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HAK3180

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

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@HAK3180 

 

RE: Map 6

Spoiler
  • Those edge cases are always amusing aren't they? I found that when watching some videos shared of MY maps, those moments where the players were being very aloof showed me a lot of things I never even considered or realized, even if I was sitting there wondering "What in the hell are you even doing right now??" 
  • I loaded up map 6 again and decisively grabbed ALL the weapons and it really does change how the map cascades beyond that point in time. Even just examining the actual roster of monsters in that particular very beginning fight, it is categorically way less threatening than I perceived it during my video. Mop up is actually pretty simple when you go hide in between the rock and the crevasse to the platforming area. You got the video of me in the moment, trying to dissect it on the fly. It's amusing in retrospect how much skipping the rocket launcher influenced my experience of the map, even with having noted it several times during the video. If I had just died and started over again, I assume I'd eventually manage to grab the RL, and this conversation would be way different!
  • I didn't even realize the two areas were connected by the lava sector.

 

RE: Map 11

Spoiler
  • For those "fake computers" I think not having the button texture inside the container would go a long way, then also maybe having something like a texture or color coded bar or some other physical feature that changes INSIDE the sector. That might tip the visual language a little more towards "you're not supposed to pick this up, but you now understand that you can go retrieve one that was locked".
  • In general, I probably overlook centralized things in map features unless I am FORCED to go through that central feature. Otherwise, I usually get a bit of decision paralysis unless I just pick a side of the map to head toward and commit to it for a bit. This might have been a bit hampered by my commentary train of thought sort of competing for my attention in that map. I will say, if I can TELL that one direction IS the way to go, I might then go back to other areas and see if they are secrets, dead ends, locked, etc.
  • I'll go back and play the mastermind fight at some point, especially knowing that I didn't stock up properly. I think this was another case of where quicksaving allowed a bad decision early on to compound into a way worse situation down the line. It's definitely easier to absently overlook crucial details when you are recording and commentating your playthrough, and then there you are kind of just locked into a bad spot. I don't know how you do it so well man. I guess it probably just comes down to experience.

 

For record, I wasn't ACTUALLY trying to make a direct comparison between your wad and Sunlust, lol. Just the thought thing that came to mind since it's so notorious for how hard it is. I probably make this wad look harder than it is overall. If I played through it the way that I actually play Doom, I'd be a little bit more meticulous with how I play, but I would also just end up practicing each map I got stuck on until I beat it without dying. I almost treat playing Doom like playing a roguelike. This wad so far doesn't feel far outside that realm of possibility. But I know it would be much less helpful and far more boring to watch a video that is like, two hours of me on just one map dying to the same Arch-Vile trap 5 times in a row.

 

 

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5 hours ago, wrkq said:

Regarding MAP11 "monitors" - you already use the "window glass" texture with UAC logo, quite often.

Maybe you could use something like that on them, with an obvious-ish camera icon and/or red dot + "REC"?

 

These are great ideas. Between that and @LVENdead's ideas, I'm off to mess with that right now.

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Here's my third go, maps 13 and 14.

 

 

Honestly don't have too much minutiae to discuss, I thought these were some perfectly serviceable if maybe a little less remarkable maps compared to some earlier in the WAD. There is probably some critique you could make about some of the combat in map 13 in particular, but I'd imagine you have many of your own opinions about these two maps at this point. I looked back at your changelog (after recording) and noted that map 13 was actually the second map in the original release of the wad, so I'm wondering if this is your second actual map? It's honestly pretty good if that's the case, although I could understand how you might look back on it with a less lofty opinion of it. 

 

One thing I never noted in the video but that I find amusing is that the cyberdemon who ambushes you in the red key room is not the same one you fight at the exit. I did find the way the red key cyberdemon is concealed to be kind of interesting in how the skybox covers up what should obviously be visible from the rooftop, but I legitimately don't have a problem with this. I happen to like old school level design that violates euclidian space (especially in how the Build engine could accomplish this).

 

I would imagine you might be more eager for feedback for your more recent maps than the older ones in the WAD, but I have to say I've been enjoying making my way through it one at a time. I'm pretty interested to see how the whole thing will come together when the missing maps are filled in and the progression takes final shape. 

 

 

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@LVENdead, always a pleasure. Be sure to take the time to work on your own stuff too, huh?

 

Some stuff below. Spoiler just due to length.

