[PRBoom] Industrial Horror in SPAAACE *updated 171028*

** Update ** I have migrated to another source because it has better support for 3D on Android. In which case, I am going to focus more on a classic DOOM type of experience.

 

Below I took some of what I was told by those who commented, now the newest demo is put up. I would very much like more feedback if you decide to try it again. 

 

Version: A01

 

So the first thing I felt I needed to tackle was side strafing. How does one make the practice as impractical as it is cheap. I have also turned up the forgiving nature of the level a tad. I think I am going to do a version where I am very generous with health packs so that the player doesn't feel like they are always in a "don't go under 55 Miles Per Hour or you'll explode" mentality. Although I think I am going to do a few of them as dedicated levels. 

 

One of the concessions of the move to PRBoom is the loss of scripting - - and so one has to necessarily forgo atmosphere for the sake of the mechanics. For example, because I lost the possibility of scripting, almost every single one of my floors are going to have one single plane in order to minimize the opportunity to use ledges to stay alive. The loss of scripting also affects what I can do with the atmosphere. That is going to have to be a greater focus in art direction to make it effective as a whole.

 

The aesthetic is non-existent in this map -- 

Spoiler

I wanted to play with the notion of having multiple solutions to the puzzle. In this case, two possible keys to pick up. One more straight-forward, and one a bit more dangerous but shorter. I should come up with a reward of some kind so that the player finds the challenge is more tempting. 

 
 

 

 

 

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[GZDoom] [UDMF] Would somebody care to test my proof of concept? I am new to mapping and I am taking a very simple premise and I think I could turn this into an entire game. I find this a fun challenge, but I would like some of your opinions if you would be so kind.

 

The premise is simple: Your space station was under attack and is depressurizing. You are (as far as you know) the lone survivor and you need to get to the opposite side of the space station while taking damage continuously as your ability to breathe is ripped out of your lungs. I want to emphasize the run more than the gun, but I think I could integrate guns into the gameplay. I created a level to demonstrate the idea. it is extremely short.

 

Let me know what you think. The screenshots are from the earlier version.

Screenshot_Doom_20170920_222101.png

Screenshot_Doom_20170927_002145.png

Screenshot_Doom_20170927_002209.png

Screenshot_Doom_20170927_002241.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SpaaaceDemo.zip

 

spaaace A01.zip

Edited by jadedrakerider
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You're going to want to tie taking damage to a script or being in sectors, as normal damaging floors can allow the player to exploit both 'bunny hopping' -- which I think is really lame, so I'd rather it never be the optimal strategy lol -- and any height differences between floors, since you don't take damage when you are on the edge of one. 

 

As far as gameplay goes, a low attrition factor (something like 2-3 damage/second) coupled with health laying around and relatively complex layouts is appealing. It forces time pressure but also allows for some 'mistakes' in exploration. The idea of being low on health and having to find health or maybe gamble a rush to what might be the exit, while being hounded by monsters, is exciting. The proof of concept map is essentially a much less interesting version of Scythe map28: a correct path and some wrong ones, with no potential for tension or excitement since the correct path is quite lenient as far as clean movement goes, and the others just result in your death. Taking damage immediately as the map loads would be a nuisance as well, particularly when the player start doesn't even have the right path in view.

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1 minute ago, rdwpa said:

You're going to want to tie taking damage to a script or being in sectors

 

As far as gameplay goes, a low attrition factor (something like 2-3 damage/second) coupled with health laying around and relatively complex layouts is appealing. It forces time pressure but also allows for some 'mistakes' in exploration. The idea of being low on health and having to find health or maybe gamble a rush to what might be the exit, while being hounded by monsters, is exciting. The proof of concept map is essentially a much less interesting version of Scythe map28: a correct path and some wrong ones, with no potential for tension or excitement since the correct path is quite lenient as far as clean movement goes, and the others just result in your death. Taking damage immediately as the map loads would be a nuisance as well, particularly when the player start doesn't even have the right path in view.

Really you thought the correct path was quite lenient? I went through and I finished with 10% or so health left.

 

Did you find either of the secrets? There are two of them in the level. They aren't terribly clever secrets, I don't think, but I find them fun, but I put them there.

