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Scotty

Nova III - RC1 AVAILABLE!!!

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Okay, here is V3 of my map, which should have the Player 1 Start Spot in the correct place this time (and if it doesn't, I'm clearly not that bright) along with fixing some cosmetic errors I noticed.

 

Another repeat of the map's background info:

Spoiler

Author: Skeletonpatch
Map name: Platform Base

Version: V3

Difficulty: Balanced for Easy, Medium and Hard. Meant to be an early episode 3 map, so I tried to reflect that in the difficulty.

Suggested map slot: Currently occupies MAP25, I'd prefer an earlier slot than that if possible

 

Compatibility: Boom
Playtesting: PRBoom+ 2.5.1.4, GZDoom 1-5-03
Skill settings: Yes

Estimated playtime: 20~30 if you're not taking your time


Build time: Four months, on and off
Tools used: GZDoom Builder R2787
Resources: Nova 3 resource pack
Music track: Currently the default Doom II MAP25 MIDI, it seems to fit the map well enough. If you can find something more appropriate, go ahead.

 

[Download link removed]

 

If anyone is willing to send me some demos of them playing the map, that'd be greatly appreciated.

 

Also, @Scotty, what's the current status of this project on your end? Have you had time to look over my map yet?

Edited by Skeletonpatch

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@Skeletonpatch, here is a casual playthrough. I inadvertently got a linedef skip in the final area that could be a problem to someone who doesn't know what is supposed to happen -- redundant walkover triggers to open the exit door would be useful.

 

pbv3_rd_cpt.zip

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2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

@Skeletonpatch, here is a casual playthrough. I inadvertently got a linedef skip in the final area that could be a problem to someone who doesn't know what is supposed to happen -- redundant walkover triggers to open the exit door would be useful.

 

pbv3_rd_cpt.zip

 

That's a casual playthrough!? You're significantly better at this game than I am!

 

I always forget that linedef skipping is possible, I'll add redundant triggers to reduce the chances of that happening again. Thank you for the demo, it was very helpful!

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Thanks, and you're welcome. To my knowledge, linedef skips while straferunning are quite common while moving to the south or west (iirc I also kept skipping the big green teleporter by accident). Skips are still possible moving to the north or east, but a lot harder. 

 

Another useful thing to keep in mind is with W1 actions that lock the player in an arena (for example W1 door close) that are paired with S1 actions to open the trigger. What often happens in first playthroughs (I myself have had it happen in at least five or six maps over the past few years) is the W1 trigger will be skipped, and the switch action will be hit at the end of a fight, as is logical to do, and then the W1 action will be crossed again, this time enforcing the lock-in, leaving the player no way of getting out. For such setups, repeatable actions for the reopening trigger are important. 

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5 hours ago, rdwpa said:

Another useful thing to keep in mind is with W1 actions that lock the player in an arena (for example W1 door close) that are paired with S1 actions to open the trigger. What often happens in first playthroughs (I myself have had it happen in at least five or six maps over the past few years) is the W1 trigger will be skipped, and the switch action will be hit at the end of a fight, as is logical to do, and then the W1 action will be crossed again, this time enforcing the lock-in, leaving the player no way of getting out. For such setups, repeatable actions for the reopening trigger are important. 

 

Actually this is something I kept in mind while I was making my map, though for a different reason. For the central room that you need the yellow key for I created three possible entries to that area and because of the way I wanted that encounter to work I placed a W1 trigger that closes the bars surrounding the teleporter in each possible entrance. Naturally this made it possible for someone to enter the room, trigger the encounter, press the switch and then inadvertently trigger one of the other W1 linedefs that would have locked them out of the bossfight had I not made the switch SR. Though now that I am aware of the linedef skips I may choose to add an extra W1 lindef to each entrance just in case.

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On 10 March 2018 at 3:24 AM, Skeletonpatch said:

You just gotta love it when real life comes to punch you in the gut when trying to do anything personally important to you. 

 

 

Funny you mention that because I played through your map and made notes on Saturday but those damn personal obligations got in the way before I could write some feedback! So apologies if I'm misremembering anything or echoing rdwpa's comments. I haven't had time to play your revised versions so again you might've already addressed some of these:

 

My initial issue was with how dark the start is but given there's only a couple hitscanners and plenty of room to move I don't think it's much of a problem. However I don't know if there were any supplies outside or if I picked any up (bar the shotgun) so you might want to add some some sort of lighting structures in the corners to make any items easier to spot and also to define the edges of the map.

