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My new WAD Rocket Hell

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(UPDATE) Hello everybody, this is the second doom WAD that I have posted on Doomworld. This thread is kind of old, but I have been been working on this wad for a couple months so I figured why not post an update? A month or two ago I uploaded this with the name "The Canyons of Hell" and asked for your guys opinions, now I have put in a couple months of work and I figured I would update this post one last time before I actually try and upload it onto the idgames archive. The new name is Rocket Hell, because of the number of rockets you will be shooting on UV!


I just wanted to try and get some feedback and constructive criticism before I upload it. I am a new mapper so I have a lot of room for improvement I feel like. Some info on the map:


Length: One map, around 30 minutes long give or take

Build time: roughly 3 months, on and off

Format: Made in DB, doom in hexen format

Ports tested: Zdoom + GZdoom

IWAD: Doom 2

Gameplay: Singleplayer

Difficulty Settings: yes, UV is supposed to be really tough, it's a big difference from HMP.

Requirements: Freelook is recommended, jumping/crouching are not. None are necessary to complete the map.


Heres some screenshots:







I admit, this map is pretty long, and you may die a lot, (especially on UV). However, there are autosaves, and I tried to at least make the map fair in terms of difficulty. It's not too difficult on HMP.


Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/37uq6a23lkm2a42/Rocket Hell.wad?dl=1



Have fun, and please let me know what you guys think. I am fairly new to doom mapping and I would really appreciate any constructive criticism and/or advice. Thx!


Edited by Jthom

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Hey Jthom,

I've had a quick go of your map this evening. I started to play on UV, although after re-reading your comments I noticed it hasn't been balanced for that difficulty, so I'll have to try it again on the lower difficulty setting. Either way, here are my initial thoughts and findings.

I got stuck at a particular bit after entering the area where the steps fall to the ground, revealing enemies behind you. After I went into the next area the entrance closes behind you, and I was trapped inside.

Another issue was I bumped into an area with a HOM effect, although its difficult to see in the screenshot. Caco's come from that area and they seem to appear from behind it, so it seems to be a minor texture issue. I've added a couple of screenshots to help point out where these two issues were found.

There is some nice detailing throughout the map, and I particularly like some of the outside areas with lava falls and broken up platforms. For this area in particular I would advise against having so many enemies that are shooting the player from far away. Game play wise, it can be frustrating when you are getting hit by monsters that are half way across the map. I like to play the game as close to the original as possible, so I don't use jumping or mouse look. It makes picking off these far monsters a bit of a chore, although in many of the areas it wasn't too bad. I would say the blue key area takes it a little too far in this regard, as the player is forced along a very narrow pathway, so you end up getting hit unless you simply rush past it. 

There are some nasty traps about mid way through the map, but they did help to offer different types of engagements. I would recommend adding a few columns or other line of sight blocking scenery in some areas (but not all). I found in a few areas with Arch-viles I had no choice but to back out of the area entirely, as without any cover you are certain to get roasted. The large open areas in your map means certain enemies, such as the gunners and Arch-viles, will have guaranteed hits on the player in some situations that come up. As I found health to be scarce, or at least not consistently placed throughout the map, I started dying pretty quickly. As you mentioned though the UV difficulty requires a great deal of tweaking. Before a major fight, its good to give the player a soul sphere or something similar so they are able to combat the situation, otherwise you can end up feeling hard done by. If the monster count remains similar as it is now for UV, I would definitely look at adding several soul spheres, at the very least, in key locations.  

There is good variation in scenery dotted around the map, and it certainly feels like your adventuring through some forsaken canyon infested with demons! I would check out a post in the general forums called 'tips for new mappers,' the second post by rdwpa has a lot of useful links that I have found interesting and helpful personally, so you may find the info helpful as well. Keep it up, and I'll look forward to seeing your next maps.

EDIT: I've had a quick go on HMP, and most of my points still stand.

There needs to be more ammo for the amount of monsters on the level, as after you pass through the blue door the monster count ramps up quite a bit.

I did notice some soul spheres earlier on the level at this difficulty, which is good! I'd be tempted to say you need them more after reaching the blue key area as I feel the difficulty ramps up from that point onwards, particularly the initial trap that occurs with a butt load of monsters appearing behind you.   

Large open areas and Arch-viles don't mix very well. The large semi-circle area with the star shaped building in the centre is a good example of this. The one inside the star shaped building is fine here, but there are a few others that come out of the small door after activating the switch near the barons + hell knight. Dealing with them one at a time without cover is one thing, but if you have multiples coming at you, and there is nowhere to hide, then there's nothing you can do in that situation. I'd look at cutting there numbers down a bit. You don't need to get rid of all of them, as at times you want them to apply pressure on the player, but its usually a good idea not to place too many.       

