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    The /newstuff Chronicles #124


    deathz0r

    Yay, Scythe! Find out why I like it so much by reading the rest of this top story (well, until some unimportant Doom 3 news takes over) today! Anyway, I'm reviewing five SP wads, one DM wad and a new version of Wintex! Not exactly a great week for /newstuff, but I don't care. *insert filler here*

    • Bloodworks - Bob Larkin
      (wad) (txt) - Enhanced Port - SP
      Erm... ok. First off, this map is incredibly cramped, with very little space to go around. Secondly, I have no clue where to go after the first switch, and it's a repeatable switch as well! I couldn't find any clues on where I was meant to go. There's also some areas which I think were meant to be inaccessable, but they were able to be walked through. With all of those annoying factors, I consider this wad a flop. Stay away it, or I'll shall smite you to hell!

    • Cyber Arena 3 - Agent Spork
      (wad) (txt) - Legacy - SP
      Well, I have mixed feelings about this. The scripting is quite nice and clean, the detailing is very nice, but the gameplay SUCKS. Remember kids, it helps to have interesting battles, not a montage of "*blam* run *blam* run *blam* run *blam* etc etc etc." crap. Yes, in all of these levels, you have to fight cyberdemons in symmetrical arenas, which become awfully dull after a while. There's a secret level, where you have to avoid rapid-firing cyberdemons for 3 minutes. All you have to do is strafe around the outer area for the whole 3 minutes, and you will win unscathed. The problem is that after 3 minutes, the level is still going! Even though it says "you win", you're still playing in it. Oh well, whatever. Don't download it, it's a waste of HD space.

    • Scythe - Erik Alm and Kim "Torn" Bach
      (wad) (txt) - Doom2.exe - SP
      This has to be the best megawad of the year. I don't care if anything else which is "better" comes along, this is proof that you don't need crappy gothic or Quake textures to make decent levels. The gameplay is top-notch, and it's detailing is very high in quality. The levels become progressively harder, with some interesting Doom2.exe tricks (check map28 if you want to know what I mean) and very hard levels near the end. The surprising thing about this is that it only took a grand total of 25 days to make! 32 maps in 25 days, you do the math. Still, this is incredible for how much work was put into them. If you don't play this, I'll banish you to the land of undying.zip. Go download it today you fool!

    • Spinal Injury - Dennis "Exl" Meuwissen
      (wad) (txt) - Doom2.exe - SP
      Well, this wad definitely has that oldschool feeling in it. You know, with the basic texturing but with excellent gameplay feel. This is one of those, or it tries to relive the good old days of mapping. It's a bit short though, but I guess it feels like you were taking a nostalagia trip or something. Oh yeah, it has a very strong E2-ish atmosphere, mixed with a bit of E3. I'm a bit concerned with what the author wrote in the text file, as it says "An OpenGL\DirectX renderer is recommended because of lightning usage.", but a few lines down, it says "A little vanilla Doom map". Whatever. Ignoring that, you should take a look at this wad, you might be interested.

    • Torment and Torture 3 : Fortress of Damnation - Daniel "Tormentor667" Gimmer
      (wad) (txt) - ZDoom 2.0 - SP
      Wow, I must say that this is pretty impressive overall. Even though it literally looks like shit (yuck, overuse of brown texturing makes my eyes cry) and the fact that the first map was running at about 5 frames per second on this crappy computer of mine, this map just screams out gameplay and detailing. It even uses heretic monsters (with modified graphics), and a new weapon which well... isn't exactly the greatest or easiest to use either. Even though there are some minor flaws, I recommend you to play this now. A decent frame rate in map01 would really be appreciated though.

    • Undying - Daniel "Doomer34" Carroll
      (wad) (txt) - Legacy - DM
      Avoid. That's my review of it in short. But since I'd get murdered if I did a short review on any level, so I guess I have to say what is wrong with it.