Spoiler

Map 13

  • I don’t like to do weapons in secrets – That’s the general truth, but if there’s not a lot of ammo for the weapon elsewhere, I’m okay with it. If the weapon appears nonsecret later, I’m okay with it. And if it’s BFG but the map is totally doable without, I’m okay with it.
  • Map 13 was actually the very first thing I did on Doom Builder. It has definitely seen some change, but the original skeleton is there, including the ubiquitous right angle.
  • Yeah, those stairs… I really like the major height changes in this level, but they can definitely be a pain
  • What did that switch open in the room with all those demons? The door to that room. It closes behind you and you cannot get out until you hit the switch. The switch also opens a secret. I do a fair amount of double duty secrets, where a lift or switch or door does something very obvious and also something elsewhere that is a secret.
  • Wow, I’ve never seen anyone parkour their way to that shell box in the red key room. One of the crate sides is SHAWN instead of CRATE, indicating it’s a lift. Kinda dumb, I know; I think I may have once had that as a secret or thought I might tag it as such.
  • I love when players noclip to skip something that clearly will just take up time. That whole area was much different in the original, and involved, you guessed it, another huge staircase. The tradeoff was waiting for a long elevator – twice for the exploring player
  • That cyberdemon fight is not great. Blue key gives you an invulnerability, and there is a secret BFG on the very first rooftop. Also, it actually is the same cyberdemon. He teleports over at some point. I was going for the TV screen approach again….

 

Map 14

  • Framerate issues – yes, almost this whole map renders almost all the time because I didn’t use much void space at all. I didn’t know what I was doing in that regard back then.  
  • You are very close to my age. I was going to mention this another time too.
  • The “very well done rocky terrain” was previously 99% SP_ROCK. It was and still is an alignment nightmare.
  • I agree about pistol starting. The more I play, the more my opinion that it is preferrable is solidified. The iwads are a little inconsistent, but overall, I think they point to pistol starts. I always say it’s very telling that none of the original M8s contains its episode’s best weapon. We all remember Dis sucking. It turns out it ain’t that bad when you have to run around and expose yourself to get cells that you will use with the 6-slot weapon.
  • Fights easier with hindsight – yeah, pretty much always true, like you said, and a fact I kinda just accept, because my philosophy is that I don’t always want to lock the player in and make everything into setpieces. I will use one-way drops and lock-ins occasionally. To me, it’s worth another look if hindsight makes the fight immediately extremely trivial. Even knowing the arch-vile is coming, for example, this map has no BFG. Rockets are gonna be risky, and everything else relies on pain state, so it’s not quite at that level, but it’s close. But yeah, one of the biggest questions I ask myself is how to make interesting fights without choreographing them too much. I like a good blatant setpiece from time to time, but not a steady diet of it.
  • Yes, a lookout point! In fact, the map is named after that very sector (and a song)

 

General

  • I think you played these maps in such a way that fun was maximized. You found a way to avoid all the oddities and possible progression issues and potential for even more boring combat than it already is. That all being said, I like both of these basic concepts. Hopefully I can come back to them some day and find a way to keep them in the wad.
  • I do appreciate the playthrough of the oldies. I’ve kinda forced myself to stop tweaking them, so I don’t even look at those maps much, but that day is coming eventually.
  • You’ve played 10/18, and in terms of length, you’ve definitely played 14-18, but you’ve also played #1 and #4 or so.
  • I’ve lost significant portions of only two maps. I lost a bunch of Map 11 in the very early process and had to remake a bunch of it from memory. And I also lost some retrotweaks I had been doing on Map 15 that I still have not tried to recreate, so when you do that one, it is very close to its original release, and it was another early one.
  • If you get bored, I've uploaded my original release of Maps 01 and 13 from over three years ago. IDCLIP around a bit if you didn't see enough STONE2 already.

 

CROSS.zip

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I was curious and checked out the premature models, WOW that was a blast from the past - it's amazing what adding details does to improve the experience. I have been trying to spruce up my maps too in post production

 

PS so glad you didn't keep that free look blocker, I've gotten so I can't play without it

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27 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

Be sure to take the time to work on your own stuff too, huh?

 

For sure. I've been tinkering away off and on since I published Stygian Anguish. Since my initial plan was to use that map and Malleable Intent as the beginnings of a larger WAD, I started on a "Map 0" that would have shifted the map order up. Made a lot of progress on it and did some cool experimenting with UDMF features like heavy use of sector and dynamic lighting, but I kind of lost my inspiration for it about 65-70% of the way thru it. Also been distracted with other games in my rotation and other hobbies. 

