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The /newstuff Chronicles #536

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  • Doomworld Roulette: Session 2 - Various
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 3.53 MB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    Doomworld Roulette: Session 2 is a community project - stay with me - consisting of maps inspired by a theme generator. As a result, we get themes like "The Emerald Farmhouse", "A Christo-Judean Arcology giving way to A Sheepish Little Slice of Hell", and "Some Soups morphing into The Cloudship".

    Yes, there is a soup-themed map in this.

    Aesthetically, it's all over the place. Some are better than others, that is for sure. It took me way too long to play these eleven maps, but a lot of these maps were just that large and deserved exploration. They all play differently, and they deserve to be played with pistol start on each map, so don't expect those newfangled weapons mods with money systems to play well. The number of monsters on UV may be too many for some of the complex weapons mods, which tanks the frame rate to garbage. Try those mods at your own risk.

    Maps that stood out: Pinchy's MAP10 gets hectic quickly. I savescummed the hell out of it, but holy hell is it pretty. MAP11 is, quoth AnonimVio, "shit", but not so much that it's unplayable, it just has a clash of poor lighting vs. the sky chosen for that map. And it's cramped due to being too close to the source material!

    MAP06 is supposed to be London, if you believe the text file. It also gets the "worst map in this set" recognition for having no gameplay whatsoever. I was bored a minute into playing it. Are we all so afraid of making a map that has any sort of linearity? Joe-Ilya decided to try a "sandbox-like" approach, which means there are no clever monster setups and no sense of progression. Oh, and there's no lighting to speak of. Avoid.

    MAP04, MAP05, MAP07, and MAP08 are amazing. MAP02 is a little too mazey. MAP03 moonlights as a sadist. MAP01's music is "Fate in Haze" with some awful chords in it, which I had to turn off as soon as I heard it. It also has a lot of Green in it (the map, not the music, that would be weird).

    I hope there's another one of these coming out soon, with even crazier ideas!

  • 50 Monsters - Brayden "AD_79" Hart et al.
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 6.39 MB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: geo
    50 Monsters is aptly named, as each of the 34 maps has 50 monsters, and I see this as a great thing because every level is detailed, compact, interesting, enjoyable, and never outstays its welcome. It's almost a Doom 2 replacement in terms of length of time each one takes. They each have just enough challenge and complexity to where they stay enjoyable.

    The levels manage to look unique from one another, although there are a few times where the same theme is reused from level to level. There is a good mixture of liquids, height variance, elevators, stairs, open arenas, and catwalks in each map. This pack doesn't seem to do hallways or narrow spaces; there's always enough room to fight and or dodge.

    They look good, they play good. There is enough ammunition, armor and health with both easy and difficult enemies scattered throughout each level. At the end it usually crescendos with a larger enemy such as an archvile, revenant, or mancubus depending on what you had already fought during the map.

    For anyone that dislikes backtracking, there is backtracking, but most levels morph, shift, and open up that it seems to make new areas out of old ones. Plus the maps are so compact that it never felt like a chore. The developer also knows when to spawn in a new enemy in an old area to let you know you're going in the right direction.

    At around a third of the way through the pack, the challenge ramps up as the game is done losing, so it throws four cyberdemons at you to end one level and has four archviles hunting you down in the next. I assume both challenges are designed for you to run away to the next door. The deeper into 50 Monsters I went the more traps there were. Some subtle and surprising such as the entire floor lowering, while others were obvious, such as oh look a lit key in that dark pit. Solid central areas raise to reveal what's hiding inside.

    The pack is well worth anyone's time to play and it flies by fast.

  • Undeath '94 - Various
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 756.52 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: Csonicgo
    The Doom community likes to make derivative works, even though we won't catch most of them admitting it. Introducing Undeath '94, a set of maps based on 1994 DM maps with some interesting IWAD elements. It also has a story that puts the Doom comic on notice.

    The story consists of... uh...

    "When I was young and my horns were just coming in, the girls and I would go down to the Containment Area to play hide-and-seek. Sometimes the nice marines would join in. And there, between the boxes we'd lie in wait to ambush them. But more often, we got over-exited and careless and so they found and fisted us. It was a lot of fun!"

    Never mind.