      Everything about it sucks. The texture choice is horrible, the layout is horrible AND symmetrical (ugh), the gameplay is very dull, and to top it off, the author doesn't even use correct lighting on the Legacy 3D floors! This is an absolute disgrace. This makes dwango1 look godlike.

    • Wintex 5.0 - Javier Almenara
      (exe) (txt) - N/A - N/A
      Yay, a new version of Wintex! I haven't exactly found out what is new in this version, but there seems to be a few changes to it. For those who don't know, Wintex is a wad management program, where you can add sounds, textures, sprites, almost anything! And the beauty of this is that it's freeware too!

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    Hey Deathzie, the switch you can't find out what does in Bob Larkin's level lowers a lift under the big UAC sign in the beginning room.

    Besides I thought Bloodworks was another level released a while ago.

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    Scythe...unfortunately I've only had time to play the first couple of levels so far, but I have to say it's top class gameplay. Does anyone want to babysit my kids for a day so I can play my way through it? Anyone? Come on guys, they're well behaved, Honest!.....

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    Scythe is amazing :) Even though the maps are very small, the whole megawad took me about 4 hours to finish ;) (maybe I'm just too bad :P)

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    From wintex50.txt:
    Upgrade to version. Now this is v5.0, Final Official Version.
    ..
    Future: WinTex v5.x with new features and enhancements.

    Heh.

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    I liked bloodworks in some way even though it was unusually cramped for a doom level. It had good detailing that reminded me a bit of some requiem parts for some reason.

    TNT3 was great for the most part. I liked the second map in particular which had some interesting fights and a good view of the fort.

    Scythe wasn't really made in 25 days if you count the 25 days of slacking off that was pretty much used to gain new inspiration by playing other wads and getting out doing non-doom related stuff. Without that extra time I wouldn't have been able to keep putting new ideas into the wad. I kind of lost track after I did map24 because I felt the theme was a bit static in maps 21-24. I needed a little time to get back on track with map25 which I don't like much but at least it breaks the "all red" theme trend.

    All in all I think the active editing days was distributed something like this over the maps:

    1st day: map01-04 and map07
    2nd day: map05-06
    3rd to 5th day: map08-10

    6th to 12th day: map11-20 (fast editing here, but a lot of inactive days inbetween.)

    13th to 16th day: map21-24
    17th day: did a map that I deleted off, it was very similar to map23 and 24.
    18th day: map25-26
    19th day: map27
    20th to 21st day: map29
    22nd to 24th day: map30 and start of map28
    25th day: finished map28.

    Then there was a few days of testing and then I released the whole thing.

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    I guess it doesn't really matter too much if you liked "The Hub" too much but considering you even got the name wrong I'm wondering if you even played it.

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    btw - IF you had taken the time to find the "repeatable" lift that switch activated you might have found the rest of the map and perhaps you would have thought more of it.

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    Erik said:

    but at least it breaks the "all red" theme trend.

    Aww, why would you want to do that? :(

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    Brad_tilf said:

    I guess it doesn't really matter too much if you liked "The Hub" too much but considering you even got the name wrong I'm wondering if you even played it.



    That said, I was puzzled about that switch too. Perhaps you should have made it clearer that the section of wall just under the UAC sign is a manipulatable.

    Also the two pair of gratings just at the beginning should have been tagged as impassable.


    If Deathz0r had actually finished "The Hub" you would probably have gotten a mediocre review anyway. Deathz0r only gives good reviews to a very small elite. Even Torment and Torture got a somewhat meh review.

    I liked Bloodworks much better than The Hub.

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    Szymanski said:

    Scythe is great


    Indeed. Gonna make mine look like a freakin' joke. But I don't really care; it's my first real project anyway. I'm not expecting it to be legendary.

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    Little Faith said:

    That said, I was puzzled about that switch too. Perhaps you should have made it clearer that the section of wall just under the UAC sign is a manipulatable.

