jerrysheppy

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About jerrysheppy

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  1. Just FYI, the dev blog link in the OP now ends up at what appears to be a malware site. I assume this is not intentional.
  2. I would probably have to go with ZDCMP2, as someone already said. As others have mentioned, it's pretty much a whole Doom game storyline in a single map, and it also feels much more like a direct descendant of Doom 1/2 in terms of its design and texture work. That is, it says 'okay, we're going to have bases, rocky outdoor areas/caves, and Hell' rather than going off on its own with rainbow-colored void castles or whatever (no offense to people who dig that stuff). I admit I may be slanting the premise of the thread a little bit in the direction of my own preferences, though-- the directive was the pick something to "impress/confuse/overwhelm" id-circa-1993, and I erred towards impressing/overwhelming them with an incredibly refined version of the game they were making, rather than just befuddling them to the point of uselessness with something that seemed completely unrelated, the way (say) The Sky May Be would.
  3. Partway through Map26 and feeling truly hardstuck for pretty much the first time. I've cleared out and (as far as I can see) fully explored the "flesh" and "ruins" areas, but can't seem to figure out how to get out of the arrival room in the techbase area. It seems like my next task is to get the yellow keycard which, again, I can see in the base area but can't figure out how to progress on that area. A couple of additional thoughts on gameplay. First of all, the monstercount and monster usage has been improving in the later maps (Map26 has so far been one of the best) but there are still some issues. An example that comes to mind is MAP25. Beautiful map, interesting routes through the map, monstercount per se not too high, but the complex interconnecting layout means that one has to be extra careful with the usage of monsters lest dealing with all of them start to feel like a chore rather than an engaging challenge. About a third of the way through that map I vividly remember thinking, "Man, I am so over this whole cleaning-out-cacodemons thing. Can it be done, already, so I can move on with the map?" As this example shows, it's not necessarily the monster type or monster amount per se (though certain monsters, like hitscanners or fliers, are probably easier to misuse in ways that feel like you have to tediously mop them all up before you can safely progress to new tasks). Contrast the use of cacodemons in this map with a similar swarm of Hell Knights on the catwalks later. While the latter was still a bit monotonous in terms of monster type, they provided a much more rewarding encounter. They could move around a fair bit, so I did have to be careful of flanking and crossfire (which is good challenging design as far as it goes-- this is Doom after all), but they were still constrained to a given area. Equally if not more importantly, said area was the way forward, which meant blasting those Hell Knights feel like a task at hand, part of progressing through the level, rather than annoying unrelated static coming at me while I was trying to progress through the level! Finally, and this is more of a comparison to earlier levels, it's almost always more fun to blast through, say, 15 Hell Knights than it is to have to mop up (I'm not sure the exact math...) 60-80 Imps or zombiemen, even though the latter may be similar in terms of overall monster HP and/or theoretical incoming damage potential. On the positive side of things, I want to give you props for setting up some (mostly) interesting cyberdemon scenarios, especially ones involving two Cybers at once. So many maps fall into the trap of reducing or eliminating the use of Cyberdemons on the lower difficulty levels, which has always struck me as exactly backwards since a well-used Cyberdemon is an excellent way of making gameplay feel intense while actually not making things ludicrously complex. Of course, one also wants to avoid creating a perverse incentive to find someplace where the Cyber can't hit you and plink away at him from safety, rather than dueling him in the (relative) open. You mostly avoid this pretty well, I think. There are a few places where you put Cyberdemons in weird crannies or create terrain that's too hard for them to navigate; Map24's pair is an example of this. Overall, when it comes to Cyberdemon usage, I'd give you an A+ for effort and a B+ for execution.