 

I mention this because it took me surprisingly long to notice the building in order to open the first door! From a gameplay perspective I can't see much reason for this building to even exist - there's little to pick up and not much opposition. Let's have some enemy resistance on the way in and maybe even a trap after the switch? You've got a bit of height variation in this building so why not use it for some interesting gameplay!

 

The interior is where the map shines in my opinion, I love the little quirks you've added in some rooms, the small details added solely for storytelling and the general pacing from tight corridors to wider open areas as the heavy mobs start spawning in. In some places I think you've gone too reliant on switches - particularly with the lowering bookcases and with turning on the TV (which is a brilliant touch), you should trust the player to press any surface with items on top so the bookcase switch is unnecessary (this also hints to the secret later on) and the TV should be activated with the remote which would be a neat interactive easteregg.

 

The hell knight towards the red key would be great for intimidation in cramped areas like these but I was a bit disappointed when I noticed it was stuck in the room; there's no challenge in simply peeking and firing a shot or two. Compare it to the revenant just beforehand - although still very easy this encounter was much more intense trying to dodge in such close-quarters. (Also a berserk pack would be great for the corridor section!)

 

The office room with the gunfire-activated walls was a good idea for a trap I think but triggers too early if you happen to miss the shotgunner/imp (forget which it is), I would swap the alerted monster with a green armour or soulsphere to draw the player in and then hopefully a stray bullet will hit the walls in the process leaving the player in the thick of it.

 

With the blue-key trap I also think it may be too easy. When the monsters spawn in the player is already tucked away in a corner and you've only spawned a single imp to try flush them out which is unlikely to work meaning they can easily sit tight with no consequence. Try swapping the imp with a rev or couple hellknights or some hitscanners to force the player to use the space you've given and also consider placing a few spawners on top of the crates to give some priority targets while the spectres are closing in.

 

There's nothing wrong with an easy map and they can often be a relief (especially in ep3) but at the moment I think you have a strong spike in difficulty with the last battle compared to the rest which is why it could do with some balancing. As rdwpa said the fight is straightforward as it can simply be circle-strafed to victory but one slip could mean death/significant damage which cannot be said for anywhere else in the map. Also, in regards to the BFG secret I did the opposite of rdwpa, I managed to find the switch but hadn't even noticed the BFG! Even though I had almost immediately activated the step I didn't realise until all the cybers were dead, possibly because I was circling clockwise (or counter-clockwise, I forget the layout) hence why the stairs were obscured. Another thing regarding the roof - you can easily press the required switches from the first or second step making the escape very trivial which is why some extra mobs like rdwpa suggested would be good here. Finally, the roof doesn't look much like a roof if I'm honest, you need some surrounding structures to give a feel of how high up the roof is like the "lighting structures" I mentioned in the first paragraph, have them visible from both the exterior and roof to give a sort of visual narration to how far the player has travelled.

 

Overall I think it's a great submission, all it needs is a few little tweaks. Brilliant stuff!

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16 hours ago, Skeletonpatch said:

Also, @Scotty, what's the current status of this project on your end? Have you had time to look over my map yet?

 

Not yet, i have been busy since saturday, but at some point i will get the time.

 

Current project status is i've updated the texture pack to v1.4 (will update links when i get around to that) but am holding off on a new alpha build for the moment cause i think another couple of maps are imminent. My original plan to do a feedback stream has been stopped due to shocking internet performance lately so i'll probably just record stuff for youtube instead, it's still easier than writing out massive posts.

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Ok, i just want to write a little something about scaling difficulty within a single map cause it's something i feel like i'm seeing in several maps in this project, and it's perhaps a bit of a rookie mapper trait. What i am talking about is where a map starts off at one level of difficulty and notably moves up several gears through the course of the map. It's important to understand that a sole map is (in this case) part of something much bigger and difficulty builds gradually through a megawad/episode, not within a single map. So don't feel as though you have to always start your map off with lower tier weapons and monsters, and build to BFG's and bosses - it's perfectly fine to have a fairly low difficulty ramp in a map you make, in fact it's good core mapping practice in my view.

