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ella guro

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  1. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    yet again i didn't complete another one of these. i made it to around map 20, but i just had too much other life stuff going on in the last week or so. i will definitely play through this to the end later, as there are a few dark horse maps that i didn't really know about before but liked a lot because of only skimming around MM2 and never fully playing through it. it's a shame, because i wanted to talk about MAP 27 aka The Silos, which is one of my favorite Doom maps of all-time. it's a bummer to see people be more lukewarm about it here but perhaps that's because it kinda stands on its own and is probably exhausting within the context of a whole megawad. i was really sad to find out Paul Noble didn't do anything else in the realm of singleplayer maps outside of his two MM2 offerings.
  2. ella guro

    The Joy of Mapping 5: Winter Weekend - FINAL.

    these looked really cool from the archived streams i saw Alfonzo do last year! esp really cool to see so many new mappers make interesting and often quite ambitious stuff. i know these are a great deal of work, but i'm just curious: are there any plans to do another Joy of Mapping session this winter?
  3. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    i've resigned myself to doing maps in chunks like this now MAP11 - “Sewer Shutdown” by Eric Sargent started pretty slow, to be honest. i also had health issues from the previous map, so the first part of this was very touch-and-go for me because of the amount of hitscanners and little health. in seeming other contrast to other people on here, i didn't particularly like the linearity at the first half of the map or find it particularly memorable in any way at all. but once i got to the brown tunnels at the end, the map seemed to have more of an identity. i like the warping around the perimeter of the center exit area for the key maze... it gave that part of the map a sense of identity. i also like how you have to get a suit to go to the center of the brown cave. it's like something you have to infiltrate... it has a locational sense of identity, in spite of maybe some lack of detail and only incidental encounters. it may be more boring combat, but i'll take that over a bunch of linear room-to-room encounters any day. overall, still pretty mixed about this one though. MAP12 - “The Waterway” by Orin Flaharty it may be derivative of Romero, but it's a very good kind of derivative at least! having something with this architectural level of refinement and detail was really nice after several rougher-looking maps. it's definitely something that feels like a lot more was put into refining it. there was one or two points where you're trapped on a catwalk and scrambling between enemies from multiple sides or fall into a toxic pit that are exciting, if only brief. the architecture was obviously very Living End or E4M6 or whatever else you want to compare it to. my only problem is this is way too short. it didn't stick around long enough to really make a lasting impression to me compared to some of the other maps you end up spending way more time playing through. it's a shame. MAP13 - “Devils Paradise” by Rhys Hughes probably the blandest of all maps to start out with... so brown, so empty, so boxy. the map is okay but starts off pretty unmemorable at first in the area before you warp outside and the first key area. things ramp up very unexpectedly in the yellow key area, with some very intense areas with little cover and three separate ambushes, which was honestly quite surprising given how boring and incidental combat had been in this map up to that point. it feels almost unbalanced? i wouldn't go so far as to say the yellow key area doesn't fit in with the rest of the map, but the nastiness ramping up so much in that one specific area was pretty darn surprising. i'm not sure if that's surprising in a good or bad way, though. i like the idea of the final spectre hallways and how they give you views into the end - if only because they're something different - but in execution they're just pretty annoying. and more chaingunners at the end to instantaneously dodge once you step out of a teleporter as well, which isn't so great when you've been eaten to shit by a bunch of spectres in dark hallways. this map is not within some merits, but definitely one of the blandest so far. MAP14 - “A Question of Time” by Matthias Worch, Thomas Möller this was a blast in comparison to the previous map! i felt like i was dodging, ducking and weaving around and one unexpected little trap after another was happening. the tricksy, narrow encounter layout is very 90's, but the good kind of 90's encounters. this is why i like playing on continuous - i can still blast through a map like this while still enjoying all the little traps and feeling proud of myself when i manage to evade dangerous situations for the first time. maybe i was on edge because of the bizarre spike in difficulty in the previous map, but this one felt much more consistent throughout with its encounters as well. nothing was too dickish in spite of the ramped up difficulty, and it sets your expectations for what kind of map you're playing pretty well. it may not be winning any aesthetic awards at all because of the bland brownness of