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About Polri

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    Green Marine

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  1. Polri

    Should a pinned "beginner's guide" thread exist in DW?

    For a beginners guide to playing doom wads, you could link here: https://onemandoom.blogspot.com/2018/12/source-ports-iwads-and-pwads.html
  2. Polri

    Mountain Themed Maps?

    Scythe 2 map 17 Alien Vendetta map 11
  3. Polri

    What are your top 5 hell-themed maps?

    1. Ultimate Doom: E3M4. The eerie background music, the flesh textures, the tortured corpses, in blood pool vista, the confusing skull switch puzzle. Yes, this is hell. 2. Doom 2: tie between the creepy hell of Map 27 and the full-on fire and brimstone hell of map 28 Final Doom doesn't have memorable pure hellish maps. Which leaves me space to choose 3 pwad maps. 3. No End in Sight: E3M5 Forgotten Caverns. This levels combines the "fire and brimstone" and "twisted reality" themes to create a very uncomfortable and dangerous environment which really feels like being very deep in hell. 4. TNT Revilution: map 12 (transduction) and map 16 (Devil's Den) both have a very disturbing hellish atmosphere. If I really have to choose, I would pick map 16. Disorientation + a constant feeling of danger + darkness + confusing puzzles + too many arch-viles = hell. 5. PRCP: map 15 "Enigma Helix". To quote the author: "one of his most diabolical creations".
  4. Polri

    Ani-Toonspiracy Doom (revisited)

    Google "ani-Toonspiracy". Turns out that this guy has been trolling forums all around the internet with this bizarre fanfic since at least 2010. He even made his own wiki page for this "giant crossover". :)
  5. Polri