 

Thanks! I am gratified that the idea (if not this particular execution) has merit. I toyed around with the idea of putting monsters behind walls to attack you. I also have a pinky hiding in the level, but I found the AI extremely disappointing. It isn't nearly as effective at harassing the player I thought it would. I want to go through and program my own AI for a creature much like the pinky. A melee monster that follows the player pretty closely and will take a swipe at the player once the player tries to double back.

 

  • How would your rate this as a tutorial level?
  • Would you suggest adding multiple paths that lead to the end? Converging paths? Both?
  • I had the idea of using optical illusions to disorient the player. Things like, making hallways ends seem closer than they actually are.
  • Do you think "holographic" walls are cheap? Walls players can run through? I do, the player would have to run into every wall in the map.

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This is an interesting idea. Haven't played it yet, but I'm intrigued and will check the map out. Based on rdwpa's comments (which you should definitely take seriously—he's been very helpful to me in the past), I might suggest one thought: what if levels began with a quick countdown before depressurization stops? Give players a few seconds or more—maybe depending on the map—to quickly look around, look for environmental clues, and come up with some initial strategy.

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2 hours ago, Big Ol Billy said:

This is an interesting idea. Haven't played it yet, but I'm intrigued and will check the map out. Based on rdwpa's comments (which you should definitely take seriously—he's been very helpful to me in the past), I might suggest one thought: what if levels began with a quick countdown before depressurization ...? Give players a few seconds or more—maybe depending on the map—to quickly look around, look for environmental clues, and come up with some initial strategy.

 

Yes when I first started testing this I was getting hit immediately out of the gate. So I put down a health pack down so that you don't start out at 90%. That is a good idea. I have just been introduced to the concept of scripts. I am looking into it.

 

Can you recommend a good tutorial? 

 

I started using one tutorial, but the person kept referencing some sort of reference sheet I could not find.

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In theory I don't mind the concept of forcing players to think about speed. But in practice I don't like how aggressive this map is. I also thought "Run from It" in Scythe was one of the few blemishes in the entire mapset, indeed a huge blemish. I don't like the idea of forcing players to straferun, and you pretty much have to SR50 the entire Scythe map to beat it. This one is a little more lenient, but still too aggressive for my taste if that's how every map is going to be. The Scythe map, on the other hand, is just one of 32. 

 

But I know there are some who love this kind of thing and would probably eat up a full mapset with this concept.

 

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11 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

In theory I don't mind the concept of forcing players to think about speed. But in practice I don't like how aggressive this map is. I also thought "Run from It" in Scythe was one of the few blemishes in the entire mapset, indeed a huge blemish. I don't like the idea of forcing players to straferun, and you pretty much have to SR50 the entire Scythe map to beat it. This one is a little more lenient, but still too aggressive for my taste if that's how every map is going to be. The Scythe map, on the other hand, is just one of 32. 

 

But I know there are some who love this kind of thing and would probably eat up a full mapset with this concept.

 

 

 

So you would personally prefer an even more lenient map? How you you feel about gameplay that discourages strafing? I added a few monsters that will punish you for not paying attention. Every little peck of damage is extremely important and I have not beaten my new level with the changes.

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On 9/27/2017 at 4:38 AM, jadedrakerider said:

Really you thought the correct path was quite lenient? I went through and I finished with 10% or so health left.

 

Did you find either of the secrets? There are two of them in the level. They aren't terribly clever secrets, I don't think, but I find them fun, but I put them there.

 

Thanks! I am gratified that the idea (if not this particular execution) has merit. I toyed around with the idea of putting monsters behind walls to attack you. I also have a pinky hiding in the level, but I found the AI extremely disappointing. It isn't nearly as effective at harassing the player I thought it would. I want to go through and program my own AI for a creature much like the pinky. A melee monster that follows the player pretty closely and will take a swipe at the player once the player tries to double back.

 

  • How would your rate this as a tutorial level?
  • Would you suggest adding multiple paths that lead to the end? Converging paths? Both?
  • I had the idea of using optical illusions to disorient the player. Things like, making hallways ends seem closer than they actually are.
  • Do you think "holographic" walls are cheap? Walls players can run through? I do, the player would have to run into every wall in the map.


As a tutorial level, I think this map would teach things that point at undesirable qualities of the mapset. What I'm trying to get across is that the map really lacks any sort of 'suspense'. I want to be able to explore wrong paths and still survive. I want that feeling of 'oh crap I have to find health now or get out of this part quickly because it's clearly a dead end'. Those are good things. This map is essentially 'right route = sure success, but if you even stick your nose in a wrong door, you are dead'. That isn't very interesting.