most of it, but compared to the previous one it felt much more subdued and areas like the little Hell section of the map were really welcomed (especially because this whole set kind of abruptly abandoned the Hell setting for a much more boring sewer theme before exploring it much). this is almost as good as Worch's Map 03 in my opinion. MAP15 - “The Devil’s Coterie” by Adam Windsor what a bizarre but entertaining map! the encounters were super strange, especially right at the beginning, and especially heavy on hitscanners. the progression isn't super unusual and maybe can get a little hub-spokey in places, but the detail feels much more idiosyncratic and labored over in ways that previous maps don't. i love the large dark basement area you come down to on a caged lift - the dramatic lighting really helps give it a distinctive mood that is missing from a lot of other maps in the set. or the cacodemon portal, with the cargo area right next to it where you can run between boxes to pick up more goodies. there are lots of nice secrets and areas you return to to explore. there are so many weird touches too - like those two little crushers obstructing your path in the archvile key area. and the ending intensity felt appropriate, given that it only ramps up like that at the very end and finding the secret level was at stake there. t'was definitely my favorite of this bunch of maps, and my favorite Adam Windsor map that i've played. it's also up there with MAP09, MAP04, and MAP05 for my favorite of this first half of the wad. maybe the overall layout isn't that out of the ordinary, but all the idiosyncratic details and personal touches elevate this one a lot. MAP31 - “DejaVu” by Orin Flaharty Flaharty expands on himself much more in this map, but unfortunately it's in a setting that's been done ad naseum. this is an Episode 1 map and doesn't distinguish itself in any way from other E1 maps. it's an effective imitation and maybe it might have seemed more impressive at the time (although even then i think stuff like Fava Beans had more memorable E1-style maps, even if they were easier), but it did not stand out in any real way to me in the way that Flaharty's MAP12 did. play Doom The Way Id Did or No End In Sight E1 instead of this, IMO. MAP32 - “Dances with Demons” by David Kuykendall not much to say about this at all. a pretty standard arena/Dead Simple clone map. it's whatever.
  4. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    continuing with catching up... MAP06 - “Trapped” by Adam Williamson this is the first real stinker of the bunch for me. it has a lot of the hallmarks of a 1994/95 map, from the linearity and backtracking to the repetition to the large empty environments. in spite of the lack of detail (which is to be expected), i liked a lot of the non-orthogonal architecture in this map and the way things unlock themselves in the central area, so you'd think i'd be more down for what this map was offering. but in execution, it just felt totally tedious. i didn't even feel like there was a really coherent idea behind the map - the first room gives the impression that you're going to be ambushed a lot, but that doesn't exactly play out in the rest of the map. i had a hard time finding one of the keys (can't even remember at this point... think it was the blue key?) and i had to do so much random backtracking that didn't feel particularly meaningful because i didn't really like any of the spaces that much. i also had a lot of problems with health and ammo on this one for some reason? i can't imagine trying to play it from a pistol start. i guess overall this map just felt kinda pointless, and like it wasted my time. MAP07 - “Frustration” by David Kuykendall by contrast, this one wasn't too bad. there was still a bit more backtracking and running back and forth down corridors than i'd like, but the central idea of the exit being right in front of you at the start but not being able to access it because Doomguy can't duck is kind of hilarious. the famous Door that only randomly seems to open properly is a fun little trick too. that would come back in ALT.wad and i'm sure other places as well. i'm kind of bummed that more wasn't done with the central sewer area with the too-low ceilings to make you have to dodge and duck and weave around them. that feels like a pretty missed opportunity. not that some of the tricky areas to the left with all the chaingunners and those tricky doors weren't kind of cool. but given how much i like the idea of the intro and exit area and it fits with the name, it just feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. still, this map is a major step up from the previous one and definitely has some worthwhile moments outside of the first area. MAP08 - “Stigmata” by Denis Möller i honestly liked this one just fine. i really like the underground cavern surrounding a techbase setting - it feels relatively well realized, and the flow of this map is actually pretty nice. the map has a sense of place to it because of that, and it's much less corridor-heavy than the maps preceding it and doesn't really outstay its welcome either. i like the use of exploding barrels in this map - i feel like we don't get to see those as often as we should. outside of a few quirky bits that honestly make this one a little more memorable to me than the usual non-linear techbase, i wouldn't be surprised if i saw this in a more modern