    Also the two pair of gratings just at the beginning should have been tagged as impassable.


    If Deathz0r had actually finished "The Hub" you would probably have gotten a mediocre review anyway. Deathz0r only gives good reviews to a very small elite. Even Torment and Torture got a somewhat meh review.

    I liked Bloodworks much better than The Hub.


    Well, I'll make this the last I have to say on the subject. I've played many a level that required me to search for the action of a switch. As for the gratings - woops. I know there was a reason I made them passable when I was in editing phase - simply forgot to take that off. Oh well. Easily fixed.
    If Deathz0r had actually finished it then perhaps mention would have been made of the bridge effect I created, or the stairs - which came out pretty damn cool considering they work even in Jdoom - or perhaps he would have made mention of the lighting which I took painstaking care on or perhaps he would have mentioned the crematorium or the fire coming out of the floor in the lower level or any one of a thousand other things including the fact that while I sent the player through certain areas multiple times I took ALOT of time setting it up so that there were monsters in those places each time he returned so as to avoid the "bored" effect of looking for something while having nothing to fight.
    That - in a nutshell is what my wad was about - being non-linear, forcing the player to work (just a little) and giving him plenty to fight while traveling through areas of the map with awesome lighting and some really good architectural design.
    As I said - oh well. Not everyone is going to like it. I hope more do than don't.

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    I dunno what people think of map31 of scythe.wad, some say it's details sucks, some like the gameplay. The map took me about 2-3days to finish, yes, I am a lazy mapper. :P

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    You're absolutely right in those things, Bob. These "features" you mention are the clear strengths of this map, and it makes it look very nice indeed and play rather well. There's also some weaknesses, but I'll save those for the review I'm going to write in near future.

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    c-cooper said:

    You're absolutely right in those things, Bob. These "features" you mention are the clear strengths of this map, and it makes it look very nice indeed and play rather well. There's also some weaknesses, but I'll save those for the review I'm going to write in near future.


    let me know when you post it. I always look forward to feedback on a map, especially constructive criticism that not only takes into account the good points but mentions the weak points so that I can work on those in future maps.
    I think this type of feedback has helped to make me a better mapper and while Bloodworks was undoubtedly one of my best maps by many measures, I used alot of "features" in that one that I can't use in the Descent wads if I want them to be compatible with Jdoom (which I do). Well, whatever weaknesses are pointed out - I look forward to finding out your thoughts on it so that I can eliminate those weaknesses in future maps. :-)

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    I'll let you know on e-mail when I post it. I'm counting on doing a double review of both Bloodworks and The Hub. There's two reviews I have to write first, and it's of P:AR and TNT3.

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    Brad_tilf said:

    I guess it doesn't really matter too much if you liked "The Hub" too much but considering you even got the name wrong I'm wondering if you even played it.

    Let's read the text file, shall we?

    thehub.txt says:
    ================================================================
    Title : Bloodworks
    Author : Bob Larkin (a.k.a. Sematary) (a.k.a. Brad_tilf)
    Email Address : interleave1@earthlink.net
    : icq# 162293209
    Misc. Author Info : 41 years old, 3 children, 4 stepchildren, a beautiful wife and too much time on my hands

    Description : This wad, called "The Hub" is the also the third level of the "Descent Into Hell" megawad project
    I'm working on. The merged wad (level 3) will have slightly different mixture of of weapons, etc...
    because the player has weapons and ammo and health already. I decided, however, to release
    it as a wad on its own as well.
    Additional Credits to : ...Nick Baker - who released his texture wad for public use (text file included from the original
    zipped file).

    ....Ace - for playtesting

    ================================================================

    I always follow what the title says.

    btw - IF you had taken the time to find the "repeatable" lift that switch activated you might have found the rest of the map and perhaps you would have thought more of it.