  4. Thank you! I was half worried that I'd been a bit too harsh with my comments. I don't want to sound like I'm not enjoying this wad overall, because I totally am (I wouldn't keep going if I wasn't). I just finished MAP23, so it's a good time to make another post. The three proper Hell maps so far (21-23) have been the highlight of the megawad to date, and it's not just because I prefer Hell maps to basically anything else (though I do), but also because I think the design improves here. There's a lower monstercount overall, but more importantly, the combat seems to flow more nicely, with fewer cheap ambushes and less getting pecked to death by weak monsters while I slowly sweep out the corridors of a sprawling complex. I've alluded to this before but I love how the design, texture and architecture wise, feels very vanilla/classic in the good ways. It's like if Sandy Petersen or Tom Hall had access to the capabilities of ZDoom (slopes, 3D floors, ability to apply textures and flats anywhere, etc.) and just a smidgen more capability for self-editing, while still keeping the imaginative worldbuilding. This has been the case throughout, but it really becomes obvious in the hell levels-- this really feels like a modern take on the classic Inferno hell, as opposed to a cc4tex or Tormentor667 hell, beautiful though those can be. I see that MAP24 has taken us back into "realspace" for lack of a better term, but I'm hoping it won't be the last sojourn into the hades dimensions for this megawad.
  5. I'm already playing on HNTR. The issue isn't constantly dying or other stereotypical hallmarks of excessive difficulty, so much as it is tedium and feeling like I'm being punished for not playing in a corner-hugging fasion. edit: The big tower climb in MAP31 (which I just finished) stands out as a big fight that is difficult in an interesting way, at least in concept. Even then it had a few too many chaff enemies for me, but figuring out how to make my way to the top while dodging cyber and revenant rockets was fun.
  6. Been playing my way through this in my occasional Doom-playing time lately. Just hit Map31 (which was neither too obvious nor too stupidly hidden-- kudos) so I thought I'd give some of my feedback. This mapset makes me think of nothing so much as a spiritual successor to TNT: Evilution, in both its gifts and its sins. Like TNT, it has sprawling and imaginative levels, with creative use of mostly-classic textures and variants to create a sense of Doomy verisimilitude. One gets the sense that these are structures with purpose, that reflect some sort of real-world nature that does or could exist, but always with that quintessentially Doom level of abstraction; we never get into either photorealism or Tormentor-esque detail (which, for the record, I don't mind in its own right, but would be out of place here). The potential of (G)ZDoom is well used to add some visual and structural interest while, again, not breaking spirit with the 20th-century originals. In particular I like the place descriptors that flash across the HUD at the beginning of many of the levels, they give a sense of place and narrative but without interrupting the flow like a cutscene would. But I mentioned sins as well, and here's the sin: the monstercount in these maps is way too high for me, and much worse, deployed in a fashion that makes it feel like a tedious slog to get through. I recall a comment I read two decades ago in the textfile for a collection of Final Doom grandmaster demos, where one player complained that TNT was dragged down by its monster balance, and in particularly the fact that so much of that balance was concentrated in weak (yet deadly if ignored) monsters that were ultimately not as interested to fight. I specifically remember how they put it: "You want to go faster, but you can't." I empathize with that here, where I feel like if I don't painstakingly plod through the levels and check every nook and cranny (and constantly check behind myself for new nooks and crannies randomly opening), I'll end up getting punished when some little fucker like an imp or a Lost Soul or a zombieman that I overlooked plinks away more of my precious health... and then another one does the same thing twenty seconds later... and so on and so forth. To be sure, it's fine to spring traps and unexpected threats on the player in Doom PWADs-- who would argue otherwise? But this implementation, and the painstaking corridor-clearing gameplay it seems to require, don't feel fun. It's like going for a hike and constantly getting tiny rocks in your shoe that you can't get out. Maybe the author enjoys it, but I don't. I love the design of these maps, but there have been a few maps so far where I've just pulled down the console and typed "kill monsters" at some point near the beginning because I just can't be arsed to spend five minutes holding the trigger down on my chaingun in the opening area alone.
  7. MAP29 we've seen before, of course. It feels like it's showing its age just a little, like it's not quite up to the very high standards set by all the others. Can't put my finger on exactly why, though. Still a beautiful map in any objective sense. MAP30 is MAP30. One-trick Icon maps don't really do it for me that much anymore, but this one is as pretty as they come. The opening area drips atmosphere, and its hellish outdoor ruins motif reminds me of Speed of Doom map 29, or possibly the intermission maps from BTSX E2.