Stuck 1.png

HOM Effect 1.png

Edited by Relinquished

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Thx Relinquished, glad you liked the map. I just want you to know, I played your most recent map Blood Temple awhile ago and I was really inspired by the visuals. That's where I got the inspiration for some of the detailing in this map, actually, so thanks, hehe. I loved the design of that map, especially the bloody scenery. By the way I edited the OP and fixed the HOM effect and the area where you got stuck. Yes I definitely need to tweak UV to be more balanced. I still have some work to do before I upload the map, but thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it!

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The map appears to be broken on UV, as Relinquished mentioned. There is a PE that apparently opens a door upon dying, but this isn't tagged properly on UV it seems, so you just get stuck in a room (unless i missed something?). I played the map until this point on UV, it was pretty challenging in a couple of areas but not impossible. My thoughts are therefore based on playing this in UV until this point.


  • Sometimes less is more - i felt that most of the map was fairly packed full of monsters and at times it was a lot of grinding away with the SSG/chaingun at a very slow pace. If i tried to play fast it usually ended up in death through the sheer bulk of monsters.
  • Turret monsters are fine but too many can be a pain in the ass to pick off especially when there is a lot of them and they have high hp. The blue key room was a particular annoyance due to having to walk the tightrope through there - i had to play so slowly and pick everything off bit by bit because there was barely any room to actually dodge projectiles.
  • More (lots more) rockets would help the above two points a lot i think.
  • I don't think the 'healing water' works as a concept... maybe just put a bunch of health kits somewhere instead (or the odd soulsphere?) so i don't have to stand around doing nothing, waiting to heal. On that note i think generally more health and particularly more armour would have let me play much more aggressively.
  • If you are using switches as a form of progression, it really helps to give an indication of what the switch has activated so that the player has an idea of where to go next. I found myself a bit lost sometimes, not sure where to go. Some players like that but it seems that most don't.
  • Barons are generally best avoided, they aren't a big threat and have loads of health, they only really work in particular circumstances (usually in close quarter combat i find).
  • The map is brown as fuck in most areas, although texturing is completely subjective i guess.
  • A nitpick but what's up with the 20MB sound file of the E2M8 music? You could just use the midi file itself :)

I know these are all negative points but overall i think you did a really solid job generally for someone with little experience and i admire your ambition in going for trying to create a pretty big beast of a map, so keep it up and make more stuff, i'll be sure to look out for it. It seemed to me that the traps and general ideas got better as i progressed which leads me to believe that you continually got a better grasp on things as you made the map. The 'amphitheatre' area and trap was particularly memorable. You also made some cool use of lighting in several areas.


FYI sometimes it can be hard to get feedback on large maps simply because of the size and how much there is to get through - if you were looking for more specific critique in the future a series of smaller maps might be an idea, they are easier to examine in detail.

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Thx for the feedback, I've taken your guys suggestions and tweaked the map a bit. Way more rockets, more health and armor, and some changes in monster placement. Overall, UV may still be unbalanced at times but at least now it should be less grindy and there should be enough health and ammo. Overall I appreciate the suggestions and I want to try and make a decent challenge for the hardcore players out there, hope you guys had fun playing this. I will update the download link when changes are made, thx for the suggestions guys. 

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11 hours ago, Jthom said:

Thx Relinquished, glad you liked the map. I just want you to know, I played your most recent map Blood Temple awhile ago and I was really inspired by the visuals. That's where I got the inspiration for some of the detailing in this map, actually, so thanks, hehe. I loved the design of that map, especially the bloody scenery. By the way I edited the OP and fixed the HOM effect and the area where you got stuck. Yes I definitely need to tweak UV to be more balanced. I still have some work to do before I upload the map, but thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it!

No problem, I'm glad to help. I agree with everything Scotty has mentioned as well. When I get some more time I'll give it another bash once the changes have been implemented. You have some nice details going on throughout the map, and I wish you luck for your release. 

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Hello again guys, I updated the map and after a few months, I think it's nearing completion. It's taking longer than I thought but, I have enjoyed working on this map. If anyone would like to give any further feedback, it would be much appreciated. A pretty old post, but I've added plenty of new stuff so I figured I would give it another bump one last time.  I have rebalanced the map and added in new areas and stuff, and have playtested it on both HMP and UV, so both should work. Gonna upload it in a week or so :).

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