 

So with that in mind @Skeletonpatch i think that is perhaps the most important large thing to address in your map having played it today. The other thing i think you might consider is the map name, it is fairly generic - perhaps ask yourself what specific kind of base it is or simply grab a thesaurus and look up moon techbase esque words to see if you can find something original (no joke i use this method surprisingly reguarly to try to find cool map names myself). The midi is serviceable but something more bespoke might add a lot to the map... i could pm you a bunch of suggestions or something. Aside from this no major problems, like rdwpa i got an old school Team TNT type vibe from the map, quite cramped and heavy on exploration, which is a nice departure every once in a while from more modern mapping styles. I liked some of the details like the golden liquid leaking down through to the bottom floor and so on. It was generally fairly easy but i am thinking of changing up the wad structure anyway (see below). Environmentally you have done well to create a sense of place but if you wanted to try and make you map feel even more like it is several floors within one building you could perhaps experiment with some silent teleporters on staircases? Just an idea.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

 

One thing i am finding playing all the maps is that the difficulty curve over the course of 32 maps is going to be incredibly hard to manage, we have E1 maps that are significantly more difficult that E3 maps for example. I am considering just splitting this into 3 distinct episodes in a more Ultimate Doom vein, each with their own inbuilt difficulty curve and forced pistol starts for each new episode. Would anyone object to this? It would make more sense of the map progression in each episode.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

 

 

I have updated the texture pack to v1.4, get it in the 2nd post of the thread. I decided i don't really have the time or energy to try and police texture 'limits' so as long as things fit the episode in question and people are relatively sensible, the hard limits are gone.

 

I'm hoping another 2 maps will be posted pretty soon, after that i'll compile a new alpha and record some feedback videos. I think i'll save major sweeping map feedback for the thread and use the videos for random musings and tuning up suggestions to avoid more massive posts like this that people almost certainly won't read :P

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When you've got 3 sets of distinct themes and textures I think it's a sensible choice to segment them into episodes. There's no reason that Hell has to be episode 1 or Moon episode 3 either, so we could even rearrange the episode orders based on difficulty if necessary. 

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I've made a new map for this wad

 

Name: Ancestral domain

IWAD: Doom 2 map 19

Tested with: PrBoom+ 2.5.1.4, GZDoom 2.3.2

Difficulty: all

Multiplayer: not implemented

Requirements: Nova 3 Resources

Description: A more challenging map compared to my previous, designed for episode 2 ending: a quite tricky start and some dangerous area are present in this level.

 

Screen:

 

rcpN2ER.jpg

 

DOWNLOAD v.1: https://drive.google.com/file/d/17EWuO59xiBC3EBpmyVhkFRSy3tNI_o_C/view?usp=sharing

Edited by Paul977

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Generally fun stuff Paul. The map is really quite atmospheric, i spent the whole time expecting that i was about to get annihilated by something (although it never came for me :P ). I think you need to look at the crusher at the end and make it repeat more quickly or something - i beat the fight and then sat for over 2 minutes waiting for it to finish off everything. I forgot to record an FDA but i did exit first time (9% lowest health). Also, you should perhaps use boom linedef 242 actions for your invisible walls around monsters (ie the one surrounding those 2 cacos and the PE), it will get rid of the glitchy flat rising type thing that occurs as the "door" opens. If you don't know how those actions work i can help you.

 

I found it a little hard to objectively judge the difficulty here, there are a few instances of dodging mass fireballs from multiple sides that i can deal with fairly ok these days, but maybe someone who doesn't really play slaughter maps (and is not used to that kinda gameplay) could try the map and let us know how they found it, just for an alternate view. So far this is certainly the most dangerous E2 map though.

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3 hours ago, Scotty said:

Ok, i just want to write a little something about scaling difficulty within a single map cause it's something i feel like i'm seeing in several maps in this project, and it's perhaps a bit of a rookie mapper trait. What i am talking about is where a map starts off at one level of difficulty and notably moves up several gears through the course of the map. It's important to understand that a sole map is (in this case) part of something much bigger and difficulty builds gradually through a megawad/episode, not within a single map. So don't feel as though you have to always start your map off with lower tier weapons and monsters, and build to BFG's and bosses - it's perfectly fine to have a fairly low difficulty ramp in a map you make, in fact it's good core mapping practice in my view.

 

So with that in mind @Skeletonpatch i think that is perhaps the most important large thing to address in your map having played it today. The other thing i think you might consider is the map name, it is fairly generic - perhaps ask yourself what specific kind of base it is or simply grab a thesaurus and look up moon techbase esque words to see if you can find something original (no joke i use this method surprisingly reguarly to try to find cool map names myself). The midi is serviceable but something more bespoke might add a lot to the map... i could pm you a bunch of suggestions or something. Aside from this no major problems, like rdwpa i got an old school Team TNT type vibe from the map, quite cramped and heavy on exploration, which is a nice departure every once in a while from more modern mapping styles. I liked some of the details like the golden liquid leaking down through to the bottom floor and so on. It was generally fairly easy but i am thinking of changing up the wad structure anyway (see below). Environmentally you have done well to create a sense of place but if you wanted to try and make you map feel even more like it is several floors within one building you could perhaps experiment with some silent teleporters on staircases? Just an idea.

