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About Worm

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    Green Marine

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  1. Worm

    The Roots of Doom Mapping

    This is not just good writing about Doom, I'd hold it up as an example of great writing about video games, period. It easily beats those lame "retrospectives" that get posted on popular sites. Maybe the narrow focus would make it hard for an outsider to appreciate, but I think anyone should be able to grasp the following point: it takes decades of artistry to make this level of analysis not just possible, but deserved. It's the kind of thing you can point to when someone asks, "What's the big deal about having a mod scene, anyway?"
  2. I've never done any modding, so I can't advise any specific values. Also, if you WANT the chaingunner to be a hard-to-disrupt, hard-to-kill, ruthless turret that a player will almost always prefer to hide from rather than fight, then maybe you don't need to change anything. I mean, it's your vision, and I'm just some random guy making comments. Just make sure you're thinking about the experience you want the player to have. The SSG sound is an aesthetic thing, so I wouldn't worry about it for now.
  3. I can see the appeal of this kind of ultra-punishing, memorization-heavy, "nowhere is safe", "watch your angles", try-die-repeat style of map. It requires methodical and precise execution, and is like a little logic puzzle to be solved. I will say, though, that this one was much too hard for me. I only managed to make it through with liberal use of quicksaves, and yeah, the first 10 seconds alone are pretty rough. It's cool that you made a demo proving that it can be done, though, and it's clear that the placement of enemies is very carefully considered. The mapping is also clean and readable, which is hugely important when creating this type of challenge. My main complaint is the health and (I think) reduced pain chance of the chaingunners. They're serving their intended purpose well (area denial), but they're annoying to take down even when you have one safely isolated, which suggests to me that the balance is not quite right. This map would be dangerous enough without so much insta-damage. The fireball guys, on the other hand, I thought were just about perfect for their positions in the map, and frankly I think you could replace most of the chaingunners with them and it would be an improvement. The chaingunner in the southwest window overlooking the alley is one that I think works really well as is, though. For the most part, I liked the buffs to the melee enemies. The little bitey spheres were my favorite, with just the right amount of aggression, danger, and health. But, since most of the enemies are so tough, the shotgun feels like another starter weapon (like the Quake 1 shotgun) rather than a rewarding upgrade. The SSG, too, has this MASSIVE firing sound, but still can't reliably one-shot most of the monsters. I got used to it, but it's underwhelming. And I would have liked more ammunition in general. I suspect you wanted to prevent camping and to force the player to push forward for supplies, but more ammo would also empower more of a run-and-gun style and adapting on the fly instead of pre-planning all your moves. My final suggestion is that if you continue to create levels in this puzzly style, keep them short!
  4. This is nice to hear. Even if you hadn't liked it, the best part of this feedback is that you recognized there was a formula at all! I knew my detailing skills were not going to be the strength of this map, so I knew it would have to rely on layout to be interesting. It's cool to feel like someone else caught the vibe I was going for. And the crate room is my personal favorite as well.
  5. Sick stuff dude. My pulse started to go up a bit around :49. I feel the energy. I get this. I made some forays over the line into death metal territory, but always preferred the stuff that still had some thrash feeling to it. I never checked out Sodom and I think I should, because that track is killer. Here's my "death metal that still has a thrash feeling" pick:
  6. Hey, thanks a bunch for playing and the detailed (and kind) feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time to do a write-up. The rocket launcher is in a corner of the arch-vile room, south of the first big underground room with the arachnotrons. It's not a secret area or particularly hidden, but it is missable. I was trying to create a "scrounging for supplies" dungeon-crawling type of feeling and wanted some of the weapons to be "power ups" that the player would have to explore (and fight) to access, but I did have some concerns about using the RL in this way... maybe I'll put a freebie in the biodome room to help with the meatier enemies, and change that RL secret you saw. Thanks again!
  7. sprawlbase.wad - a sprawling techbase with a variety of room ideas (file attached at the bottom of this post) Doom 2 (MAP01), single-player, limit-removing. Tested with GZDoom and Crispy Doom 5.5.2. I released this map on idgames a few years ago, but was too timid to make a thread for it at the time. I recently dug it out, cleaned it up a bit, and rebalanced all the difficulty levels. It has several "my first map"-isms, but I think there are some fun ideas in there too. Let me know what you think! SUMMARY: This was my first Doom map. I was learning as I went along, and it shows. Most rooms are oversized with lots of space to run around. I was in full "D&D Dungeon Master mode" when building this map, and it ended up being a "funhouse dungeon" containing all my best room ideas, mostly connected by corridors. Architecture is chunky and simple, but I did try to suggest themes for the various rooms (reception, conference area, waste processing, nuke storage, etc.) and use small amounts of detail effectively. If you're wondering what the rocky outdoor-looking area is, it was supposed to be a biodome. Like an enclosed artificial habitat. Anyway, I tried my best to make creative and interesting combat setups using most of the Doom 2 monsters, so hopefully you'll appreciate the variety if nothing else. More screenshots: DESIGN NOTES: -Time to complete: about 30 minutes. -Lighting is designed for software rendering mode. -There's an early exploration/resource-gathering phase, but once you go underground, it becomes a largely linear series of setpiece encounters. It's more like a Half-Life 1 map in this respect. -There are no hordes. Encounters try to use small groups of monsters effectively. -There are lots of monster closets and ambushes, but the style I aimed for is "occasionally tricky, but fair". Encounters are survivable if you have good reflexes, can read the environment quickly, and are ready to move. -I would suggest a checkpoint save when you get each keycard, but of course everyone can play it however they prefer. -Plasma can be found early on, but the SSG doesn't show up until halfway through the map. -A couple optional jumps require straferunning. Nothing fancy, just run diagonally. DIFFICULTIES: UV: Medium difficulty. Recommended. HMP: Easy. HNTR: Training. OTHER MAPS BY ME: If you see anything good in Sprawlbase, please try Siteline, my Ultimate Doom E1M1 replacement. It's much more compact and refined than this one (I think so, anyway). sprawlbase_1_9.zip