WAD. which is i guess both good in bad. it flows much better than other maps in this wad, but individual areas are maybe a bit less memorable. it kinda just washes over you. i actually like that you can not stick around and just decide to exit for the final ambush though - i like any map where you can kind of avoid an ambush and just exit if you choose to. so all in all, a not bad map that def puts this WAD back on track. MAP09 - “Sabbath Sewer” by Mark Klem this is the most interesting of the bunch for me, probably. it definitely felt like a capital-a Adventure in the way that some of the better maps in Eternal Doom do. someone else on here said this map felt very magical to them when they first saw that, and i can definitely see that! there were moments that still evoked that for me, in spite of this map's age. it does feel like it's own world in the way that the previous several maps haven't really. yes, it's a bit rough around the edges and has a bit of a problem with big empty areas in the way that MAP06 does, but outside of that fact those two maps are really incomparable with each other. i guess you could say that the big picture of the map is very good (some cool details in key areas, the progression was mostly intuitive, the encounters were mostly interesting in one way or another), whereas in the small details it's definitely not as good (it's a bit bland and areas kind of randomly go into each other without a lot of purpose). but even still there are cool details like the sewer cutouts on the ceiling, or the slightly surreal outside lava area where you pick up one of the keys. these are the kind of ideas that people would take from and expand on further later. by the end i was starting to find the map a little tedious mostly because navigating in all these different strange areas to find all the different secrets was a little confusing. but i mostly enjoyed the experience. this is not a map that someone would make in a modern Doom wad, but it's definitely a very good version of that kind of map, rather than a bad one (like MAP06). and that might be what makes it so interesting. MAP10 - “Clear for Death” by Matthias Worch after the last map, this one felt like a blip. that's not saying it was bad, by any means. the Worch technique of trapping you in a cage while monsters spawn in is back. the overall combat is perfectly fine and the areas look pretty well-detailed in a more modern sense, just like MAP08. the ending in the nukage pit with a bunch of monsters spawning in was pretty cool and climactic feeling as well. i like the nukage pools where one of the keys appears in too. but even more so than MAP08, this one washed over me a bit. it's certainly not a bad transitional-feeling map, but definitely didn't stay in my memory as much as MAP09... or MAP05 for that matter. still not bad though, and it's nice to play maps like these after the super long ones!
  5. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    MAP01 - “Outpost” by Denis Möller even having played through the early levels of MM2 several times, i really couldn't really remember anything about this map past the opening little scene. there are really so many portals and churches in these early episodes - they're definitely going hard into that theme. other than that, it's an adequate opener but not particularly memorable to me at all. i do love that all these early maps are hell-themed while the later maps are city themed, though - it's a great inversion of the usual (stale) tropes of having hell maps at the end and i think what makes MM2 often fresh for me to come back to. MAP02 - “The Feeding Pit” by David Davidson thankfully this map is much more memorable than Map01, with the point of no return at the very beginning, to the hub-spokey layout with a different quirky encounter around each corner. it may not be the kind of "flow-centric" map that a lot of modern mappers like, but i think it's definitely memorable and holds your attention. i especially like the area with the circular platforms to the right after you jump down. the detailing and some of the other stuff might not be much by modern standards, but this map encapsulates the quirky creativity that i like about old maps like this. the weird juxtaposition of ideas not something people could really make these days, and that's why i like to return to stuff like MM2 to see what people did before level design practices became more codified (whether intentionally or not). it's a short map, but it begins a streak of the next several quirky, creative trap-based maps that i all like a lot. MAP03 - “… And Hell Beneath” by Matthias Worch Worch's maps and mapping style seem so associated with 90's mappers that it'd be weird to see a contemporary wad of his these days. the tricksy, trap-centric design is not really something a lot of people do these days. this might be my favorite Worch map overall for the density of how many of these little encounters are in this map. but to me it all centers around the large open brown ashwall area that you can get a view of to the left of the start. there are some repeat traps involving shooting switches that are kind of whatever, especially because they're repeated, but the way the map circles back around to the brown ashwall area is nice. it may not look like much, but it leaves an impression. i like the red area where the Cacodemons come that is initially blocked off to the side of that big