 

TNT: Evilution is my favourite of the official IWADs, and I honestly haven't been a part of the Doom Community long enough to really play any of the top community recommended PWADs yet (on top of not having enough time anyway), so naturally I'm going to take a lot of inspiration from that. Actually, this is the second iteration of this map that I've made. The first attempt actually used TNT resources, but I made it before I joined this community project and wasn't happy with the map I was making so I simply started again recycling the same idea (and with much better execution). That version of the map was in the shape of a hexagon which made managing the internal structures extremely difficult thanks to an abundance of awkward angles.

 

In terms of monster/item balancing, I'll do my best to ramp up the difficulty a bit. I must have been in the single map PWAD mindset while making most of this map, since it failed to occur to me that my map probably doesn't fit in episode 3 difficulty wise. I'll try rebalancing with harder monsters from the beginning whilst attempting to keep it pistol-start friendly. I don't think I can do much about the architecture, if I try adding more floors I'll probably need to restructure everything about how the level progresses (and at that point I may as well start all over, which I'm not doing). @amok made quite a few good suggestions that I will keep in mind.

 

And about the midi, feel free to PM me your suggestions. The default Doom II MAP25 midi works, but it doesn't do much in terms of setting the atmosphere. I don't actually know how to modify the resources and add my own stuff to .wad files yet (this is only the second map that I've made for public release), so I'd appreciate the help. If I had the know-how and the software I'd probably make my own composition for this map, but that's beyond my current skillset at the moment.

 

Regardless, thank you for the feedback and I will keep it in mind while trying to improve my map.

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Thanks for feedback @Scotty unfortunatly fast crusher plus low damage doesn't work in Boom I think : /. I'm open from point of view of people not usually play something like the final fight, even if there is the possibility to take cover behind the revenants pillars to avoid the fireballs.

 

Cool demo @rdwpa :) no major threats for you from this map. My next will be much difficult ^

 

___________________________

 

I'm fine with having three episodes with death exits, sounds good

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I've played Solar Powered the secret map by @Big Ol Billy and I really liked it, it's one of my favourite of the set now. Great architercture and design, the temple and the tech-base elements are well assembled together and associated with the midi conveys strongly the feeling of a mysterious place. Very cool use of the shadows also :)

Puzzle-wise is not very difficult except for the secret exit where I had to use both doom builder and iddt to figure it out ^^ (btw I really like the path that lead to the secret exit, scary stuff well done).

Combat-wise: the fights are generally not very difficulty I'd say plutonia-lite style but appropriate for this kind of map, imo; the regular final fight is quite difficult instead (particularly stay on the platforms while killing the pes), for it I go there with the most of pr/rl ammo I can preserve (personally I'd add some more ammo on the platforms).

The secret fight was surprisingly difficult, a big spike compared to the rest of the map but I had a lot fun to figure out how to tackle it properly and it's my favourite fight of the level^; although there is no teleport that lead you back to the map and you can only go the secret exit from there so the map currently is not UV-maxable (unless I missed something obvious : / )

Overall really really good map :)   

 

I'll try to play and review some other maps soon hopefully

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8 hours ago, NoisyVelvet said:

fda for @Paul977's Ancestral Domain. 

noisy_ad_paul977.zip (prb+ cl9 uv-nosaes)

 

I really like Mancubus Firing Squads.

 

Good playing NoisyVelvet, fun demo :). Thanks for point out that visual glitch I now uploaded a new version with that bug fix

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Is there still slots for episode 2? I actually worked on a map last year with plans to submit it to NOVA 3, but I guess that I forgot, or lost interest. But it would be a shame to throw away a map that I did put a fair amount of time into.

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9 minutes ago, 94's the best style said:

Is there still slots for episode 2? I actually worked on a map last year with plans to submit it to NOVA 3, but I guess that I forgot, or lost interest. But it would be a shame to throw away a map that I did put a fair amount of time into.

 

How complete is it? I think accounting for Megiddo and a map i have complete (but not in this thread yet), E2 is full, but if your map is almost done i could jiggle some stuff around to make room for it.