 

Imagine the player playing this map. They load it up. Start running, poke their head into a wrong door and die because they've already wasted too much time. Reset and try another path and die because it's a dead end. Reset and find the correct path and win. I don't see the fun in that. You might as well just IDDQD and trace out the correct route and then do it normally. Failed attempts had no chance (except luckily stumbling across the right route) and were just reconnaissance for the correct path.

 

Imagine by contrast a map with a much lower attrition factor but also a more complex layout and perhaps some puzzles or 'physical tests' that might need to be done. The player loads up the map, stumbles across a path that turns out to be a dead end. A bit of panic. Gotta get out of here now. Twenty seconds in, at 70% health already. Look, a couple of stimpacks, I'd better grab those. A dangerous monster shows up, surprise, it gets a hit in, now I'm at 40% and my attempt just started. Run. Anywhere, just run. I stumble across a lift and there's a switch. I'm at 35%. Salvation, a medkit. This time I get it. I'm at 58%. I'd better keep going fast, maybe I'll be able to make it even though I had a rough start. [...]. And so on and so on. Lots of ebbs and flows. Smooth sailing at times, desperation at times.

 

Basically, the core of much enjoyable gameplay is that there is an 'in-between' state between sure success and sure failure. Tension. Suspense. Maps where you either win easily or die with no chance are usually much less fun. In conventional terms, that might be one of those '90s maps where you have tons of powerups and ammo and weak opposition, but you can suddenly get killed by telefragging a voodoo doll because the mapper assumes people are psychics. Zzzz. 

 

Speaking of the concept map, it's measured decently, I suppose, in that the player is exiting when low on health, but I was often able to finish with 20% left, and the thing is that even when I finished with 10%, I had the overall sense that I just had to screw up really badly with my movement along that path to have died. This was just with basic SR40 (and no jumping of course :P). There was no suspense there. With the right route, I found it to be sure success. And poking your head in a wrong door or something is sure failure. No meaningful in-between state at all. Again, I think a very low attrition factor (even like 1 or 2 HP a second) with an emphasis on exploration and maybe even some light puzzle-solving under time pressure would be much more fun and suspenseful than this.

 

Edited by rdwpa
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1 hour ago, rdwpa said:


As a tutorial level, I think this map would teach things that point at undesirable qualities of the mapset. What I'm trying to get across is that the map really lacks any sort of 'suspense'. I want to be able to explore wrong paths and still survive. I want that feeling of 'oh crap I have to find health now or get out of this part quickly because it's clearly a dead end'. Those are good things. This map is essentially 'right route = sure success, but if you even stick your nose in a wrong door, you are dead'. That isn't very interesting.

 

Imagine the player playing this map. They load it up. Start running, poke their head into a wrong door and die because they've already wasted too much time. Reset and try another path and die because it's a dead end. Reset and find the correct path and win. I don't see the fun in that. You might as well just IDDQD and trace out the correct route and then do it normally. Failed attempts had no chance (except luckily stumbling across the right route) and were just reconnaissance for the correct path.

 

Imagine by contrast a map with a much lower attrition factor but also a more complex layout and perhaps some puzzles or 'physical tests' that might need to be done. The player loads up the map, stumbles across a path that turns out to be a dead end. A bit of panic. Gotta get out of here now. Twenty seconds in, at 70% health already. Look, a couple of stimpacks, I'd better grab those. A dangerous monster shows up, surprise, it gets a hit in, now I'm at 40% and my attempt just started. Run. Anywhere, just run. I stumble across a lift and there's a switch. I'm at 35%. Salvation, a medkit. This time I get it. I'm at 58%. I'd better keep going fast, maybe I'll be able to make it even though I had a rough start. [...]. And so on and so on. Lots of ebbs and flows. Smooth sailing at times, desperation at times.

 

Basically, the core of much enjoyable gameplay is that there is 'in-between' state between sure success and sure failure. Tension. Suspense. Maps where you either win easily or die with no chance are usually much less fun. In conventional terms, that might be one of those '90s maps where you have tons of powerups and ammo and weak opposition, but you can suddenly get killed by telefragging a voodoo doll because the mapper assumes people are psychics. Zzzz. 