 

Did recently start on something new that I hope to publish soon, but as with all my mapping projects, it's pretty slow going. I'm just not that efficient - I usually don't have much of a plan, and I spend a lot of time revising concepts over and over. That's generally how I am with anything creative I do, unfortunately.

 

And since you somewhat broached the topic, here's a couple screenshots (in spoilers since I don't mean to hijack your thread)

Spoiler


Screenshot_Doom_20201213_000606.png.7ad4cc40da6561d072cfd8094c12e495.png

 

This was the "map 0" which I titled Elevated Response. Featured very heavy use of UDMF lighting to try and create a convincing sunset environment.

 

Screenshot_Doom_20201213_000955.png.7d81ca91b82f00ab1f667234d472483e.png

 

A small sneak peak at the one I hope to release soon(ish).

 

 

 

 

39 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

Wow, I’ve never seen anyone parkour their way to that shell box in the red key room.

 

It legitimately did not feel intended when I did it, but I like that it was still possible. 

 

51 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

I love when players noclip to skip something that clearly will just take up time. 

 

If I was just playing this in a "regular" capacity I would have waited for the elevator. I might be a bit stubborn or bound to some kind of pointless code when it comes to legitimately attempting maps.

 

53 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

my philosophy is that I don’t always want to lock the player in and make everything into setpieces

 

Legitimately, this was something that Doom 2016 helped me realize about encounter design in OG Doom by standing in stark contrast to it. Classic Doom generally feels much more like a battle through(out) a map (if the map author is smart about it), whereas Doom 2016 (and Eternal, but to a much lesser extent) is much more like a guided tour from arena to arena, or setpiece to setpiece. 

 

58 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

But yeah, one of the biggest questions I ask myself is how to make interesting fights without choreographing them too much.

 

I realize this is no big secret (and I've mentioned him multiple times before), but I feel like skillsaw is pretty much a master at this. If you go back through one of his projects like Valiant, so many maps contain fights that have very little choreography, but are intensely exciting in an emergent way. Leveraging the actual map design seems to be a major factor in this.

 

1 hour ago, HAK3180 said:

If you get bored, I've uploaded my original release of Maps 01 and 13 from over three years ago.

 

Now this was HIGHLY amusing. You have to give yourself credit for how much you were able to facelift the original versions of those maps into something very palatable, map 13 especially. 

 

1 hour ago, HAK3180 said:

That all being said, I like both of these basic concepts. Hopefully I can come back to them some day and find a way to keep them in the wad.

 

If nothing else, you can let these exist as proofs of concept to guide you in making the "real" versions of these maps. My map Malleable Intent was based on a Snapmap I published for Doom 2016 called HARM. I basically took the flow/path of HARM and optioned it for the concept of Malleable Intent - a central starting area with immediate branching paths, which were both necessary to complete the map, but which also both connected to one another. But with your maps, I feel like you could get away with keeping a substantial portion of them both, and approach it from more of a remodel/tweaking perspective than outright reconstruction.

 

 

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Welp that's it

 

I also tried maps 31-32 they were very easy

 

PS found the secret for blue armour lol WOW that was a good one

 

I had a lot of fun playing through these I hope my vids were helpful it's sad that's all done, only took me 2 months and some change lol

 

This map was EXCELLENT and a nice end to the current set, so much to do I had fun exploring it all :)

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@Clippy, thanks for playing. You've finally finished! It was great to see all these.

 

I gotta say (once again) your reluctance to use rockets and plasma is mind-blowing, but it's a good sign that you got those weapons late and still seemed to have a good time and do fairly well. The truth is you can get any weapon in this map within probably 30 seconds without firing a shot, but the route you take has a lot to say about that.

 

I thought you were gonna find that blue armor secret! I thought about switching it with the invulnerability, since it seems harder, but I like giving up the invulnerability a little bit easier, so it's not really a good example of "the harder to find, the better the reward."

 

Since you wondered why the double arch-vile trap didn't trigger earlier, and since you are a simple Doom 2 format mapper yourself, I'll go into some detail about that. It is possible to set up triggers like that in vanilla, where the trap does not activate until later, but it involves some inner trickery. I did a similar thing in Map 21, actually. In Map 27 I used a WR door open line, but the door that opens is adjacent to a dummy sector whose ceiling is only 4 higher than the closed door, which means when it "opens," it opens to same height it's already at, and in Doom it actually won't even make a sound. So you trigger that line every time you cross it, but the door has nowhere to go. Then when you hit approached the switch to raise the exit platforms, the dummy sector also rose you triggered that sector's ceiling to rise, which means when you cross that WR line again, now the door has a new height to rise to. There are other setups you can do as well, but they generally involve WR lines and dummy sectors.