brown ashwall room - the map gives you the impression something big is about to come from there. the crypt area isn't amazing but it's a nice varied underground setting that the next map will expand on well. i also like how you activate a lift and double back over an area you've previously been through but to reach the easy-to-sequence-break-in-modern-ports shootable switch out of reach at the beginning. that switch being one of the last things you hit in the level is also a nice touch. all in all, a nice tricksy map. MAP04 - “Ratamahatta” by Florian Helmberger this one is where MM2 really kicks into gear for me. the idea of a central hub area with four different holes you drop down into maybe isn't the most novel idea ever, but it's executed really well here. i like how the map forces you down the path of the farthest right one, and then opens up the rest for you. this map really feels really believably like a Hell map without relying on super difficult monsters - because so many areas have different sight lines where hitscanners could be hitting you from. especially in the area with the gray cave/red cave combo that connects the two closest pits (left and right). it really puts you on edge and makes you paranoid about what's going to come around the next corner, especially in parts where walls suddenly open up or teleport in. i found that, and the Duck Nukem grave to the side of that area (which i always think is from the previous map for some reason) really memorable. all the tight, gritty encounters with lots of hitscanners where you have to shimmy up cliffs. and the way it dumps you off back to the beginning depending on which pathway you go through is really clever too. this one really makes the most of its layout and yet still feels like all like a continuous space that all connects back up to the central hub. the only weak point is maybe the green chapel to the farthest left corner, but it's pretty short. the map also doesn't outstay its welcome also - once you've activated all the platforms in the hub, you're done with the map. that's the virtue of having these Hell maps early - they do what they need to do, and then don't go any further. because of that this one of my fav maps in MM2, honestly. MAP05 - “Rites of Passage” by Paul Noble Paul Noble only ever made two singleplayer Doom maps, but i love them both. this is a bit of a mindfuck of a level in so many ways. there's the bizarre secrets to the doubling back on yourself and areas you've progressed multiple times. or there are the ways you break progression at the beginning, to even the strange view at the beginning (and the fact that you can turn around and enter the door behind you and find a rather large secret there). i'm not sure if the having monsters locked behind cages thing is that interesting an idea... it's the idea that leaves the least of a mark on me. but nearly everything else in this map from the shapes of rooms is and the height variations (that bizarre circular green marble area you keep going up and down the stairs to fight cacodemons in), to the interconnectedness and strange secrets... it's so weird and non-standard and not like anything else i've ever played. and that bizarre... furnace room, if that's what you call it? and then the bizarrely barren exit area that you have to pass through and go underground in a strange separate part of the map, only to revisit later when you're at. to the use of textures you basically rarely ever see used in a modern context, it just feels like this map exists in its own universe. it's so unique and kind of... impenetrably myserious in so many ways that i feel like my words are useless to try and describe it. i think Paul Noble would outdo this one with MAP27 of this wad because there's a few points of this map that fall a little short, but there is still something incredibly unique and singular about this map. so yeah, one of my favorites easily. so yeah, maps 2-5 of this wad i really like a lot. it drops off a little after that, but maybe on revisit i'll see things i didn't before. i'll prob do the next five or so in the next few days in an effort to catch up.
  6. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Memento Mori 2

    i might join into this a little late. i love some of those early MM2 maps in particular. MAP 05 in particular is a favorite of mine. Paul Noble was a great mapper based on his two MM2 maps and i'm sad he didn't do more. at least it won't be too hard to catch up with the smaller size of the levels.
  7. ella guro

    What Video Game(s) are you Currently Ignoring?

    i just wanna add here... i think the reason i shy away from a lot of big stuff is it doesn't value your time. if i'm going to put so many hours into a game, i'd like to know that it was worth it. like i played Thief 1 recently for the first time and spent about 25 hours beating it... that was very much worth it! Thief is dense and has a lot of interesting missions. but 25 hours in another game can feel just like a total slog and waste of time. i try and watch out for that as much as i can, esp as i get a little older. i also find the level of extraneous detail in the environments in a lot of modern games disorienting to navigate, and don't like using a compass to navigate (would rather just find my way around by myself). so those are two other reasons why i often don't.
  8. ella guro

    What Video Game(s) are you Currently Ignoring?