 

Speaking of the concept map, it's measured decently, I suppose, in that the player is exiting when low on health, but I was often able to finish with 20% left, and the thing is that even when I finished with 10%, I had the overall sense that I just had to screw up really badly with my movement along that path to have died. This was just with basic SR40 (and no jumping of course :P). There was no suspense there. With the right route, I found it to be sure success. And poking your head in a wrong door or something is sure failure. No meaningful in-between state at all. Again, I think a very low attrition factor (even like 1 or 2 HP a second) with an emphasis on exploration and maybe even some light puzzle-solving under time pressure would be much more fun and suspenseful than this.

 

I am learning so much. I have to sleep now but I am going to finish reading this

 

I actually did put a secondary path to success,

 

but it is behind a false wall when you go down that first dark hallway.

 

Looking back, I think that is a bit obtuse and probably not what you have suggested. As you said, it is a gauranteed path to succeas. Just a different one.

 

They light puzzle solving had occurred to me and I am so glad you think that would be fun. 

 

I have to go to sleep now, but I am going to read this again in the morning.

Edited by jadedrakerider

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3 hours ago, jadedrakerider said:

So you would personally prefer an even more lenient map? How you you feel about gameplay that discourages strafing? I added a few monsters that will punish you for not paying attention. Every little peck of damage is extremely important and I have not beaten my new level with the changes.

What I'm saying is essentially in agreement with rdwpa. Right now the map has extremely heavy emphasis on running. I think that's fine. I think there are some folks who like that. But I don't prefer those maps, and I definitely would not play "an entire game" on that premise. And I think those who would enjoy that would not mind the difficulty of this map (impossible without at least some regular straferunning).

 

BUT I think an even better idea would be to lessen the running aspect significantly and heighten the combat and puzzle solving aspects.

Think of a map where you could run through it and still easily have 60%+ health, IF you already knew the correct route and there were no monsters. But now you take away that knowledge of the correct route and add some monsters. Now you can stop to shoot some demons, get lost a couple times, and still win. That's the suspense rdwpa was talking about.

 

If you plan on doing a series, you'll also want to keep in mind that players could easily be starting many maps with low health. You can use that to basically force a pistol start in every level or you can consider putting a berserk at the very end of every map.

 

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Have you played Skulldash? This puts me in mind of that, though here you're racing your health bar instead of the clock. Continuously-decreasing health definitely makes for an interesting wrinkle, though.

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12 hours ago, Salt-Man Z said:

Have you played Skulldash? This puts me in mind of that, though here you're racing your health bar instead of the clock. Continuously-decreasing health definitely makes for an interesting wrinkle, though.

 

I have not, I am going to look into that. I thought the health would be the single best way to get across the horror of suffocation, but I wanted to have that feeling of desperation when you have almost figured out the maze and you have to choose between killing a demon in the way, or risk taking a hit by running past him in route to the exit.

 

 

16 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

What I'm saying is essentially in agreement with rdwpa. Right now the map has extremely heavy emphasis on running. I think that's fine. I think there are some folks who like that. But I don't prefer those maps, and I definitely would not play "an entire game" on that premise. And I think those who would enjoy that would not mind the difficulty of this map (impossible without at least some regular straferunning).

 

BUT I think an even better idea would be to lessen the running aspect significantly and heighten the combat and puzzle solving aspects.

Think of a map where you could run through it and still easily have 60%+ health, IF you already knew the correct route and there were no monsters. But now you take away that knowledge of the correct route and add some monsters. Now you can stop to shoot some demons, get lost a couple times, and still win. That's the suspense rdwpa was talking about.

 

If you plan on doing a series, you'll also want to keep in mind that players could easily be starting many maps with low health. You can use that to basically force a pistol start in every level or you can consider putting a berserk at the very end of every map.

 

 

I also agree. I was thinking this could be a tutorial level where you just get the idea of "I have to RUN". Maybe this area of the ship is the part that was hit the hardest and is depressurizing at the fastest rate. Fewer enemies, but you have to find the route to the airlock. Having the 60% "if you know the path" point is extremely insightful. I am going to work on that for the next level.

