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About Worm

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    Warming Up
  1. Worm

    What is most likely to make you play a wad?

    Screenshots are important, but what really makes me willing to try a wad is comments from the author that explain the design philosophy and what style to expect. A description like "10 awesome new Hell-themed maps in this mini-campaign!" or "these maps were all created during a 24-hour mapping challenge" is way less interesting to me than something like "These are short, linear maps imitating an E2 style with a heavy emphasis on traps and finding secrets to survive. Expect high ammo and low health." A high-concept theme can be cool, but I need low-concept statements about the design to get me excited about actually playing it instead of noclipping around to look at the architecture.
  2. I liked that this map was full of "Romero-isms" (the ceiling gaps and nested secrets stuck out in particular), but didn't feel like a simple retread of E1 style. There's no original Doom level that's as dense as this, with as many new areas opening up as you move around and passages that loop back into earlier sections. Architecture is simple and blocky, but there are details like pillars and support structures that wouldn't exist in the old days. I really liked being able to drop down into the slime tunnels, because it gives the map a multifloored over/under feeling. Combat-wise, it's no pushover. There are lots of hitscanners, and Romero has certainly not forgotten the basics of setting up an ambush, repopulating areas you're going to backtrack through, and making you worry about stepping in the nukage. There are classic ideas such as a computer maze and fighting in the dark that, again, don't feel like lazy retreads but provide little twists on a recognizable formula. Like a lot of other people, though, I didn't care for the glowing cracks. Yeah, the ending is really easy, but I appreciate it staying true to the original idea of the Bruiser Brothers even if no experienced player is going to struggle against two barons in that big of a space.
  3. Worm

    Doom on the Oculus Rift

    It's interesting that in the video he talks about how tall the imps are. This is the sort of thing that has come up in various threads about converting Doom units to real-world heights, and the Oculus Rift tends to show how strange the proportions are in a lot of FPSes (including most modern ones). I imagine that it's a weird sensation to run through a 72-unit high hallway and feel like the ceiling is whizzing by just above your head.
  4. Worm

    Alternate Names For Monsters

    I had an old issue of Game Players magazine with an article about Doom, and I vividly remember one of the screenshot captions saying, "This horned raspberry lights up as he shoots."
  5. Worm

