps were finished and was going to open a different mapset, and I called it Abcess. So when I failed to actually make the mapset it was intended for, I dropped it into this one and moved the original Map01 to Map02. To beat a dead horse, you can see that in Map01 there's a secret Blue Armor that you can only get at the end of the map after completing every leg of a secret chain. The maps are now optimized for pistol-start but still betray their continuous origins owing to the weapons progression. You can't get an RL until Map02, Map03 eventually gives you the SSG and RL, but the Plasma Gun is in a secret area, as is another SSG. Map04 has a secret BFG, and since there are no free BFGs in the mapset, if you never find any of the secret ones, you'll end up facing 4 Cybs and a Mastermind in the final battle of Map06 with just a PG. It was a very painful experience for me, I can tell you. ;D

 

If you push on into Map03 and beyond, you'll find the Meat Game much higher in the balance. There will still be snipers, but it won't be as big a deal. It's all part of the whole attrition thing. The snipers are there mainly to attrit you, to chip away at you until the big fights happen, so that you'll be in danger of dying -- the "Chip-Chip-POW!" approach. :D

 

Natch, people who blaze through maps and don't care about secrets will have a different view than those who take it slow and try to solve the puzzles. You might find my Amiga Demo Party maps more to your taste, because they are small, abstract maps with a much lower hitscanner count, but they are also as vicious as I can make them, so that has to be considered. I'd say the most well-known of those maps is Heat Miser from MAYhem 2048. I personally advise people to not play that one in PrBoom because of the potentially painful infinite-height issues. I aim to do an entire megawad of maps like that.

 

There are things in Abcess that I never do in my newer stuff, especially locked doors that aren't key doors. I really hate that as a player, so nowadays I use bars to let the player know they need to find a switch to open them. There's also a few switches that actuate fairly distant doors, which leads to confusion and wasted time for the player. I left them as they were because these maps really should have been released back in the day and I wanted to keep them as purist as possible. By contrast, a lot of the Shotgun Symphony maps were either partially finished or never even started, so I had more leeway, though there were still confusing switches in the new maps. It's a hard habit to break. ;D

Edited by Steve D

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I agree that the title graphic should be changed. It's a bit much.

 

The first map alone makes it hard to keep playing: it's hard to explain, but the overall gameplay is very slow and tedious. All the guys shooting from all those sniping towers all over the beginning area. Lots of walking allll the way to this switch, then allllll the way back. Dull near-symmetrical layout with nothing that's visually interesting. I feel like I'm doing chores, not fighting for my life. That's about as concrete as I can get with my critique.

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4 minutes ago, Impie said:

Lots of walking allll the way to this switch, then allllll the way back. Dull near-symmetrical layout with nothing that's visually interesting. I feel like I'm doing chores, not fighting for my life. That's about as concrete as I can get with my critique.

The make-work "hit this switch, then go to the other side and hit another switch," was an issue in my old maps. Quite a few of them had this feature, and even today I find I need to watch myself with that.

 

The high snipers weren't an original part of the design. I was just looking at the oldest version of the map from October, 1998, and they weren't in there. Actually, the map was unfinished, and you couldn't exit, so no wonder. :D But those sniper towers do come down. If someone was doing a maxdemo, they could speed through the map, hit the switch, and deal with the snipers on the ground, along with all the monsters that get released at the same time. You could also choose to speed through on a Fast run, hit a couple switches, grab the blue key, and exit.

 

Probably the biggest issue I can imagine is the shotgunner intersection. Players have to slow down there, because they're liable to get killed if they try to blaze through. I can understand players getting annoyed, but this is a playtest, so it's a good time to point out anything you think is a flaw. Obviously, a player starting cold has no idea those towers will come down, so no reason to run past them and get them later. Maybe Imps at that spot is better?

 

The reason I put the snipers up there is that I like to attack the player from multiple heights and angles whenever possible. The ceiling was high and the walls were at a 45-degree angle in the original, and I saw the opportunity to make platforms, and later, monster closets behind the platforms. If enough players really hate it, I could put hanging twitchers up there and still have the platforms descend to release even moar come-back enemies. The layout itself won't change because I'm releasing spiffed-up '90s maps, and apart from a couple useful pathing changes in 03 and 05, I want the maps to be mostly what they were. '90s maps are not exactly renowned for flowy designs. You may find some of the others more visually interesting if you push ahead. But these are '90s maps. ;)

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35 minutes ago, Impie said:

I agree that the title graphic should be changed. It's a bit much.

 

You must have the first file. The latest, RC7, contains the new titlepic, which you can also see a few posts above. No more medical procedure. ;D

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