 

My plan for the health concern at the moment is to let the player find an infirmary or something every few levels so they can heal up, especially right in the middle of a level before a boss. I want you to dread finding the infirmary as much as you are relieved to find it. It is a safe zone, temporarily, but eventually you will be forced out.

 

You guys rock so hard.

 

edit:

I was thinking I may want to modify the behavior of some of the enemies (and come up with some originals). It has to be possible as we have the monsters coded in there to begin with. The pinky Demon just doesn't work nearly as well as I thought it would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jadedrakerider
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Whelp, I kept turning this over in my mind. Now I have the skeleton of a level. Tell me what you think.

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played the level. screenshots look nice, but i didn't get to see any of it - just a small maze, chainsawing a few imps and picking up the red key followed by the exit.

 

the level is going to need lots of work to improve it.

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1 hour ago, Pure Hellspawn said:

played the level. screenshots look nice, but i didn't get to see any of it - just a small maze, chainsawing a few imps and picking up the red key followed by the exit.

 

the level is going to need lots of work to improve it.

Thank you, I was quite proud of that scene I set up visually; you can find it in the original level I submitted. I still plan to incorporate it into the design of the game, but I am still trying to figure out what I am doing with this concept mechanically. 

 

As you observed, the look is extremely Spartan(or Starpan). Could you tell me about your experience during play? Did you review the map before playing it or did you look at the map first? Did the context of the situation (constantly taking damage) add urgency to the game to the point that you were frustrated?

 

What about the enemy placement? I am trying to make moving quickly is less important than making decisions and try to deter it where I can. 

 

I am a still wrapping my mind around how I am going to construct the mazes. Any tips or recommended reading would be appreciated.

 

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6 hours ago, jadedrakerider said:

Thank you, I was quite proud of that scene I set up visually; you can find it in the original level I submitted. I still plan to incorporate it into the design of the game, but I am still trying to figure out what I am doing with this concept mechanically. 

 

As you observed, the look is extremely Spartan(or Starpan). Could you tell me about your experience during play? Did you review the map before playing it or did you look at the map first? Did the context of the situation (constantly taking damage) add urgency to the game to the point that you were frustrated?

 

What about the enemy placement? I am trying to make moving quickly is less important than making decisions and try to deter it where I can. 

 

I am a still wrapping my mind around how I am going to construct the mazes. Any tips or recommended reading would be appreciated.

 

I played the map before writing my review.

 

The floors are literally packed with stimpacks and medikits, and so taking damage didn't add too much urgency. Especially because the map is so small.

 

Enemy placement - I have nothing to say about this because the level needs a lot of work in regards to design first. Enemy placement doesn't mean a thing when the map needs work itself. Bur chainsawing a few imps in a maze isn't really much fighting. 

 

I downloaded spaaace A01 assuming that is the full wad.

 

I think I get where you are coming at regarding urgency: there's a map in a megawad I do not remember which has a level 20 that is essentially a giant bomb. You have to disarm it in a time limit. Maybe you can look at that?

Edited by Pure Hellspawn
added an idea
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1 hour ago, Pure Hellspawn said:

I think I get where you are coming at regarding urgency: there's a map in a megawad I do not remember which has a level 20 that is essentially a giant bomb. You have to disarm it in a time limit. Maybe you can look at that?

2

Is it Scythe? I have had that recommended several times. I have it loaded up and I am taking what seems to have been a "less than stellar" idea there, and turning it into the entire concept of a game. 

 

No, this is certainly not an entire megawad at the moment. The "A" in this case stands for "alpha".

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Found it!!

 

It's Community Chest 1 map 20 - technodrome. Gotta love the TMNT reference.

 

http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/MAP20:_Technodrome_(Community_Chest)

 

1 Monster - The One God also is a good map. 

 

What I'm thinking is you will want to look up voodoo dolls. These are fake marines that if they get hurt, so do you. They get put in a small sector and there's either a crushing ceiling above them or barrels get crushed and they go kaboom. Or both. The higher the sector, the more time.

 

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Ugh, presumably the script that automatically changed it was lost in the move to the new forum software.

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On 10/31/2017 at 3:33 PM, Xeriphas1994 said:

Please use the real Doom Wiki

 

I know what Wikia is doing, and I know they are doing pretty well at it (monetarily if nothing else); but Doomwiki.org is a much better experience. Not having gigantic ads splash against me like the tide is a luxury these days. 

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