    A lot of maps resemble the Episode/Map slot they replace, but the layouts have been taken from 1994 DM maps. From what little research I did, those IWAD-ish areas were "fit" into the layout, but not faithfully in terms of orientation - even if it feels like they are. I like this approach. But how does it play? For claiming to have "IWAD" difficulty, some levels are ridiculously hard in comparison due to the number of hitscanners and positions of the monsters at the start. (Note: I'm saying "in comparison"; these maps are easy for me.) Get ready to scope out and ration your radsuits accordingly.

    The main problem is that with that Deathmatch layouts come some really intimidating paths. It's not obvious where to start going! I found myself getting lost a few times, although most of that is due to my habit of backtracking and finding other areas before finishing the first area I visited. I missed a blue key on E1M3 due to this and ran around for a good twenty minutes before it hit me that I had skipped that area. There are also many ways to get to the same place, just as a good DM map should have. Good luck figuring out the fastest path, speedrunners!

    These maps felt like my first experience with Doom, before I could map IWAD level replicas in my sleep. As a child, I would always get lost in E1M7, and that I can get lost in these maps kind of... takes me back to that time.

    If you wonder why I'm not being as harsh on these as I could have been: Remember that these layouts are from 1994 - they're older than some of the kids who think they can map for this game. Speaking of Episode Two, E2M1 is boring, lacking lighting, and contains needless repetitive texture usage. Looking at the source layout map, it's not that much different!

    But at least it's structured!

    Oh, and E2M2 is an awful tech version of the Unholy Cathedral courtyard with newbie monster placement. Stick with the E1 maps.

  • Devil Trauma - Martin Read
    Ultimate Doom - Single Player - Vanilla - 32.1 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    Basic short map by a first time author. I didn't notice any technical problems but there isn't much to praise either. The outdoor areas are way too bright to my taste and they are rather scarcely populated, so surviving is trivial. The texturing is logical but unappealing: I would recommend using more colors instead of making areas almost entirely green or red. There is a cute teleporter that works differently depending on how you approach it, which is probably the best part of the wad. Overall, for a "first serious attempt at producing a PWAD" it's definitely passable, now let's just hope that Martin doesn't stop here.

  • MyFirstUpload - Bonfac
    Doom 2 - Single Player - ZDoom Compatible - 504.64 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: MysteriousHaruko
    "MyFirstUpload" is also the author's first wad, so when I saw it, I said to myself, "I must check how this plays". Long story short, I expected something bad or unplayable, but I was wrong. This mapset is intended for advanced source ports like Zandronum and GZDoom. I tested this with GZDoom on medium skill.

    Gameplay was quite weak. It lacks health and ammo. Some places had them, but others not. If the shotgun is presented in the first map (even as a secret), there should be shotgun shells somewhere. Even shotgunners are a good source ofammo, but the author decided to put in player blocking lines. Also, the backpack and super shotgun in the second map are also pointless, because they were placed at the end. Due to quite claustrophobic map design, it was hard to dodge monster attacks. Monster placement felt weird, especially the in early stages. For example, I saw a pinky demon trapped in barrels; it was fun to blast it, but that's it. One backtracking trap was unfair – I was snipped off by shotgun guys from the back while I tried to get away from hell knights; this could be improved if the player had more health and ammo. Now, more about the positive side – friendly marines were like a cherry on top; they took care of monsters while I grabbed some ammo and rested. Some other demon traps caught me off guard (but I quickly got away from them), but I don't think this is a bad thing.

    As for the visual side of the two "MyFirstUpload" maps. Both maps are based on some sort of moon, so I assumed the theme would be techbase. Both maps use some new textures, GZDoom effects like dynamic lights, 3D floors, and slopes. As I mentioned before, maps don't have much space and focus more on action than exploration. I spotted some misalignments, but they don't break anything. Texture choices are decent for the first map like this, but it doesn't have too many details. A starry skybox added charm to the outside areas.

    Music in both creations are the same Doom II track - "Message for the Archvile". Maybe I seem like a spoiled player, but I prefer to hear two different tracks.

    Some complaints about text file now. When I scrolled down and saw the line "May Not Run With: None" and later "Tested With: Gzdoom, Zdoom, Zadronum". This is quite misleading, and it's better to write that this wad won't run in vanilla/ Boom ports.