 

Just for fun, here's an old speedrun I did, not that I'm a speedrunner. I've actually improved the time significantly by not getting the invulnerability; I think it cuts almost half a minute.

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by HAK3180 : Accuracy

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@HAK3180 yeah I wasn't paying attention to my rocket count & was very surprised that I had picked up 50 rockets at some point lol. Also had a lot of cells left at the end too I could have had it easier time if I had just gone all out

 

I'm way too conservative sometimes because in first attempts I never know how much ammo is going to be available

 

Also thanks for the info about sectors I have seen those little squares in between sectors and was curious about it because yeah I also only map in Doom 2 format it's all care to know

 

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Here's maps 15 and 18.

 

 

Map 15 has probably felt most like the least inspired of what I've played so far, but that doesn't strictly mean it's of poor quality. I just think there's a stark difference in what you've exhibited in other portions of the WAD like Maps 4 or 6 (or whichever was the "hell dream" map) or 10 and this one. Most of the theme/styling of this map is pretty by the numbers, and the same goes with the encounter design - I'd say there wasn't a whole lot that stands out as too memorable, although at no point does the map become flat out boring, and there's always an attempt made to excite the player - the poison flooded room that goes pitch black, or the crate area come to mind. 

 

I liked the attempt at realistic styling of Map 18, and I think it also had the most distinct "story" of any map in the WAD so far, but personally it kind of fell flat in the gameplay department. I think the visual execution works pretty well, but the way I experienced it made it feel like it leaned too heavily into the novelty aspect of the map theme, at the expense of some of other mechanical consideration. But hey, I hope that I don't come across as too nitpicky or critical of these maps overall, which I'm sure I do to some degree. I'm probably just coming to terms with the whole "make a video and comment every 30 seconds" aspect of recording gameplay of something, which just so happens to be community-created content. I think this WAD has been pretty enjoyable all the way through so far, and I'm actually looking forward to playing through Map 19 based on the very brief jaunt around the initial play area that I made before cutting this recording. 

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@LVENdead, very nice, thanks.

 

15

  • The dark room – It was an early map before I was really into forcing Doom to do what I wanted, so I think I just sucked it up and used the 35 brightness trigger, which is a little too dark for my liking. Something to revisit at some point.
  • That double lift sound was just because it activates two adjacent sectors, probably completely unnecessarily
  • It does have a secret exit, but I don’t really like the setup.
  • It has very little identity. It has shifted over time from being “my baby” to being probably #1 on the chopping block. I just don’t like much about it except the nukage crate room

 

18

  • “The artistic aspect of it can overshadow the functional aspect” – yeah, that’s exactly what happened. As a novice, it was harder to embrace the more “abstract” settings of Doom. I felt like everything needed to be something. You still do see some remnants of that in newer maps, one example being my reluctance to use teleporters, but a major corner I turned is mapping for function more than form, or rather, letting them complement each other.
  • Lifts with different floor textures – it’s pretty much as simple as one dummy sector, but the catch is making sure it’s not possible to activate just one at a time, such as by standing on only one and getting your head caught on the ceiling, which is indeed possible in this one.
  • Is there a way back outside from being in the prison cells area? Yes, and the last two videos have missed it. You can go the same way you do at the beginning of the map. One thing I like about this map is its general progression. Its economy of space is rivaled perhaps only by Map 25. And for being my third map, that was a feat.

I’d like to say a lot about Map 19 based on your preliminary comments, but I’ll just wait until you play it.

 

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On 12/27/2020 at 11:44 PM, HAK3180 said:

Is there a way back outside from being in the prison cells area? Yes, and the last two videos have missed it.

 

Honestly, in retrospect it's "so obvious" that I just overlooked it. Probably due to the fact that I was more drawn mentally toward going back to the supply cache that had just opened up, and so by then you're past the starting area again. 

 

On 12/27/2020 at 11:44 PM, HAK3180 said:

One thing I like about this map is its general progression. Its economy of space is rivaled perhaps only by Map 25. And for being my third map, that was a feat.

 

This is a very nice quality that I completely didn't think about or comment on during the video, but you're right. I do really appreciate maps that condense the progression into a relatively compact play area, and even more so when that involves some degree of map transformation.

