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HAK3180

[New Maps 22 July 2021] WIP Limit-Removing Megawad Crossbearer

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I was recording a playthrough of Map 13, but I couldn't find the red key. I even opened up the map in Doom Builder, and even though it does inform me that there is a red key thing somewhere in the map, I still can't find it. I have probably spent 10 minutes wandering around in-game and scouring the map in Doom Builder and I kind of feel done with this map now.

 

...After another 10 minutes of annoyed persistence: There's a teleport in the sort of Satanic altar room?? What the heck. I was in there three or four different times, and I never saw it. You'd practically have to be standing on top of it already, seeing how it's depressed into the floor that's already raised. For something that was absolutely essential to progress, I think that the teleporter needs to be much, much harder to miss.

 

Up to that point was definitely a decrease in quality relative to the maps I played so far. Lots of very boxy rooms without very much detail, and the encounters were less interesting overall. I think most of the Barons I encountered would have been better as Hell Knights - they're pretty much just unthreatening ammo sponges the way they're used here. I was also a little bit confused by how cell ammo slowly grew to be my most plentiful supply and yet despite my determined search for the red key I never did figure out where the plasma rifle was at, either.

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@meapineapple, thanks for playing. Map 13 was the first map I ever made, and believe it or not, the thing that I've worked on the most is visual detail. There's an early BFG in a secret, but the secret is hardly marked at all. The plasma gun is basically with the red key. I think there is probably still too much cell ammo in general, and I'm not really sold on the progression, even assuming the teleporter were easy to spot (although no one has mentioned that particular point before). Suffice it to say that 13 is probably number two on the chopping block after 18, though 18 is much more conventional. 

 

If you intended to continue, here are some notes:

14 leaves something to be desired for me in the middle section especially. I kinda like the beginning and end. It's very straightforward.

15 also shouldn't get you lost at all, but it has one brief dark section that may annoy you. This was the sixth level I made, so I started to think a lot more about gameplay by then. It does have a secret exit, but I'm not sold on it. Pretty linear after the first fork.

18 is pretty boring looking but features a normal enough progression and perhaps some interesting gameplay. I don't think anything about it is terrible, but it's probably pretty meh all the way through in every category. 

19 is fairly recent, so expect somewhat thoughtful gameplay. It's not heavy on detailing, but it's certainly not a bunch of rectangles. Standard progression, slightly sandboxy.

22 is very straightforward with one minipuzzle, if you will, to break things up. It's also fairly recent, so it shouldn't be mindless grind. Ammo balance might be off on this one - I've changed it up many times. The second half could use more detail, but I don't think it's n00bishly bare.

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Your first map, really? I can't criticize it too much, then, because it's still better than my first maps. And you obviously learned and improved a lot since then.

 

I think there's an important distinction to be made between number of sectors and perceived detail... I did see the parts that got a lot of attention, but it seemed like they were often islands in big empty rooms, and that drew the focus away from them. Like the room immediately after the first lift - the lift itself and the arrangement of crates were great, but it was sort of centered in this big square room with uninterrupted stone textures for walls. Or the room containing the teleport - the altar and the ceiling were nice, but the floor was empty and begging for pews. There was the corridor connecting that teleport room with the door to the outdoor town area, which had nice lighting and wall detail, but it was still just a long rectangle.

 

I will probably try more maps later on, and I'm really looking forward to your next maps, but that friggin red key search got me pretty much Doomed out for tonight.

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Aaaaand map 14 made me ragequit. I have at least uploaded the video, but I didn't get very far in the map. I'm sorry, but the monster placement in this map is shit. That first open area, with the RL pickup, is frustrating and unfair. It's lke something I might expect to see in a joke WAD that's intended to be cruel and unwinnable, but not in this map set. It's got: A sniping chaingunner, two sniping revenants, a handful of other scattered hitscans on top of that, a pain elemental that can't be taken care of quickly (not to mention the RL is the only weapon you get to do it), too little ammo, and absolutely no cover. It adds up to a whole big bunch of to hell with this.

 

I'm looking forward to trying new maps since your most recent ones were good, but this is probably the last map I'll be playing of those you released so far.

 

 

Edited by meapineapple

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@meapineapple, thanks for your comments. Interesting, you think that monster placement is bad. I think what comes next is pretty boring. Oddly enough, your playthrough actually solidifies that I like that part. There's a secret chaingun early, which I may give up for free. The only other major change I'm inclined to make is to make it more obvious that you can get up on the ledges, which you never appeared to try. You also never attempted to go into the building, where there is a plasma gun and blur artifact (and obviously cover). And you kept wanting to prioritize the pain elemental, which is much less a threat than the hitscanners in the situation. You've handled what I thought were similarly difficult situations with much more ease than this opening. 