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16 hours ago, Scotty said:

 

How complete is it? I think accounting for Megiddo and a map i have complete (but not in this thread yet), E2 is full, but if your map is almost done i could jiggle some stuff around to make room for it.

Full from start to finish, 198 monsters on UV, 13 secrets. Though Now I realize that I could turn it into an E3 map, as it ended up becoming some sort of agricultural techbase. Maybe a hydroponic center under a biodome.

 

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Cool map @Paul977, I had similar thoughts to the others: great atmosphere, generally tame difficulty and would suggest changing the final crusher/barons somehow.

 

I think you might've pulled some punches on the traps though - after the full-on start I was expecting an onslaught at the first trap (with the three pillars) but you've left quite a lot of space to move around in to dodge turret monsters. Similar issue with the final trap (with the crusher), turret monsters and plenty of space. You might want to try letting the barons push up to the player, making the mancubodes much more threatening.  Considering the amount of ammo/health on display I was expecting to die a lot!

 

The berserk secret was a lot of fun and I loved the how the lighting throughout is not only for aesthetic but also gameplay.

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Oh yeah @Paul977 I was hoping to get you an FDA for your map but I fucked it up somehow. Anyway, I agree with all the positive comments. UV was pretty challenging for me, but still fun. Love the look and the verticality. Also enjoy how you have some choice about how to string encounters together, which gives it a hint of 'Tricks and Traps.' I actually managed to lure the Cyber into the vile/plasma room--it wasn't exactly brilliant strategy, but I get a kick out of maps that let you play around with fights like that. Bonus points for lone health potions as clearly-conveyed fight triggers--that's a classy touch.

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Thanks for the feedbacks on my map @amok and @Big Ol Billy. I wanted a faster crusher for the final area too but I think it's impossible in Boom with low damage :/ ; about enhancing the difficulty I'm def up, but I think for Scotty it's alright I guess^

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Here's my final contribution to the project, a map for episode 3!

 

Map Name: Armstronged

 

Midi: "Hypercube" by Stuart Rynn

 

Tested in GZDoom and PrBoom+.

 

Requires current nova3 texture pack (version 4).

 

Difficulty levels yet to be included (just UV for now).

 

 

Screenshot_Doom_20180401_195516.png

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Great map @A2Rob, lots of fun! I can tell Valiant was a huge inspiration for this with the traps, progression and general styling. I like how there are no dead-ends and you can just circle around the map which is very beneficial when you have "vague" switches (I use the term lightly because I know you've decorated your switches with the relevant colours but I still managed to briefly get lost! :p). Difficulty-wise I think its fine, I died a couple times but the open layout of the start meant it never got tedious.

 

I did think the megasphere was oddly placed in that it was quite easy to find and came as a complete surprise - you can't see it prior from any angles (just noticed when going back to check the sight-lines that you have inactive teleport lines around the megasphere!) and I would've been more than happy even with just a soulsphere (although I suppose it now depends on how tricky that teleport trap is). Another thing, I would say that there's too much flat space in the scenery surrounding the exit but then again it fits the moon theme so I dunno - either way its an easy fix. Very very cool map.

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I don't complain about generous megaspheres in maps that aren't going for pure challenge anyway -- they make really aggressive maxes a lot more fun. The way of discovering could be more interesting.

 

This map felt like a 'practice map' to me. It is solid all around but missing something to elevate it over the top and make it more memorable -- something I'd say your previous submissions had. The ideas for design (both one-off motifs and recurring ones) are mostly stuff that has been done already, the fights are mostly okay and solid but nothing stands out as too exceptional or sophisticated (the vile/spectre fight is the higlight imo), the architecture is competent but modest (utilitarian with a modest scale), there is a lack of more impressive vistas, the texturing is not something I'm solid on (the goth metal bars feel out of place to me).

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Just completed the map by @A2Rob.

 

Overall, the space theme is good to me, and the difficulty is fair. Since I don't really like open maps like this, probably my opinions are biased. I apologize in advance if my opinions are not cool. You can say it's openly free for the player to navigate, but I think it's confusing that I don't know where to go on the other hand. Some of the switches are sort of confusing. For example, there is a switch marked with red lines, but it's just a normal switch, not a red switch. Another thing is that resources are too separated especially ammo. I would prefer a box of rockets in the middle rather than 3~4 single rockets in a row at the edge. Somehow, I feel that you like to stack boxes and put something on top, like the one in pigeon03.wad Map04.

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