 

 

Here's a video of Map 19

 

 

I really enjoyed this one overall. It's a bit on the easy side, and as I talk about in the video, contributes to a bit of an odd progression of the WAD overall in terms of difficulty curve. I had a few minutes to poke around in Map 21 (ran out of time on the video) and it is like a black and white difference in difficulty. I am curious to know/see if you plan on tweaking the overall difficulty curve once you've gotten closer to finalizing the map roster for the whole WAD - otherwise I think I personally find it a bit inconsistent or maybe just against expectation. 

 

I'm also looking forward to giving Map 21 an honest go when I have some time. It seems to be a much harder map at least in terms of how it begins, and reminds me very much of maps 06 and the 27 alpha version I played. It will be interesting to see if that experience holds up for the entire map.

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@LVENdead, excellent. Thanks again.

  • “I don’t need [weapon] handouts” – I just thought that was funny as congress decides whether to give Americans $600 or $2000 for absolutely nothing.
  • Thinking about the wad as a whole, I will, to put it bluntly, not care at all about the experience of continuous players. The maps are specifically designed for pistol starts; do continuous at your own risk. That being said, the difficulty curve is unbalanced at the moment, and that is something that needs some work. I’ll worry about that more as the holes in the wad get filled in and as I begin to decide more firmly whether maps need to be replaced or repaired.
  • I'm glad you enjoyed it. There are some ways to play it such that it is more of a chore, so that's what I want to work on for this one as well as supply balance, but overall I'm not too unhappy with it.

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Here is a video of map 21:

 

 

Easily my favorite map in the WAD so far.

  • The layout of the map itself is absolutely awesome and I love the interconnectedness of it.
  • The combat encounters are mostly great as well - they seem to lean more into a careful style of play (at least in how I was able to find success) but still reward quick thinking and decision making. There's a good balance between really cramped "oh shit" encounters with larger ones, without giving the player an inordinate amount of space in any one area to make the fights too simple.  
  • As I also state in the video, I think this map also represents some of your best visual design, and I love the fusion between buildings/structures and the natural terrain. 

Looks like I might only have 3 maps left? (if you don't count map 27) Interested to see how the collection rounds out so far.

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@LVENdead, excellent. Glad you enjoyed it. Some stuff below:

 

 

Spoiler
  • I remember going back and forth on the early ammo and health balance. I would have runs where I want to add more and, believe it or not, runs where I have wanted to take some away.
  • Demons fail at stairs in several places – something I don’t think I realized before
  • The plasma gun is easy to get fairly early and also easy to miss. Not sure how I feel about that. Maybe I’ll add a window to that room or something.
  • When you were trying to work out the megaarmor secret, you used the automap and wondered if it might be accessible from the red key room (2 arch-viles plus crusher). Unfortunately, after you took care of them, you forgot to check for the secret. Oh, never mind, you came back to it.
  • Just as a point of fact, for whatever it’s worth, I do not test without autoaim.
  • Nice job on the soulsphere secret. That has proven to be the toughest one yet. “Is this like a multistage secret?” Interesting question. There is an obscenely difficult unmarked “secret” related to it for speedrunning purposes. No items or kills either, just a huge sequence break.
  • “It’s a trick; I know it!” at the end. I’ve probably already said this at some point, but I think one of the most important things a mapper can do in a mapset or even a longer single map is to vary whether expectations end up being correct. In this map, red key is an obvious trap, yellow key triggers a surprise trap on your way to it, and blue key is no trap at all. And the ending is kind of an intentional relaxation moment, but it would be fun if a player came in there with >15 and got killed by a zombie.
  • I don’t know how much you know about Oblige. It is a Doom map generator. Every now and then, someone will present a map to the community and not disclose (or intentionally hide) that it was Oblige-generated. Unmodified Oblige maps are incredibly easy to identify for people who have spent any time with the program. This map started as an Oblige map. I tried to make it so that most people would be “fooled” but I purposely left in a few subtle identifiers so as to say, “I’m not trying to hide it.” That being said, the general layout is about all that remains of the original generated Oblige map. You can read more about that process here, including a link to the original generated map.
  • Yes, three more, one of them being the clear worst, in my opinion. 27 has hardly changed from a gameplay standpoint. You could -nomonster your way through to have a quick look at the visuals, but your playthrough is still very much valid.
  • Map 22: just go left to start. Stupid map design there; I'll save you some time.

 

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Posted (edited)
Spoiler
3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Demons fail at stairs in several places – something I don’t think I realized before

 

I discovered this fairly early in making Malleable Intent, back when it was set to vanilla format. It does make things a bit obnoxious when you have to design stairs specifically for demons to go up and down, although I know pretty much any Boom and beyond sourceport "fixes" this? Still doesn't always work out, as evidenced by that one pinky...