    To sum up, "MyFirstUpload" isn't bad for a first wad, of course there are more better wads, but this one gives us hope for the better wads from the same mapper.

  • BaG - Za Warudo
    Doom 2 - Single Player - GZDoom - 331.4 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: MysteriousHaruko
    "BaG" is Za Warudo's first wad. I believe that this wad name refers to "Black and Green", because map01 says its name is "Black and Green with some brown". This wad is intended for GZDoom and I tested it on medium skill. Gameplay is straightfoward. The player just grabs a better gun, shoots demons and moves on to other sectors. Once I ran out of shotgun ammo and I had shoot a hell knight with the pistol. Besides that, I liked how the gameplay flows, and fighting with archvile near end was fun. The best part of the gameplay was a fake exit trap. It tests player's reaction and observation before he gets crushed to death. I see this trap as some sort of punishment for being way too fast for reaching the exit. In terms of ammo/health/armor distribution, there should be more of them. A few parts of the map require crouching.

    Visuals, as map01 stated, are full of green, black, and some brown. The author used lots of new textures and they all are well placed. Details are kept at a minimum. Most of the visible misalignments mark the escape route from the crusher. Dynamic lights in this map are pleasing; the author knew how to use them. Actually, there's no proper height variation; the map is mostly flat, besides some 3D floor and slope usage. The main layout isn't too confusing, so I didn't have any problems with navigation. Almost forgot to mention, the wad theme is old good techbase. I liked the author's musical taste in his first map – he bothered to change "Running from Evil" into the metal MIDI "Rainbow in the Dark" by Dio.

    In the end, a lot of work is still required, but I hope the author will fix all the issues and create something interesting in the future.

  • DEHACKED Revenants - scifista42
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Vanilla - 6.67 KB - screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: Philnemba
    DEHACKED Revenants is a set of not so serious DeHackEd files that change Revenant behaviors in um... unusual ways.

    Revivant.deh makes Archviles resurrects ANY monster into a revenant, while Pain Elementals spit 'em out instead of Lost Souls. Oh and they're slightly more aggressive and like to leap towards you too.

    Skel_op.deh basically makes Revenants stupidly OP (hence the name of the file) by giving them double health, double aggressiveness, quadruple speed, instant melee attack, shooting five missiles in a row, and shorter pain animations.

    Op_reviv.deh is just the two previous DeHackEd files mixed together for double the pain and chaos.

    While I do find these DeHackEd files amusing, people who completely dislike them should steer clear of this, while everyone else should give them a try for fun and giggles.

  • Math Test - Albatross
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 79.37 KB - screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: Memfis
    In this charming little wad the marine has to put down his weapons and solve a few mathematical problems instead. There is some humor in the level that you just have to experience by yourself. If you want to spend a few minutes in a slightly unusual way and you're at least a little bit interested in math, check it out.

  • Ever Shrine - Alter
    Doom 2 - Single Player - Boom Compatible - 1.54 MB - screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif screenie.gif
    Reviewed by: leodoom85
    Ever Shrine is composed of three cave-hellish and a bit of Eldritch-themed maps that can keep you on alert, and that I'll talk about in more detail for each:

    Map01 - As you will notice, you don't have much space to maneuver at the starting point. Ruins left by some sunken ships has imps that will attack you. Fortunately, you have some barrels to do the work for you (after all, demons are dumb enough to shoot them). There are some areas that you can pick up weapons like the shotgun, SSG, and chaingun, which are necessary for clearing this map. There's one weird thing about this area and it's the water (first image). The deep water effect (or 3D sectors) used for this plus the damage that you can receive is strange, and that can be a bit annoying.

    The next major area is the land, and things will be a bit easier than the starting point if you're careful. I really like the combination of mixing the actual land with caves tinted by blue rocks and more water. And the lighting helps a lot too (second image). Another nice touch is in one of the areas which shows a ship in the distance if you step into one of the turrets (third image). Did I mentioned that behind the starting point, there is a nice looking tower? Well, surprise... an archie is waiting there along with a megasphere... tasty. I did that after clearing most of the map and having enough ammo and weapons. Also, that secret backpack really helps for getting more ammo.