    Map Stereotypes

    Maps 1-15: quite a lot of orange, either in textures, skies or both. (This phenomenon started with Alien Vendetta, I guess) Maps 11-14: mountains, caves and rocks Map 20: very explicit portal to hell, usually including a death exit Maps 23-26: at least one of these will not be really hellish. The author ran out of ideas for fire and brimstone maps and decided that a library in a sewer also qualifies as "hellish" :) Map 32: it's slaughter time!!!!!
  6. 5 pts -- Back to Saturn X Ep. 2 5 pts -- Eviternity 5 pts -- No End in Sight 4 pts -- Ancient Aliens 4 pts -- Alien Vendetta 4 pts -- Speed of Doom 4 pts -- Doom The Way id Did 3 pts -- Eternal Doom 3 pts -- TNT Revilution 3 pts -- Plutonia Revisited Community Project 3 pts -- Doom 2 The Way id Did 3 pts -- Scythe 2 3 pts -- Deus Vult II 2 pts -- Hell Ground 2 pts -- Community Chest 4 1 pts -- Hellbound 1 pts -- Memento Mori 2
  7. Eviternity maps 15 and 26.
  8. I completely agree with you. My point was never that non-linearity equals explorability. What I wanted to say is that my feeling is that many people who say thay want "non-linear" maps actually mean that they want to play explorable maps. Let's compare two "non-linear" maps: E2M6 Halls of the Damned (Ultimate Doom) and E5M4 Pats of Wretchedness (Sigil). On the face of it, both are maps with the same objective: collect the three keys in any order that you like and proceed to the the exit. However, they play completely differently: Paths of Wretchedness has three very distinct paths right from the start, each path is manadatory and strictly linear, there are barely any optional rooms (except for small secrets) and the only exploration you can do is try out each path and see which one makes the most sense to take first. Halls of the damned is a weird maze in which 3 keys are hidden. On a first playthrough, you encounter a blue key exit door, enter the maze, find the blue key relatively easy, return to exit the door, find out that "damn, apparantly I also need to find a red key" and from there on you have to explore "deeper and deeper" in the maze to find the 2 other keys. Depending on how you explore, along the way you will find a lot of optional rooms and even a fake exit. There are no scripted paths towards the keys, you have to explore until you find them. The difference between both levels is not in their linearity (they are both "non-linear"), but in their explorability, and I believe that for many players, this is a more relevant distinction.
  9. A few additional thoughts: Explorability was also very much a thing in ID's previous game: Commander Keen. Most levels had large optional areas, many had different paths to reach te exit, and except for Keen 5, all Keen games had quite a lot of optional levels. In fact, the majority of levels in Keen 3 were completely optional. Since at the onset Sandy had to work with Hall's layouts, it might be that those optional rooms were the result of inserting progression in an existing map, rather than a deliberate choice. But in any case, Sandy continued to design in this way in several Doom 2 levels, so at that point it was definitely a designers' choice. Explorability seems to work differently in Romero levels than in Sandy levels. In Romero's levels, the "intended" or "main" path is always easily discernible, with the optional areas clearly looking, well, optional. Gotcha! being a good example here: at the start the player is clearly guided towards the Mastermind / Cyberdemon room (from which the progression to the end flows rather naturally on a linear path), whereas to discover the alternative paths, you need to take a risk and go messing in the lava. In Sandy's levels, the main path is much less clear. E3M5 for instance starts with 4 entrances to the "cathedral", but without any indications of a main entrance. TNT Evilution had considerably fewer explorable maps than the original Doom games. Plutonia maps allmost all followed the "gameplay-oriented design" pattern, and in that respect seems to have been an important inspiration for modern megawads.
  10. Just to be clear: my aim was not to define "linearity", Wraith777 did a perfect job at that. What I'm trying to say is that in my opinion the distinction between "explorability" and "gameplay-oriented design" is more relevant to how people wil experience a map, than the distinction beween linearity and non-linearity.
  11. Right now I’m playing the wonderful Ancient Aliens wad, and something that crossed my mind while playing, is how this wad shares one characteristic with almost every other “modern” megawad: something I’d call “gameplay-oriented design”. Every room, every space in a map has a role in the progression. It can house a key or switch that unlocks further progression towards the exit, a needed weapon or powerup (or a secret with some goodies that will smoothen up you in the progression). But every space has a clear reason to exist. The same with supplies. If you get a berserk pack, you know that you can soon expect a demon horde or some revenants in a cramped space, a rocket launcher will be followed by some bigger brawl and if a weapon is not strictly needed, it will probably not be present in the level. In fact, you could argue that most modern maps are “scripted”, and that’s why the majority of mappers prefer you to pistol-start their levels, so that you will have the planned resources at every stage of progression. Even when levels are strictly speaking nonlinear, they are mostly so in a rather scripted way as well, such as for instance Romero’s “paths of wretchedness” which makes you choose between three linear paths, all of them needed for progression towards the exit (there are no redundant paths). In fact, the entire Sigil wad is very "modern" in that respect. Compare this with for instance “Tricks and Traps”, which has eight doors in the staring area, but where you technically only need 3 of them to complete the level (probably a few more if you pistol-start, but then also it’s up to you to explore how to collect the needed resources … and even then you don’t need to use all eight of them to progress to the exit.) What this boils down to: original doom levels had much more random spaces for you to explore. And my feeling is that this is what people mean when they say they want to play “non-linear” levels. Consider the map that came out as the forum’s favourite in Linguica’s poll organised a few years ago: E2M2. Strictly speaking, this level is linear: there is a specific chain of progression you need to go through to finish it . But there is no “script” leading you towards that path. You need to go out and explore, probably finding a lot of interesting (but technically unnecessary) rooms along the way. For instance: the entire yellow key section is completely “useless” from a modern “gameplay-oriented” viewpoint. By the time you have found it, you’ve probably killed all the enemies in the level, and considering the limited amount of monsters which were there in the first place, the weapons you find there would be kinda useless anyway. A space like this would probably not exist in a “modern” megawad. But most of us probably still remember our excitement when we first discovered it. So here is my thesis: when people say they like “nonlinear” maps, they are actually saying they like “explorable” maps, such as Downtown, Containment Area or the Chasm. Maps where progression towards the exist is just one aspect in a larger environment, where you are not guided towards a scripted path, and where not every weapon or powerup is tailored towards a specific fight. PWad examples that would come to mind are the two Vader levels (maps 14 and 15) in BTSX-E2. And in fact when a map is explorable, my guess is that most of us don’t really care whether it’s linear (like Downtown) or nonlinear (like the Citadel). What we mostly like is the freedom to explore. [end_rant]
  12. Polri

    What are the must play levels of BTSX Ep 1

    Individually, they are all very good, the only problem with this set is that as a result of a strictly tech texture set, they all look "samey". (after you finish the set, it's hard to memorize what individual maps looked like). Standouts include maps 7, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22 and 24.
  13. Polri

    DVII Second Edition underway. It's time!

    Will the stargate level be a part of this episode?
  14. Polri

    Top 5 Essential WADs

    Eternal Alien Vendetta BTSX ep2 No End in Sight Eviternity