 

In any case, thanks a lot for playing. Totally fine if you're done with these oldies. 

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I thought there might be something in the building, but by the time the thought occurred to me I was already too pissed off to enjoy the map anymore. I think most people play Doom with the idea of fighting all the demons, not running away from them. I know I do. If there are items that were pretty much necessary to survive the encounter but getting them first means running away from the encounter, I think it needs to be a lot more obvious that this is what's expected of the player - maybe put the plasma gun and the powerup in plain sight through a window or something - and even then it's not a kind of level design that I would necessarily encourage for Doom maps.

 

I prioritized the pain elemental because I had very limited shotgun ammo, and if I didn't deal with the pain elemental and its infinite lost souls first then I didn't expect to have enough ammo left to kill anything else. As I feel is demonstrated by how after I killed the pain elemental I only had three shotgun rounds left. This is mainly a strategy I realized from watching other people play Doom! And it taught me about using pain elementals in my own maps. Experienced players will almost always go for the pain elemental first, completely ignoring everything else until it's dead, and they'll get really pissed off (like I did) if the level design is trying really hard to stop them from doing it. Pain elementals can be the most dangerous enemy in a map because they quickly overwhelm an area with lost souls that you just don't have the ammo to deal with.

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A brand new map (Map 06) is included in the newest version.

Edited by HAK3180

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Two new maps (07 and 25) are included in the latest update, which can be found in the original post.

 

I'll take feedback on anything in any map, but at this time I'm less interested in thoughts on visuals (especially on the older maps) and more interested in specific thoughts on gameplay.

 

Have fun.

Edited by HAK3180

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A new map is included in the latest update. It's Map 21. See the original post for more info.

 

Info

Spoiler

This map's goal was to do a certain style, specifically, the style in which you can get the keys in any order, the exit requires all three, and the map is very interconnected with no prescribed order. It's a fairly common style, but the one who inspired me to use it is @xdarkmasterx, who I believe executes it very well. This is an Oblige modification. (For comparison, the original Oblige map is here) There was (is?) a community project that converts Oblige maps, and I thought that was an interesting idea, so I decided to try it out because I remembered Oblige can also produce decently interconnected layouts. That being said, I did a lot to make this map mine. First of all, I generated a map with no monsters at all, so all of the combat is entirely original. Secondly, the very first thing I did was delete all Things, linedef tags, sector tags, and sector effects, so the progression within the space is entirely original.  I also floodfilled every wall and floor with the same texture, so the visual look of the map is almost entirely original. So all that remained was the general layout. All that being said, this was a fun and interesting experiment, but it really did not save me any time or creativity. I would not recommend this process if you think it's going to serve as some kind of shortcut. Within the mapset, it's the first true hell level, so I wanted a higher monster density with a lot of them of the roaming type.

 

 

 

Check it out and tell me what you think.

Edited by HAK3180

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After reading the description, I couldn't resist taking a look at that one.

 

Spoiler

 

Intricate Oblige layouts are intricate in ways intricate human layouts aren't. Humans will indulge in interconnections, crisscrossing, and transformation, and have plenty of scale contrast (larger areas, smaller areas, tiny pathways, etc.), among other things, the feeling here was more "Wait there's an area behind this one too? And behind this one? And again? And again?" Despite a non-human uniformity of scale, it doesn't stop building where humans would stop. That was pretty intriguing, although at times I did want to quit because I knew it was Oblige's doing, and I was familiar enough with these sorts of layouts that I knew Oblige wouldn't surprise me beyond this in a way that practically any human might. That said, I think players who don't know the origin are likely to be quite astounded at times by a very alien sort of interleaving.  


On the visuals: a lot of it seems very random. There are rooms with a lot of different textures and a lot of detail implements, but the union tends to not be all that coherent (for example). Nor does most of the detail serve (traditionally oldschool) purposes such as bringing about conceptual or representative ideas, or (traditionally newschool) ones such as emphasizing a unified abstract design scheme. Rather, it's as if surfaces are all designed to look complex on their own, regardless of the impression created when they are viewed with the whole -- very 'Tormentor Detail Guide'-like stuff. Some of it is charming, but even a bit more unity would go a long way. 