    Maybe it's just me, but having to go back to the start of the level just to find something doesn't really excite me.

    or perhaps he would have made mention of the lighting which I took painstaking care on or perhaps he would have mentioned the crematorium or the fire coming out of the floor in the lower level or any one of a thousand other things including the fact that while I sent the player through certain areas multiple times I took ALOT of time setting it up so that there were monsters in those places each time he returned so as to avoid the "bored" effect of looking for something while having nothing to fight.

    From what I saw, the lighting was average. Nothing that extraordinary. I did like the fake 3D stairs effect, even though the stairs were about 48 units wide (or whatever they were). And about the switch thing (it's kinda relevant to this quote though), average players wouldn't have a clue that they needed to backtrack just to find a little door. Some people might be impatient with having to go backwards quite a bit just to find an open door, which by the way is barely noticeable. I thought the UAC thing was just some logo painted on a wall.

    Not everyone is going to like it. I hope more do than don't.

    At least you accept reality, and I did not like the fact that I had to backtrack (and not knowing what the hell I was looking for) just to find a small opening.

    Little Faith said:

    If Deathz0r had actually finished "The Hub" you would probably have gotten a mediocre review anyway. Deathz0r only gives good reviews to a very small elite. Even Torment and Torture got a somewhat meh review.

    Uhh, what? I gave Torment and Torture a meh review? I actually quite liked it, but the overuse of brown textures and the 7-8 frames per second I got on map01 were the only things I hated about it.

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    Surely low frame rates should make you hate your computer (and maybe even yourself / your parents / your partner / whoever for being stingy), not the map.

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    NiGHTMARE said:

    Surely low frame rates should make you hate your computer (and maybe even yourself / your parents / your partner / whoever for being stingy), not the map.

    After hearing multiple complaints about it, I had to mention it in the news post.

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    Erik said:

    Scythe wasn't really made in 25 days if you count the 25 days of slacking off that was pretty much used to gain new inspiration by playing other wads and getting out doing non-doom related stuff. Without that extra time I wouldn't have been able to keep putting new ideas into the wad. I kind of lost track after I did map24 because I felt the theme was a bit static in maps 21-24.

    Ahh, thanks for clearing that up. I thought that the 25 days of slacking was doing nothing but mapping for the whole time. =P

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    deathz0r said:
    From what I saw, the lighting was average. Nothing that extraordinary. [/B]


    You might have thought more of the lighting in other parts of the map. You really only saw a very small portion of the map. The dungeon area, especially, had some very intense lighting and the crematorium made excellent use of lighting as well

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    Scythe is definetely the winner for this week. I love wads that use the weaker enemies effectively.

    The Hub did look quite nice, but too cramped for my tastes. Also, If I hadnt read this thread before playing it, I would have had a tough time figuring out what that first switch did. The UAC door needs to be a little more obvious.

    Torment and torture was great fun, a little tough though (or maybe I just suck). Low framerate? What low framerate? ;)

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    After reading the "undying" review I'm thinking that sounds rather harsh. Then I click on the screenshot and realize he wasn't exaggerating in the slightest.

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    Torn said:

    I dunno what people think of map31 of scythe.wad...

    I liked it and enjoyed playing it. Maybe not an especial highlight of Scythe, but a good solid map that wasn't out of place in this cool megawad.

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    ""Bloodworks - Bob Larkin
    (wad)(txt) -Enhanced Port - SP(img) (img)
    Erm... ok. First off, this map is incredibly cramped, with very little space to go around. Secondly, I have no clue where to go after the first switch, and it's a repeatable switch as well! I couldn't find any clues on where I was meant to go. There's also some areas which I think were meant to be inaccessable, but they were able to be walked through. With all of those annoying factors, I consider this wad a flop. Stay away it, or I'll shall smite you to hell!""(Post made by Deathz0r)

    Anyone who'd make a gay review of a wad because of their lack of SP kill is stoopid. End of story *Goes to download the wad and sees if what deathz0r says is actually true.*

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