 

3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

you forgot to check for the secret. Oh, never mind, you came back to it.

 

Lol, so I have ADHD and that certainly contributes to some of my scatterbrained play and commentary. Enter a room completely set on doing one thing, get completely distracted, and end up leaving the room without having done the initially intended thing. Basically the story of my whole life.

 

3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

“It’s a trick; I know it!” at the end. I’ve probably already said this at some point, but I think one of the most important things a mapper can do in a mapset or even a longer single map is to vary whether expectations end up being correct

 

For sure, and I think that's a good call. It's just that personally, I will never NOT be suspicious of a secret, ever, no matter how many times anyone says otherwise :P

 

3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

I don’t know how much you know about Oblige.

 

I didn't know anything about it until you mentioned it. It was very interesting to see the stark difference between the layout the program generated, and your heavily revised one. I think you made the map way more interesting both in terms of visuals and in the layout modifications you made. I that part of this thread where you had the discussion with rd about this map and it was very interesting to read about the "obvious tells".

 

Just a few extra thoughts.

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Here's a video of Map 22:

 

 

  • It's been a while since I've read this thread, so I think I kind of misremembered/misinterpreted your comment about this map (go left at the start) as more kind of like you being dissatisfied with the map overall?? I don't really know where that coloring came from, but I hope it doesn't come across too strongly in my "analysis" since it was a bit of an assumption I made. In retrospect it feels kind of like a dumb thing to assume.
  • Right after getting the plasma gun and backtracking, I went down back to the start and legitimately forgot that's where the player spawn is. So yeah, some dazzling mental prowess on display in this video...
  • Overall, I like the idea of this map much more than I like the execution of it. It's hard to articulate why in a broad stroke, but I'll try: I think it goes from feeling like too much of a slog right into a pretty "by the numbers" sequence of arenas, and neither portions were particularly captivating. it often felt a bit frustrating, even if this video features probably the least amount of swearing by me? In the early portions, you are climbing up this mountain pass (cool idea) with fairly restricted ammo and what feels kind of like grindy combat, but getting to the actual fortress at the end of the road is a bit underwhelming. The arenas weren't anything that couldn't be handled with some circle strafing, but on the other hand I did like having lots of rockets to blast away with.
  • I make quite a few comments on the visual styling, I hope it doesn't come across as belaboring the point. I know you've said you have your own way of texturing and detailing and a lot of it comes down to your own taste; I'll give that one to you. I appreciate the overall aversion to just slathering everything in bright red and calling that enough to look like Hell. On the other hand, I feel like some more effort could have been put toward making it look a bit "gnarly".
  • Maybe not my favorite map, but it's ambitious and interesting. Seems like it sits in the right place in this WAD - a nice transition-type of level, that maybe bears some more attention down the line. But overall, I wouldn't say I have much prescriptive commentary here.

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@LVENdead, great, thanks again.

 

  • When you talk about contrast of detail, that is very accurate. Map 22 had a fair bit of visual “retrotweaking,” back when I felt I should upgrade every map with every mapping level up. So instead of overhauling everything, the natural tendency is just to add hyperdetailing right next to the underdetailing, and the result is an obvious clash.
  • “So I did that totally fine the first time, and now I’m just gonna start dying over and over again.” Yes, welcome to FDA videos…
  • I agree with most everything you said here. As soon as I finished this map, I realized that the beginning section is simply too long for the kind of combat it offers. That whole section needs to be varied and shortened, in my opinion. The middle section with switches is a bit awkward too.
  • Ammo balance has always been a bit off in this one, but I have never released a fix.
  • Map 25 contains what I consider the hardest fight in the entire wad. If it gives you too much trouble, just cheat your way through. Maybe give yourself a rad suit (Hurt Me Plenty) or even invulnerability (Hey, Not Too Rough).

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Guess I'll continue this semi-weekly trend of digging up this thread to post a video :P

 

 

 

Really enjoyed this map. Felt like it took some inspiration from Doom 1 a bit, like maybe E3M3? I really enjoyed the overall layout and flow, and how many of the areas wound back into each other without making navigation confusing. Hit just the right balance of challenge in my opinion without anything feeling cheap or unfair. Kind of interesting how you basically don't get the SSG until just before the end, but at least you doled out other tools before that. 

 

Absolutely one of my favorites so far.