    +100000000 i have a Steam library of 500+ games and a bunch of stuff on GOG... i definitely have plenty of other ways to spend my time game-wise. the only reason i do engage with current big budget stuff is either out of a feeling of obligation because a lot of friends or acquaintances are talking about it... or thinking it might be one of the few things i actually like (like i actually made an effort to play Prey and Zelda Breath of The Wild at least a little because of that). but i dunno... i've always been a person who has bought stuff used a few years after it came out because it's usually a lot cheaper at that point. i don't get the whole idea that you have to engage with stuff when it comes out or no one cares. it feels like a popularity contest also. but a lot of people (esp many in the videogame press) are very much that way.
  9. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    ah, it looks like we're at the end of the month now. i feel bad for not finishing this WAD. i started out liking Map 21, until the copy + paste and slaughtery encounters in narrow spaces started again. i think it's probably better i didn't push through because it was really starting to piss me off. will have to check out some of the other maps at some point in the future.
  10. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    MAP16 - “Dark Cave” by Archi compared to Map15 which i did not like at all, i liked this one quite a bit. it's bare-bones ashwall mostly, but the huge height variation and some of the more twisty/turny layout choices made it feel kinda unique and non-standard. there was some interesting traversal through the spaces too. it may not been all-there in other ways, but like this map definitely doesn't feel quite like anything else i've played, which i tend to value more than anything else in Doom maps. unfortunately it's kinda all downhill from here for me for the next several maps though... MAP17 - “Holes of Evil” by Memfis i laughed at the name, because i'm very mature. pretty standard speedmap with a setup that feels inspired by Map04 of Memento Mori 2. wasn't too keen on the Cyberdemon on the platform, or most of the obligatory Cyberdemon use in this wad in general. but otherwise not bad, though it didn't really stand out to me in any particular way either. MAP18 - “TNT Base” by Dragon i know this is obviously supposed to be inspired by TNT, but it felt more unmistakably like a weird Russian map than anything else. most of TNT's maps have like bigger and more wide-open settings, to my memory, whereas this is a pretty narrow map. pretty standard hub-spoke and hallway type layout but all of the weird details done to the setting make this more interesting and unique to me. this is the type of map i basically like in spite of its flaws but most other people seem to not particularly like. to each their own though. it's certainly not amazing, but it has some good points. MAP19 - “Spawning Vats” by Shadowman there are a lot of unique things about the setting of this map (including the very obscure traversal via slime portal switches) that are interesting, and it's impressive for a speedmap in a lot of ways. but i feel like there's also a lot of copy+paste symmetry going on here which took away from the impact of the unique setting, and i really wasn't as much of a fan of a lot of the monster encounters as other people here. trying to run around in the slime pits while you're using a rocket launcher or something similar is frustrating - you either don't hit enemies or you hurt yourself. and repeating encounters in symmetrical wings of a map tends to just feel tedious and pointless to me. all those chaingunner snipers were stupid too. this is the sort of map that looks accomplished on the surface but the more i look at it, the more issues i have with it. i have a feeling i'm going to start to dislike more of Shadowman's maps here for the copy+paste and more questionable gratuitous combat for this reason. MAP20 - “Guard Tower” by Wraith easily the worst Wraith map so far. it starts off okay, but the end with the Cyberdemons was just stupid. i don't particularly enjoy casually fighting cyberdemons in general because they just take too damn long to kill unless you're a BFG wizard, and like having to kill 8 of them or whatever is just 8 times more annoying to me. it's like that trope of n00b mappers to just throw a billion boss enemies in one big space and have you sort it out. one of the worst maps so far i'd say.