    Overall, it is a nice map that gives you a good challenge and tells you that more of that type of the gameplay is coming. The only part that leaves me worried is the starting point, but that's not too serious if you're careful. OH... what about the music? Great music.

    Map02 - This is where the mapset gets interesting and raises the difficulty. Three paths to take in the starting point and one of them is blocked. I noticed that there's a clear increase of revenants, spiders, mancubuses and archies, which will be a predominant topic in the next map. Still in caves but lava is added, feeling that you're close to hell or something. I really liked the entrances to those "shrines" or whatever (fourth image), and it's clearly identified with a big letter. A, B and C are the names of those shrines where the main objective is to press a switch which can undo the blocks in the last part.

    Well, those shrines are obviously infested by hellspawn which changes the amount and difficulty of monsters in each shrine (one of them has a megasphere in it which will help you a lot). I forgot to say something important, and it's related to the custom textures... I dig the look of all of them. Some of the secrets in this map (fifth image) are... obvious but really unexpected. I mean, no one would expect a place that you can walk into casually where one sector is marked as a secret. Oh... and there's a water area near the "C" shrine that was fairly hard to deal with, but luckily there's a soulsphere that your choice to pick up or not.

    After clearing the shrines and pressing the switches comes the last part of the map with a nice vista of the exit (sixth image). This part was fairly hard too, but the BFG will do the job perfectly fine. After doing that, you reach the exit which is some kind of big portal (seventh image). The architecture for that is great, and what a way to enter the next level.

    This map is really fun to play combined to some big places packed with monsters. And surprisingly, no traps whatsoever like crushers. Nice detail to the map and another nice music track.

    Map03 - Continuing to the "same place" after crossing the portal and watching the amount of monsters in the map, you realize that this last map will be fun to play, and after running through the water current, you reach a huge and great looking city (eighth image). This map has some amazing visuals and I like it. But the main event here is the gameplay, so here we go.

    In order to clear the map and reach to that portal in the center of the map, you need two keys that are in two mayan-inspired pyramids but before reaching that, you need to dispatch the ambushes that this place has in store. This map is pretty generous with the ammo, and you can probably reach full ammo when you're in the final area. One suggestion is to lower the amount of ammo and put a few more monsters to make it balanced. Also, this map is pretty non-linear in terms of getting the keys... you can choose the left way or the right way; it gives you some freedom.

    To me, the hardest part of the map was in the right side, close to where the key is (ninth image). Fortunately, there's a lot of space to deal with the monsters. Some BFG tactics will help you, or run away from that area to form a bottleneck and kill them easily... any option is valid. And again, lots of ammo scattered around the area, plus some health.

    Last part (tenth image) is easy enough. Just let the cyberdemon kill the poor archies but have your BFG prepared in case that doesn't happen. Now that you're in that area, you can see why that area looks really good. The switch for that final lift is well hidden, so look well for that, and crossing that final portal ends the level. Great.

    Overall, this map was awesome. Just some balancing issues with ammo and such, but this map is still hard and you must stay alert at all times, especially the revenants and their homing projectiles, which can be a serious advantage for a big map like this one. Nice music too. Great detail for the map. Liked it.

    For a three-level mapset played for the first time, it's a great one, and I totally recommend trying this wad. You'll have some fun playing it.

The /newstuff Chronicles is a usually-weekly roundup of new items uploaded to the /idgames archive, and it is written entirely by community members like you. If you wish to contribute, the /newstuff Review Center is the place to do so. Register on the Doomworld Forums first if you don't already have an account, because you need one to submit reviews. Special thanks goes to the nearly 300 users who have submitted reviews over the past several years.

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First review ever for my case. And the other reviews were great to look at. Nice stuff.

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Looks like I will end this day with a high note reading a new newstuff article :)

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I hope there's another one of these coming out soon, with even crazier ideas!

I'm hoping that there's another doomworld roulette session too, but the real hope is having more people involved than the last time we tried doing this (if I recall correctly, there was like 3 people doing a map for this project )...

Make it happen!


Anyway, awesome reviews!

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Thanks for the awesome review Leo, I think small but focused mapsets are the way to go for me in the future. I'm terrible at anything bigger to say at least, Freudian Slipgate doesn't count as it was an even joint collaboration between me and friends in the community (hi Pinchy ;-;).

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