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Great. Almost done! Some stuff below:

 

Spoiler

 

  • It’s not a conscious decision to use Doom 1 music, but to use iwad music. However, I find Doom 1 has easily the best soundtrack. This track is from E2m6 Halls of the Damned (and E4M7 And Hell Followed)
  • The cacodemons did come out of the wall. It’s a false well with a 25-high ledge so that it’s impassable for Doomguy.
  • Interesting observation about Doom 1 tendencies. I probably did play more Doom 1 as a youngster, but this map was not specifically inspired by any map. This is to be the second of three consecutive maps of major weapon restriction. Originally it was just going to be shotgun and plasma, but I wanted a meatier ending without giving up tons more plasma. Map 24 is in production now, and 26 is definitely one of my favorites. They all have titles from the Bible and basically just two weapons.
  • No Oblige on this one. All natural. There are some gameplay moments that are a bit weak, like the mancubi on your way to the soul sphere, but I really like how the layout ended up.
  • Not bad on the cyberdemon fight. There is much worse savescumming than behind a pillar with only two enemies active. But like I said, this is, for me, the hardest moment in the entire wad, and it’s not particularly close. Every time I test the whole thing prior to a new release, I die here more than anywhere else. That has proven not to be the case for other players. Maybe what that means is this fight offers little advantage with hindsight, since I should be the king of hindsight in my own maps.
  • What you kept thinking was a secret is not. I had to check why I did that because it didn’t make sense. Now I know what I was thinking. It was kind of a dumb symmetry design choice, but not one the player can ever actually notice in playable space, so I should get rid of that.
  • Hmm, I’ve never seen an ammo finish like that, but I didn’t notice you being wasteful. You actually got the best ammo secret, too. Maybe you skipped a bulk cell or shotgun box somewhere; I’ll have to check it out.
  • Map 26 contains a tough puzzle for a secret without which one fight becomes pretty brutal. I’ve made the puzzle easier in the coming update, so if you can’t get the yellow key, I won’t be mad if you just IDCLIP to it.

 

 

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I'm going to play some maps and give some feedback. MAP01 and MAP02 I already played, but forgot to post anything.

 

So let's start from MAP01

It's a fairly standard opening, nothing much to say about it. There's two things I'd like to point out.

GzlCagY.png

The stairs are too steep for pinky to climb. Making it mostly pointless

 

XVArXKA.png

Featureless green flat makes cliffs invisible. Different flats on different levels, or at least lighting difference might provide better depth to the canyon

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1 hour ago, ViolentBeetle said:

I'm going to play some maps and give some feedback.

I appreciate it, thanks.

 

1 hour ago, ViolentBeetle said:

The stairs are too steep for pinky to climb. Making it mostly pointless

They're actually too narrow, but it's a good point nonetheless.

 

 

If you're not going to play through the whole thing (and by all means, play whatever you want), I'd prefer to get insight on the newer stuff, as the older work is full of known issues / inferiorities that I haven't addressed and may never address if I opt to replace the map. 


I kinda divide the maps into 3 tiers. That's below, in case you don't want to be influenced by knowledge of map order.

 

Spoiler
  1. Early work - these are notably amateurish in many ways, but some have been retrotweaked more than others. Includes 01, 02, 13-15, 18, 22
  2. Middle maps - these have some roughness around the edges, sometimes related to gameplay, sometimes related to appearance or flow, but I don't think they need a complete overhaul. These have hardly been modified at all. Includes 03, 10, 06, and 19
  3. Newer maps - these are basically the only maps for which I don't have a list of "repairs" that need to be made. In other words, these are, for the most part, up to my standards, but could certainly use feedback in certain areas. Includes 04, 07, 11, 21, 25-27

I'm most interested in thoughts about categories 2 and 3.

 

 

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1 hour ago, HAK3180 said:

If you're not going to play through the whole thing (and by all means, play whatever you want), I'd prefer to get insight on the newer stuff, as the older work is full of known issues / inferiorities that I haven't addressed and may never address if I opt to replace the map. 

I'll probably go through maps in order to get better impression of overall balance, but I won't write reports on older maps unless something important pops up.

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I spent some quality procrastination time I got back to playing your wad. Don't have much to say about MAP02, except that there's random spots where cave ceiling gets too low unexpectedly. I'm not sure if it's intentional. I also don't think blue scull key marker actually helps, if anything it gives false impression that this particular wall is interactive.

 

MAP03 is really atmospheric with some cool secrets and non-linearity, except that one time I got trapped in an acid pit with arch-vile and nothing above the shotgun. It's a cool idea to make me value my plasma, although some paths are a bit awkward because there's nothing but plasma and shotgun available.

Was I supposed to climb boxes to get to the red key? Feels more becoming of a secret, really.