  8. "This looks hellish. I can tell from some of the lava and from playing quite a few hell maps in my time." As devoutly hoped, MAP28 is almost worth the proverbial price of admission all by itself. The starting area gave me a very Quake-y feel (in a good way), with attractive shades of brown used for both masonry and natural rock, and some slick lighting to boot. Elsewhere, this is probably one of the better maps at clearly conveying the aesthetic resonance with the original while updating it to modern standards. I know you've said that wasn't necessarily an overriding goal of yours, but it's good where you can do it, and you definitely did it here. It probably helped that Sandy's original work in this map was probably some of the best in DOOM2.WAD at conveying a sense of atmosphere, second only to The Living End in my book for having a coherent sense of place in mind and communicating it to the player.
  9. See, and forgive me for playing armchair designer for a moment, my reaction to the 'problem' posed by such levels would have been "okay, clearly we're intended to understand these as being in Hell (or else they wouldn't be in this episode)--how do we fix them so they look the part?" Hell, after all, no doubt has chasms and mines. But you did something else, and that's fine. On the other hand, maps 25 and 27 have been exquisite windows into the infernal realms. MAP27 also probably has my favorite gameplay of any so far. I was especially happy to see your take on the gore-filled room in the north--that's probably my favorite setpiece in the map, and you made it even more atmospheric with some moving parts and light triggers. Great stuff. Now onto MAP28, perhaps my most hotly anticipated map of this release, if only because I've seen The Dying End before...
  10. MAP24: This is another entry in the category of 'inherited sins of the original,' but I found the terrestrial-style metal and tech textures detracted from this for me. Unlike MAP21 (which did it brilliantly, btw) there doesn't seem to be a similar 'explanation' for why human-looking architecture has arrived in Hell. There probably wasn't a good solution to this in the vanilla textureset, but I'd love to see a take on this with something like Quake or Ogro textures for the metals. Anyway, it's still obviously a mapping tour de force. The area after the blue key door recaptures some of that sense of otherworldly twistedness, even if it's still more of a weird, Plutonia-esque alter reality than a classic Doom-styled hell. I was mildly disappointed that the red key puzzle area didn't try to hurt my eyes, but as far as the configuration goes it's a great update of the original sequence for modern sensibilities. :) If you do go looking for ways to fix these OpenGL or whatever errors, I found what seem to be a couple more of them in this map. The corners of these pillars appear to be 'cut off': http://imgur.com/a/T5XWZ Weird stuff.
  11. Played through MAP23 now. MAP23 feels a lot looser with respect to the original than MAP21 or MAP22 did. I can identify which area is which, but with the exception of the very first and very last barrel hallways, you probably could have put these areas in a map and I'd have taken a long time to figure out they were an updated version of Barrels O' Fun. This said, I think the blame for this is primarily on the original map for not having had any architecturally memorable setpieces in its own right. The stock MAP23 rooms are primarily abstract shapes for holding interesting barrel-based scenarios rather than any concerted attempt to create a sense of place. This remake, of course, wants to create that hellish atmosphere and succeeds brilliantly, at the cost of having that distance from the original. As an aside: I realize you (Lutz) wanted to use only stock textures, but I think you should have made an exception for a lavafall, the same way you did for the sky. Using the firewall texture in the absence of a proper *fall worked for Tim Willits in E4M5 because it was the same color as the liquid (blood in that case), but it just doesn't work with the lava flat at all.
  12. Yeah, I wouldn't blame you if you couldn't be arsed to deal with weird GL errors. Just thought I would let you know.
  13. This has been one of my most anticipated releases for quite a while now. I've played through the first two maps and it hasn't disappointed me so far! The green nukage in MAP22 isn't something I care for in hell maps, usually, but at the same time I realize it was in the original, so your homage might not have looked right without it, either. Don't know if you want to worry yourself about it at all, but I got a bit of a weird graphical glitch in MAP21, in GZDoom 2.3.0. The sky texture shows through the lava in the final outdoor area. Here's a screenshot of what it looked like as well as an automap shot to show where I was standing: http://imgur.com/a/87Dvd I had to look down a little bit to get the glitch to appear. It might not happen without mouselook?
  14. Not sure exactly how we're defining stuff (e.g. the kickstarter vs. paying for a finished product distinction) but I'd pay money to have some cancelled or development hell'd projects that I'd been looking for completed, in their originally anticipated form. Stuff like TSoZD or Demon Eclipse. Likewise, I'd probably pay a bit of money for some of the megawads I've really enjoyed.