    Things id got wrong

    Which one is this? The beginning of E3M4?
  6. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP25 - "Unstable Journey": And it's a long journey, which is fitting for the penultimate map (not counting the secret level). I got a real Quake 1 vibe from the aesthetics--lots of brown stonework, support structures, height variations, and crossovers. I actually didn't get along well with the nonlinearity here. Unlike MAP15 where everything loops back into another area, here I felt like I was picking random corridors and just doing my best to fill out the map, poking my nose into various offshoots and branches, usually with the worry that I was making bad decisions and leaving something important behind. Some things about this map make me feel like it's presented as an optimization challenge for the player, such as the journey to the red key with the bars that lock you inside that path once you enter it. Sucks for you if you get to the RK fight without having found the BFG, but moreover it seems to be a clearly non-optimal path choice if you do that one first, unless you purposely want a greater challenge. I ended up doing YK-BK-RK, but only because those one-way bars scared me off (I loaded an earlier save). Another thing that was kind of weird was the blue switch wing back near the start that gives you a backpack and RL, but only if you remember to backtrack there early enough that it's not pointless. Positive comments: I certainly can't fault the quality of the mapping. There are great-looking areas and details everywhere, and lots of ominous splashes of red. I wouldn't exactly say I enjoyed the yellow key trap, but the "respawning" chaingunner was an interesting way to deny the safety of that corner. The red key battle is fierce but there is just the right amount of room so you always feel like it's your fault if you get trapped. And hey, I managed to find all the secrets.
  7. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP24 - "Perhaps Now the Vultures": You had better believe I quicksaved the shit out of this map. On the other hand, I never realized how feasible it is to berserk-punch a vile as long as you have a good corner. Not my style, but a well-done, small, short concept map.
  8. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP22 - "Bite": This map lulled me into a false sense of security. A good chunk of it is easy-moderate dungeon exploration, with the mapping done in a fairly realistic style--there's a sewer section with side drains, wooden support beams, a little library with bookcases, crumbled walls underground, etc. And I enjoyed most of the traps in this part, in particular the "run away" ones with the double viles, and later the double barons, where it's clear that you need to skip on down the hallway before you try to hold your ground. But I really disliked everything between the lava pillar teleport and the red key. I had a hell of a time with the two viles after teleporting. I kept bumping into the smaller enemies and failing to find cover, plus I achieved a fair number of GAD deaths with the teleporting cacos and general blockage in that area. Maybe RL wasn't the right approach but I just couldn't find an effective way to clear that section. And then there was the berserk and the demons, not difficult but felt like Sandy Peterson nonsense to me and out of place. Then there's trial-and-error with the switches, because if you hit them in the wrong order, it lets everything behind the doors out at once, and the soulsphere gets blocked by the influx. Plus it was just annoying to fight revs and archies in that space, although the pillared structure makes for a cool-looking room (my thought was that it looked like some kind of cistern). I'm hardly the best player here, so I know this may simply be a case of "too hard for me on UV," but it felt like quite a jump compared to the rest of the level or most of the wad, really. This was the first time I felt shades of Alien Vendetta. The end of the map has some hardish encounters but the pacing is appropriate by that point, so I guess my issue is really with the first half of the map and what I felt was an abrupt switch. MAP23 - Hub: Meltdown! Shouldn't have turned on that reactor I guess. Is it melted material, or plant-like growth, or both? EDIT: Hey, I just realized the circular well-like structure you see at the beginning is the top of the cyberdemon room from the end of Bite. You can barely see it in Bite, though.
  9. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP21 - "Bulldog Skin": Not sure what to say about this one. It's an odd and uneven map, small and short (especially if you run past some of the monsters), with most of the challenge coming from the risk of catching a cyber's rocket or getting blocked by the smaller fry. The teleporting cybers are kinda goofy to be frank. I do like the battle in the opening room and the hellish decor, though I wish the structures looked more like believable ruins or facilities. The opening room, in fact, is probably the coolest one in the map... not sure if that's a good thing but the map certainly does make an impression right away, especially after coming from the hillside waterfalls of Speedtraps.
  10. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP20 - "Speedtraps for the Bee Kingdom": Another map that, after the first few encounters, gives you a lot of room to run around. And then gives you a LOT of room to run around. After prioritizing the arch-viles, I found that this level actually wasn't too hard, probably because it hands you so much plasma to throw back. Definitely a lot of "hold down M1" action in this one. I still saved before all the major traps, though. The very end was a good laugh.
  11. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    This was probably obvious to everyone else, but it wasn't until I replayed Hub III that I realized the Steeple of Knives is the tower you can see in the distance near the teleport exit. So that's cool. Until I saw other people's comments about the other tower behind the dam, I thought the steeple was the titular tower/fountain/sparks that we're presumably working toward.
  12. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP19 - "Unbaited Vicar of Scorched Earth": Fast and furious action. Reminds me of a Scythe map. Lots of high-powered weaponry that lets you play aggressively. It looks great too, with rusted metal, corpses, and syrupy lava everywhere. The big high-tech teleporter is a weird anticlimax, though--why does it take me back to the start? It took me a little while to find the lift to the final area... not sure why the teleporter doesn't just go there. Also, why is so much of the automap hidden? Is all of that area really "secret?" It makes the fake red keycard door extra misleading.
  13. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP18 - "Optional Bases Opposed": Hey, half of this looks like an E1 map. Although this map is not wide open like MAP15, there is plenty of jogging room for the opening battle. My strategy was to dash for the SSG, remove the pain elemental, and then the rest of the combat was mine to make as daring or safe as I wanted. Still, I had to restart a couple dozen times while I experimented with routes and safe zones, as well as gathering the RL and looking for secrets. The techbase theme mixes nicely with the temple ruins. It's not the most beautiful map so far but it's solid, clean, and easy to find your way around. The map is fairly flat, so that helps with navigation too. I know the discussion about camping/traps has been split, but my two cents here is that the mastermind appearance and the trap right before the red key are too easy to run away from. The red key in particular I just took the lift back up and peaced out. On a positive note, I liked the fight in the grid of pillars by the plasma, and also the dark cramped area where you drop down on your way to the yellow key.
  14. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP17 - "Steeple of Knives": Very stylish, yet surprisingly easy considering the sinister appearance, map name, and boss battle setup. Maybe I just got lucky with the infighting.
  15. Worm

    The DWmegawad Club plays: Back to Saturn X E2

    MAP15 - "The Theory of Broken Circles": Super nonlinear. Barely anything is closed off, so you can take a tour of almost the entire map by running around like a chicken with your head cut off. I bumbled around aimlessly and ran into a few nasty swarms early on, got low on health and ammo, but gained momentum after that. Supplies have been generously placed with nonlinearity in mind, and I never felt worried that I had gone the "wrong" way, which can be a common problem with maps in this style. In fact, I think most skilled players would say this map is a little overstocked--not that I'm complaining. Visually, everything is well-built and clean, but I didn't get much of a "sense of place" with this map. Lots of big curving rooms that just exist to be big curving rooms, doesn't really look like a castle or temple or anything in particular.