  11. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    MAP13 - “Trapped” by Dragon Hunter this definitely feels like a Dragon Hunter map, with all the darkness and the heavy use of the tech theme. this just felt way too cramped for some of the combat encounters to be particularly fun, though. i liked the sense of unveiling things inside the very narrow space you were fighting in semi-unpredictably, but it was a bit too awkward to be really particularly fun or engaging. this map is basically like the seed of a good idea, but is just too cramped a space to execute on it well. the outside city encounters were an interesting idea, but again, a bit too awkwardly-executed to come off as more than just annoying. MAP14 - “Starport” by Azamael this one starts out a bit like both Azamael's earlier Heroes' Tails map set in a city block, and Map 06 of A.L.T. (coincidentally not by Azamael) which has a similar side-city street block that unveils things out of it at the beginning. the initial area does the job with its encounters, and the way you have a little switch hunt to lower the walls to get to the next area is a pretty nice little change-up to get your brain working. but the next area, with the short little key hunts and the cute use of Wolf3D red brick texture to create a bunch of nice architectural details is the star of the show. these spaces are actually quite detailed and nice. there's even a mystery caged off area, and a bunch of doors you can't open like many Azamael maps. it really starts to feel like the space has its own character there, and i wish Azamael used that red brick texture more in his other maps. once i hit the Starport it was pretty surprising, and really really nicely detailed. the combat may not have been crazy, but i thought it was a good coda to the rest of the map. honestly i think the hugeness of the spaceship and crawling up into it at the end of the map really makes up for it, especially because it's bewildering compared to the rest of the map. there are so many little details and distinctive areas in this map. i'll take 50 more maps as good as this one, thanks. definitely my favorite so far. i think even some of Azamael's non-speed maps are honestly not as good as this one. MAP15 - “Impocalypse” by Archi honestly i wasn't a fan of this. it's a lot of cramped rectangular-shaped rooms in a warehouse setting and a shit-ton of imps. beyond the concept, i didn't find much to hold onto about this map. the outside lava area with the Cyberdemons even felt a little clumsy. i guess there were some nice nooks and crannies hidden in the boxes though. otherwise, not Archi's best. MAP31 - “Secret of the Pharaoh” by Shadowman a perfectly good riff on "Hunted" from Plutonia with an Egyptian theme. i wasn't blown away by this map, but it did its job well. in spite of the Arcvhiles, all the twists and turns in the narrow spaces made hiding from Arch-viles not as bad as i thought it would be. the progression also wasn't as confusing as you might think it would be, given how mazey the core of the map was. so maybe a little bit derivative, but otherwise a perfectly solid and fun map and definitely fully realized achievement for a speedmap. MAP32 - “UFO Crash” by Cherepo this probably reminds me of the atmosphere of Sacrament or ALT more than any map in this set so far. the lighting is so wonderful - it's really a testament to how much a space can be transformed with just lighting alone. i might even use it to demonstrate to other people how much lighting makes a difference, haha. i LOVE the spaceship at the beginning, also. very memorable. true, the actual architecture of most of the map can be bland and lacking in details in places. some places are highly detailed and look really freaking awesome and super distinctive, others are just boxy rooms. sometimes that kind of minimalism works, other times it doesn't so much. and the progression/actual gameplay is definitely not nearly as fun or engaging on a moment-to-moment level in the way an Azamael map is. sometimes one area is interesting and engaging to play, other times it'll be tedious. BUT i still thought the mood and amount of ideas in this map more than made up for it, and i'm sad i've never seen anything else from Cherepo. i'm guessing they were just a bit inexperienced at mapping at this point and could've definitely had a lot of interesting things to contribute in the future. this is my second favorite map so far other than Azamael's, and was definitely a pleasant surprise.
  12. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    MAP11 - “The Source” by Shadowman this is definitely much more of an impressive and distinctive environment than Map 10, esp for a speedmap. i like all the details in the area in the beginning. but it pretty much has nothing to do with the rest of the map once you dive down into the hazardous city area, which is a little weird to me. i was hoping for them to intersect or interact with each other somehow, but i guess you can't expect that much from a map made in such limited time. i also think the combat in the city area started fun but started to get a bit tedious towards the end. i liked unveiling different structures and going from ruin to ruin, but once you got to the central structure and fought a bunch of Revenants it just felt kinda like busywork and less interesting or engaging. so definitely a good longer map with a nice setting, but it starts to show its seams after awhile towards the end. MAP12 - “Boiler” by Wraith i like the map. it's basically just you starting in the center of a circle and moving out from there, and it doesn't go too far beyond that. but it works architecturally and in terms of setting. it has a nice claustrophobic mood to it too, like that feeling of being surrounded on all side in the beginning is nice. like mentioned above, there was maybe one too many tricks done to artificially lengthen what is otherwise a pretty small level that probably wasn't necessary, and the ending was a bit anticlimactic. still, i had a positive experience overall and it definitely did not overstay its welcome.