 

The gameplay actually reminds me of xdarkmasterx's three-key non-slaughter maps too, and in ways that might not fit well for this map. Namely, the health available is pretty low, but there are lots of hitscanners, quite a few in devious spots. That feels more inconvenient than anything and brings a diceroll element into how difficult certain parts end up being. It's always going to be your fault if you die, but being caught awry by something a bit 'cheap' is sometimes the only difference between doing the next section with 20 HP, far until the next medkit, and doing it with 80. I also feel like, for a map this long, the gameplay lacks essential variety. A lot of different species are involved, but outside of a few cases, we're largely dealing with (1) hitscanners that need to be dispatched well; (2) mid-tier perched snipers; (3) sneaky traps with beefier monsters (often viles) where you should be ready to retreat into the previous room; (4) and incidental fodder, for 20-odd minutes. A couple of standout exceptions are at the start (a clever staging idea involving imps trailing in and cacos over the walls) and the key trap with viles beside that bullet box crusher (I think blue key, but I don't remember for sure). That one is actually similar to many other traps in that you should flee the room and hide from them, but you have two viles that can now credibly rez stuff, and if one comes out, you have to slip back into the room, so it has colorful tactical wrinkles where the similar traps often don't. 

 

 

Edited by rdwpa

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2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

The feeling here was more "Wait there's an area behind this one too? And behind this one? And again? And again?"

Could you explain that/give some examples? I'm just not sure what you mean.

 

2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

On the visuals: a lot of it seems very random. [Etc.]

Fair enough. I put a lot of time into visuals, but I always expect to come back later and improve them as (A) I get better and (B) the wad takes more form. Generally I try not to use textures or flats only once unless it's supposed to be a conspicuously distinct area, but I do think I broke that rule a few times.

 

2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

The health available is pretty low.

Health and ammo balance has not been thoroughly tested. It can be a struggle to find the balance between "I'm not that good a player" and "But how much do I make up for that by knowing the map inside and out?"

 

2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

I also feel like, for a map this long, the gameplay lacks essential variety.

The map did get away from me a little bit in terms of length. When I first decided to run with the Oblige layout, I thought/hoped it would end up right around 200 monsters and < 15 minutes, and that was knowing I would ditch the trademark "You're actually not quite done yet" Oblige exit room (though I did end up keeping it as the exit location). I was wrong, as I usually am... So yeah, the map's parts have some visual distinction but not a lot in terms of gameplay. I tried to create variety mostly through encouraging weapon switching and the ability to take the map in different orders.

 

Many thanks for playing and for your valuable insights.

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1 hour ago, HAK3180 said:

Could you explain that/give some examples? I'm just not sure what you mean.

 

 

A lot of it is the way 99% of maps use outdoor areas. This is a roughly 4.5k by 4.5k map with a mishmash of outdoor, cave, and indoor-building locales. A human layout of that size and description is way more likely to be based around only one larger outdoor area -- rather than three complex mid-sized outdoor areas that all have a lot going on. So after being through the starting area, I wouldn't expect to find two complex outdoor areas (albeit smaller ones) elsewhere. Human layouts tend to be a bit 'restrained' in that respect. 

 

There are also certain hallmarks of 'this is the periphery of the map' that show up in human layouts. Something like this is a good example. Those rocks with the sky behind it scream 'no area is back there' -- it's the type of thing a mapper will do at the boundary of the map, just to give variety to the heights of the contours. (People are a lot more likely to let you see directly into such areas when they exist, to show off interconnectivity more overtly.) But there was a fully-fledged area back there, along with the stuff connected to it. That sort of misdirection happened a few times in different ways. 

 

 

Edited by rdwpa

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The newest version contains two new maps, Map 11 and Map 26. See the OP for more info.

 

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Edited by HAK3180

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I did a casual max for map11 (while listening to a podcast, so expect some scattered bouts of distracted play). I did not realize how many rockets existed otherwise I would have used that more, but I don't regret it -- as a fan of gratuitous cluster kills with the SSG, I enjoyed my own weapon use well enough. I also overlooked the blue armor entirely until looking at the map in GZDB. 

 

Visually, the texture motley reminds me of a handful of JPCP maps. Some of the colors in the mix produce a garish impression, but I do find it a lot more charming than in map21. Throughout, I was also reminded of Nicholas Monti's tangled layouts. 