I am also not a fan of lift texture in the acid pit. It looks more like a collapsed staircase than an interactive object of itself. That's how I got stuck at the first attempt.

doom71.png

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@ViolentBeetle, thanks for taking the time. Yeah, you're not the first not to notice the lift down there. Just something I've never changed. This was also back in my days of planning a continuous megawad, which idea is long since entirely abandoned, so I may alter the weaponry somewhat. As for the red key, that's not an area that's tripped people up before. Climbing those crates seems like pretty intuitive progression to me, since you see the key over there (although I guess it would be possible to be in the box room without seeing the red key first), but maybe I can see if I can put in a view to the key from that room itself.

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I also finished MAP04. Which had a very cool layout even though I don't quite enjoy being shot in the back by hitscanners.

 

I ran bypassed most enemies on the way to the red door, but I feel it was at least partially intentional. One problem is that the sky is clearly daylight, but the outside is dark. You should bring some consistency into your levels.

The ending for the map is very intriguing, can't wait for MAP05.

 

Incidentally, it didn't take me too much time to find the red key, but it felt a bit weird.

 

Update number 2: I missed the part with sky transfer, it all makes sense now.

Edited by ViolentBeetle

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39 minutes ago, ViolentBeetle said:

I missed the part with sky transfer, it all makes sense now.

 

Actually, before I decided to use transfers at all, I had an all black ceiling flat and I sprinkled in little patches of white ceiling for stars. It was not half bad, if I may say so. As of right now, that is by far the most noticeable sky transfer difference, so if you really wanted to play the rest -cl2, it wouldn't be that much of an issue.

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Finally got around to Map 26

 

 

This map is pretty steadfast to rebuke the player at every opportunity. The early portions are stingy with ammo, the latter portions are dense with traps and tough monsters, and all the while it still manages to keep a well-paced flow. The use of ammo scarcity is a bit of a double edge sword, as it simultaneously motivates the player to push forward while also requiring players to be careful and economical. It's not really until you get a decent cache of rockets that I feel like the map picks up its pace, but it effectively maintains that pace when it gets there. Seems like you could be totally effed if you miss the rocket launcher, which is not technically on the critical path, even though you can circle back around eventually.  

 

The only thing I really majorly question is the pretty obtuse yellow key puzzle and the corresponding archie fight. You can see my attempts to decipher the puzzle a couple of times in the video, and then the way I anticipated the ambush vs how it played out. Honestly I'm kind of mixed about it - having such a tantalizing powerup in full display absolutely telegraphs how deadly the ambush is going to be, and yet even though I wasn't able to figure out how to get it, it really wasn't that deadly at all. So I guess I kind of feel the way you feel about putting exclusive weapons in secrets. If I'm going to need it then give it to me and if I won't then maybe why bother? 

 

Aside from that, I might also just suggest considering making the hitscanners stand out a bit more in a couple of places. The central area has a few snipers that just bushwhack you, it could be more interesting if the player is able to identify them a little easier just to give them a more noticeable decision to make. I always find action the most exciting when I can SEE that a deadly revenant or archie ambush is balanced by a group of deadly hitscanners and I KNOW I have to make a tough choice in what I attack first. On the other hand, if you popped those scanners like, on some ledge far behind me, and I didn't know they were there until I was being attacked by them, I would find that less interesting just because the first scenario creates some immediate drama.

 

But man, on the whole this map is pretty legit. The layout and progression is very well thought out and makes great use of the whole "looping around through a main area" archetype. I think it's appropriately punishing for a map 26, and manages to avoid feeling like a slog even with 250+ monsters. I know the map I alpha tested is up next, and I guess that's it right? Means you need to pick up the pace and drop some more maps to play :P

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I've been stumped by MAP07. I think spider room needs a little more rockets since SSG is not efficient against most of them and precision fire is difficult under that kind of pressure. I will attempt it later on HMP.

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@LVENdead, I will watch this later tonight.

 

5 hours ago, ViolentBeetle said:

I've been stumped by MAP07. I think spider room needs a little more rockets since SSG is not efficient against most of them and precision fire is difficult under that kind of pressure. I will attempt it later on HMP.

 

Yeah, the main difference is the supplies. I'm thinking of doing something different with the secrets, because they are a little too much help for that fight (or rather, you're too screwed if you don't get them). You should be able to three-shot the spiders consistently with either of those weapons, though. Generally, the best strategy seems to be not spreading out the damage, but killing one whole side (i.e. north or south or east or west) quickly with rockets.

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