  13. ella guro

    A shorter and better Doom II

    this is my fantasy Doom 2. imagine that the monster encounters were rebalanced to work in this order: Level 1: Entryway Level 2: Underhalls Level 3: The Gantlet Level 4: Circle of Death Level 5: The Crusher Level 6: Refueling Base Level 7: The Courtyard Level 8: Tenements Level 9: The Waste Tunnels Level 10: The Citadel Level 11: Barrels o' Fun Level 12: The Abandoned Mines Level 13: Monster Condo Level 14: Industrial Zone Level 15: The Inmost Dens Level 16: The Living End Level 17: Gotcha! Level 18: The Spirit World Level 19: The Chasm Level 20: Icon of Sin
  14. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    MAP09 - “Exploded City” by Archi i actually liked this map. it was a bit bare-bones, but its experimental style reminded me of some of the old Memento Mori maps that were about ideas over detail. and there are some really neat ideas here (particularly some of the blown-out bits towards the end of the map), even if they're under-detailed, esp compared to the previous map. This is something that could very easily, outside of the context of a speedmap, become a base for a pretty interesting city-themed map. it's definitely not there yet, but it has potential. but then i guess i prefer the more experimental maps i've seen from Archi (particularly Map 06 in Sacrament) to the more recent slaughter maps he's made. MAP10 - “Mudrun” by Nil i am not impressed. it's mostly a series of linear tunnels where you kill massive amounts of enemies. it's what i derisively refer to as "modern level design", lol. a lot of tricks were made to artificially lengthen this map and make it feel more epic, but i felt it was pretty light on ideas outside of one or two points. it feels foolish to also take on a map of this size in a speedmap setting, and it's pretty obvious to me that this map was made by someone less experienced. some people might find this to be more to their taste, but it feels like a waste to use a speedmap to try and make a map to the scale and ruined city setting that so many mappers have already tried and done much better.
  15. ella guro

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Heroes' Tales

    MAP07 - “Colliseum” by Shadowman i admit i'm not really a fan of Dead Simple remakes in general, though this was a perfectly serviceable one. the city setting was very nice in particular. one problem though - i'm not sure if i hit the switches out of order, or perhaps it's related to my loading the wrong IWAD mishap (though i don't see why that'd be the case). but at the end when all the archviles spawned in the center i got trapped in the center of the map, where the revenants and hitscanners very happily took potshots at me from the perimeter as i had an extremely difficult time hitting them from far away. the map basically went from fun to frustrating for me very quickly, and i ended up having to attempt this part way more times than you'd expect until i figured out you can very slowly snipe some of the hitscanners from the raised mancubi platforms. i guess i almost would've been better off just starting from the beginning of a map rather than save partway through. but then after i cleared out the level, the platforms to the perimeter still didn't go down and i had hit all of the switches, so i couldn't clear the level without cheating. so i'm wondering if either i hit switches out of order, or perhaps there was some bug or something. but in either case, that ending up souring the experience of the map for me. MAP08 - “Upper Town” by Azamael i have to preface this by saying that Azamael is literally my favorite Doom mapper, so you're only going to see a lot of nauseating praise from me here. his maps have a creative language all their own, and there is literally nothing else out there quite like them. and i don't mean just in the context of Doom mapping, but like, in general. i still think many people don't appreciate just how unique and different from anything else than anyone's ever made his stuff often is. i certainly hope he's having a good time with whatever he's trying to pursue now outside of Doom mapping. anyway, while this map is very short, it's no exception to the rule of me loving his maps. i love the way the spaces intersect into each other and all the little details in architecture. it always puts you on your feet and forces you to reorient yourself to the spaces, except it's also fun and not too difficult so the disorientation is more easy to deal with. some of the bits remind me of later parts of a map of his called "Wood Prison" from Sacrament (which is honestly a masterpiece IMO). the random toilet outside is classic Azamael, half-surreal out of context weirdness and half tongue-in-cheek. he even sticks a helipad there for all the helipad haters out there. truly galaxy brained mapping innovations here (okay, i'm slightly joking here but i still thought it was funny). i also actually really liked the dark trap with the hell knights. it's a bit like Tom Hall's Doom 1 Episode 2 maps - it's more about the texture that the place creates, and making you encounter something unexpected rather than just another tricky combat scenario or whatever (not that those don't sometimes exist in his maps). you gotta get your head out of everything being about combat, maaaan. basically, Azamael is a mapping genius and you all will pretend you thought so too 10 years from now, so it's time to get on the bandwagon now. that said, this isn't exactly his opus or anything like that but it's still representative of a lot of the great + unique things about his maps.
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