 

The gameplay embraces non-linearity to the fullest, every section, save the two climatic battles, having at least two, often three, ways to enter it and tackle its encounters. The setpieces are rock solid. In the incidental portions, the onus is on the player to find a preferred way to clear rooms efficiently. Notably, in my demo, I play the final, west side by running into the big arena to allow most of the stuff roaming in the thicket of hallways to follow me, rather than proceeding bit by bit and playing hallway janitor (which I found very dull, owing to lots of stuff + sometimes awkward shooting lanes). This playstyle is fun enough that I'd even recommend offering a 'carrot' in the form of a powerup to a player less inclined to pursue it on their own. Although managing that might be tricky. That arena is hardly visible from far outside it.

 

The North wing: 

 

- If the player takes the middle door and first enters the room with the symbolic plasma rifle, the low-tiers scattered in the nukage awake on sight and shift over to engage, which leads to an inelegant fight after they bunch up beneath the ledge. Of course, one can loop back over to the side with the curved hallway, but that isn't ideal, as you spend time waiting for the monsters to go back. So I'm thinking all of those monsters are better deployed indirectly, once you're properly in the nukage. 

 

The South wing: 

 

- Thing #180 (an imp) wakes up and can make itself a pest to either dispose of from above or drop down and kill. 

- I'm less a fan of this part than the others, because a lot of the clearing feels rote, and unlike the West wing's initial guardians referenced above, one can't marshal all its dispersed forces into one group. But that is a matter of taste, and I do think some of it is good. I actually think barrels might do the trick in giving this part a more interesting identity. You have them elsewhere too, but in terms of efficacy, they might be better here. 

Edited by rdwpa

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@rdwpa, thanks for the thoughts. That was a fun run – nice to see a routed max do things that a first attempt probably wouldn’t. A question related to that: if you did do a blind run, did progress make enough sense the first time? 

 

12 hours ago, rdwpa said:

Visually, the texture motley reminds me of a handful of JPCP maps. Some of the colors in the mix produce a garish impression, but I do find it a lot more charming than in map21. Throughout, I was also reminded of Nicholas Monti's tangled layouts.

I’ve not played JCPC. Didn’t even know about it; I should pay more attention to Cacowards. As for Monti, I played ~45 of his maps during the development of this. I don’t remember if I specifically set out to emulate that style, but I certainly won’t deny that the influence showed up.

 

12 hours ago, rdwpa said:

I also overlooked the blue armor

Most have. I actually added the light glow for that reason. Didn't work, I see ;)

 

12 hours ago, rdwpa said:

[In the north wing,] if the player takes the middle door...[it] leads to an inelegant fight after they bunch up beneath the ledge.

Yeah, I've noticed that. I kinda thought, "Well, most people freelook, so it's probably not as bad then." I may see what I can do with some empty instapop sectors to hold them off temporarily.

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3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

@rdwpa, thanks for the thoughts. That was a fun run – nice to see a routed max do things that a first attempt probably wouldn’t. A question related to that: if you did do a blind run, did progress make enough sense the first time? 

 

(More 'scouted' than 'routed' imo as I was still doing improvised stuff a lot.) It did. I do think despite the relative complexity of the map, what to do was intuitive; conveyance was handled well. My vote for favorite secret mechanism would go to the backpack one. 

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One for map26. Structurally this is brilliant. No part outstayed its welcome either. A common temptation in maps like this one is to pack every area with skirmishes and fights. Here, there are sections of rather low density that work as a good foil and change of pace for the more involved parts. The content is all quite varied too. (And it accomplishes that in spite of the obvious weapon restriction.) I got a laugh out of the SG (deliberately) being the last weapon attained. 


First play notes: Attaining a RL completely stumped me. The first, I overlooked. The second, I saw, but didn't notice the lift. These are easy to spot without monsters, but in the heat of battle there is so much else to focus on. So I ended up consulting the editor relatively soon, rather than keep floundering around. 

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@rdwpa, cool, thanks for playing/commenting. I'm glad you got a kill in with shotgun. The rocket launcher is unmissable on easy, but I may move the first one out into view a bit more. I guess the elephant in the map is the yellow key. I assume you did not work out the intended hint, as you did the switches in a different order. (I believe there are three ways to do it; the way you did it and one other require some speed, whereas the "intended" solution doesn't even require running.)

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Ah, a hint eluded me, and that's really surprising. What made that solution feel so natural to me was the demanding movement tests elsewhere in the set. (Also, for that reason, the puzzle's alternate solutions are fine, I think, and don't devalue it.) 

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I've got a new map kind of.