  8. It took me 1:18 with 90% kills, 43% secrets. I focused on survival and didn't spend much time looking for more hidden stuff. I also didn't attempt any sequence breaks other than going for the berserk as early as possible so I could save ammo against demons. I thought the ammo + health balance was quite good. I was often tempted by the rocket caches, but resisted most of them and only grabbed a couple when I really needed it. Something I noticed on HMP but appreciated more on UV was how often you're under attack from fairly distant enemies. And not just your typical snipers up on ledges, either. I really like the walkways in the SE corner of the map, with the imps and cacos shooting across, that then become alleys for the mancubi to shoot down. Moments like these are fun spatial awareness tests, and there's always room to dodge, so I always felt like it was my fault for not paying attention when I got hit. I noticed it more on UV because I was more concerned about ammo, so I was always more tempted to leave distant enemies alive until later, and sometimes paid for it. I admit that I ran away from the red key battle though!
  9. Thanks for the playthrough and comments. It was cool to see that you had the right idea with the plasma secret. I tried to create several "things lining up nicely" moments in this map and that was one of them. For the rad suit secret you investigated at the end, there is a discolored patch of floor in front of it that was supposed to be the hint, maybe I should tweak that.
  10. Awesome, thanks for the video and commentary. I wasn't trying to force bullet-counting in the very first room, I swear! I had hoped the number of imps would push the player to go grab the shotgun or at least escape to another room, but I also wanted it to be survivable if a player does want to pistol-dance, so that's why ammo is so tight at the very beginning if you decide to stay and fight. Nice job making it through without a death.
  11. I love Doom maps that have a dungeon-crawling feeling with resource management, and this one delivered in spades. This is one of those maps that makes me wish I had made it myself. The concept is so well-executed. I loved the rocket caches and the lettering/symbols on the floors, walls, and automap. The layout felt encouraging and fun to explore rather than confusing. The different areas are not only distinct and easy to remember, but it was cool how each area had different kinds of challenges, with some being more mazy, some more vertical, etc. The difficulty on HMP was about right for me, with me doing my best not to savescum and roll with any mistakes. Finished with 706 kills, 38 secrets. It took me a little over 2 hours, with a good chunk of that spent searching for secrets after finding the exit. Definitely going to replay this on UV. I managed to unlock the light amps before the rad suits because:
  12. I'd greatly appreciate it if you played a map I recently made (attached to linked post): Doom 1, low-detail/old-school, moderate difficulty, takes 20-30 minutes. It's only my 2nd map but I think it has decent layout, thing placement, and secrets.
  13. Thanks a bunch for trying it and recording a playthrough! Glad you had fun with it.
  14. IWAD: DOOM.wad Replaces: E1M1 Single-player only. Needs a limit-removing port. Tested in GZDoom and Crispy Doom 5.5.2. This is my second Doom map and any feedback, positive or negative, would be very welcome. SUMMARY: This is a medium-sized, unrealistic, low-detail, old-school, arcade-style map. I tried to make an interconnected 3D structure that's twisty and fun to explore without being a maze. In particular, I wanted to be creative with different types of windows (not just their shapes, but their functions) and sight lines, hence the name. The architecture is fairly simple. Small details are primarily used for contrast and to guide the player. I did my best to create interesting combat encounters using only small/medium-sized groups of Doom 1 monsters. You be the judge whether I've succeeded at any of this. More screenshots: DESIGN NOTES: -Time to complete: 20+ minutes. -Designed without looking up/down. If you look up and down, you can trivialize a couple encounters and secrets, but the map is still completable. -Lighting is designed for software rendering mode. -There are no crusher deathtraps, the setpiece moments aren't meant to be super hard, and no infighting or secrets are required. -The automap will help with some of the secrets, as will thinking about how areas of the map connect to each other. In the second half, there is an untagged soulsphere secret that is a puzzle. -Because of the length, I would suggest a checkpoint save after you get through the blue door. To be clear, everyone should play this map however they want! I'm just letting you know how it was tested and balanced. DIFFICULTIES: UV: A little bit stingy with ammo until the end, and moderately stingy with health. I think Doom 1 monsters work best with a small (small!) amount of resource management, and I also try to encourage the player to use multiple weapons. HMP: More breathing room, less pressure than UV. Probably too gentle for long-time players, but hopefully not a cakewalk. About as tough as the hardest E1 levels on UV, I'd say. HNTR: For casual play. Just blast everything. Also plays well with fast monsters once you know the layout. siteline_1_8.zip
  15. Just played this. 21:31, 141/143 kills, 3/6 secrets. I'm not going to lie: right at the beginning, I saw the basic architecture and thought "I'm not afraid of this simple little map!" Then I I liked that this map tries to use handfuls of monsters and level geometry in tricky ways rather than hordes, and I also thought the health balance was pretty good. Nothing was super hard, but you still can't slip up too many times because medikits are scarce. The red key room is pretty cool-looking. Also, and this may seem silly to other people, but the main reason I played this was because of your description and README. I like it when authors clearly explain their mapping approach and the kind of experience to expect. I also liked: My suggestions: more variations in ceiling heights and wall angles. Fewer crates (although the big crate + tiny crate pairings were kind of cute... "a mother crate and her young"). And for the parts where the monsters aren't terribly threatening, those parts would work better with a little more exploration or at least room for the monsters to wander a bit so they have a chance of surprising you. Congrats on finishing a clean, competent map and best of luck in the future.