 

Short Version:

Please play my fully functional/playable but fully unbeautified map. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Long Version:

Lately I’ve taken the approach of doing very little detailing until gameplay is almost entirely done. This map is basically finished in the areas of monsters, supplies, progression, and even most geometry. Pretty much all that’s left is texturing, lighting, and geometric/architectural changes related to detailing. Before I release the map to the public, indeed before I even finish getting it ready for that, I’d like to get some alpha testers to take it for a ride in all its ugly glory.

 

The map:

  • Map 27 of Doom 2
  • Limit-removing – tested mostly in Crispy, but should run fine in most ports.
  • Probably 15-25 minutes of intermission screen time, just over 200 monsters
  • Fairly conventional gameplay, but do not expect to kill everything the moment you see it
  • No difficulty implementations at this time

 

 

Post below or PM me if you’re interested, and I’ll send you the map.

Edited by HAK3180

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@HAK3180

i want to test your map! Will record a video this afternoon, just send it to me :)

also, i am sorry that i didn't see ths post until now, i think i already played some of your maps in 2018 if i recall correctly, but i would be more than glad to help you with the other ones as well if you need :)

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@HAK3180

It's been a long time since I commented on one of your maps, and with all the testing you've done for me, I'm more than happy to check this out for you. Hit me up! :)

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On 5/22/2019 at 3:01 PM, ‹rd› said:

Nor does most of the detail serve (traditionally oldschool) purposes such as bringing about conceptual or representative ideas, or (traditionally newschool) ones such as emphasizing a unified abstract design scheme.

 

Could you elaborate a bit more on this, preferably with some examples?

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12 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Post below or PM me if you’re interested, and I’ll send you the map.

 

I'll give it a go.

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Two* new maps are available in the latest version. One of these maps was softly released in a visually incomplete state. That’s Map 27. The other is Map 04

 

One other note: these maps feature a new approach to difficulty settings. Monsters are almost identical through all three difficulty levels. Health is the main difference, being noticeably abundant on easy. Armor and powerups are also significantly different, and in some cases weaponry and ammo varies.

 

Enjoy the maps. Let me know what you think. Check out (some of) the older ones while you're at it.

 

Screenshots and some map info

Spoiler

Map 04: Nothing too extravagant here. I wanted a somewhat quickly moving map, so you get all three keys but not a very long map. This level is really not that special overall, but it has some distinct moments and hopefully enjoyable gameplay.

04-1.png.89223fedc5e489ea46fa988e4fd84fe4.png04-2.png.9b5ac548fd5a1bfcdd86849a9549ec49.png04-3.png.f0d98ad52ebe25291073a67ee90c7293.png

 

 

Map 27: This map was very loosely inspired by TNT Map 15 Dead Zone. It is a sandbox with almost no prescribed route at all. As such, its difficulty and fun factor may vary greatly depending on how you take it. Every route is doable, but some may be easier and some may be more entertaining. The ammo is there, but you simply cannot kill everything as soon as you see it. Also of note: I find this map very fun to speedrun. I haven’t probed it too much, but I’ve done it in 1:11.

27-1.png.b321398950189847ec4428125835bbb5.png27-2.png.77be6412824709dce273026e71d051ad.png27-3.png.e2d55a0a8d0319be4904b1dca197b261.png

 

Edited by HAK3180

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played 2 first,liked the first,loved the second!in the first one theres a secret that lowers a wall,when i found it id already been there and there were no items,just one enemy(i think).that was the part i liked the leased in that map.very clean and simple(in a good way) map.

the second was really nice,with those snirkling paths!very cool map!secret counts was nice in both.i love looking for secrets.

theres not much else to say about those two.played 10 secs of the third,its a completely different type!seemed quite engaging.not really my type(subjectively)but i do enjoy some maps like that if theyre not too "crowded".i hate slaughter maps!!!

 

will play more when i have the resolve for it.

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@ddmeltzer8, I think I know what you mean about the secret in Map 01. It's intended as a speedrunning trick, but it's actually slower anyway, so I'm probably going to change it at some point. I'm glad you enjoyed some of what you experienced. Map 03 is rather tight, as are 04, 07, and parts of 15, 18, 21, and 25. For more open maps, check out especially Maps 10, 14, 19, 26, and 27. And of those <--, 14 and 19 are noticeably inferior to the others. That all refers mostly to the space itself. There are some densely populated areas, but there are very few, if any, true “slaughter” moments.

 

Thanks a lot for playing.

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i really loved 3,too!il do all of the maps in order.probably be done in a few days.so far i really like it.its pretty much how i like maps so far.

thanks for sharing,man.

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