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About TheOrganGrinder

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  1. @valkiriforce, thank you for that insight into your mapping motivations when working on this, it's always a treat to get a little peek "behind the curtain" of a WAD's creation courtesy of the author. :)
  2. @StormCatcher.77 that's the one yes, as originally used for Doom II MAP06: The Crusher. :) Thank you!
  3. @Deadwing, that's a really neat looking cave system you've got there.
  4. @mArt1And00m3r11339, thank you for your this latest video, I hope you enjoyed MAP15! You're playing on a different source port than I tend to (GLBoom+, I think?) so obviously some areas look a little different than when I was building and testing them, light levels don't fade as much so some areas are brighter and some of the areas that are intended to be highlighted as a little brighter than the surrrounding sectors (e.g. the pillar/pedestal with the rocket launcher in the first cavern) don't stand out as much as I'd expected. It's very interesting for me actually to see how you play through that first cavern, particularly the fact that you grab the green armour and yellow key and get out of that area without firing a shot; there's a wave of spectres waiting to teleport in at the southern end of that area to hinder your escape that you haven't woken up yet, so of course they just appear later and don't seem to serve much of a purpose except to mill about uselessly down in the muck. In general during the early part of the map I see you sticking to the shotgun a lot more than I anticipated, I'm wondering now if I need to make the rocket launcher more prominent and provide more ammo as a way of encouraging its early use rather than leaving players with the impression that they're expected to grind away at revenants and hell knights with a popgun. :) There are a couple of points where I see you going back and forth within a relatively limited area, and I'm not sure if that's just a sign that you're thoroughly checking for secrets and supplies before proceeding any further, or if there are points where the intended progression is genuinely unclear. In particular I'm thinking of your exploration of the northern part of the map (from when you jump down from the outdoor area into the caverns at 22:53, through to when you jump down the waterfall into the western leg of the map around 28:33) and some of your movements around the collection of the blue key and the activation of the switch beyond the blue door. Obviously it's too late for me to make significant changes to the map's layout and progression at this stage but if things are insufficiently clear then that's something I can work on in future releases, what are your thoughts here? @StormCatcher.77, I note that when @mArt1And00m3r11339 was playing through this level in their post above, the music track playing was D_RUNNIN when we'd previously discussed the use of D_THE_DA for this level - is there further action I should take here or is this something you can adjust in a future release?
  5. MAP30: Final Doom This is a bigger and more involved level than is typical of the MAP30 slot, with an extensive series of encounters before the player is finally plunged into the inevitable Icon of Sin confrontation. The length of it makes the "punctuation mark" of the preceding arena map somewhat less effective; a lot of what's encountered herein feels very normal and might leave the player wondering just what that survival challenge was meant to signify, what precisely its purpose was. Is this map intended to represent Reverie in microcosm, then, from its curious start at the player's computer desk, tucked into the corner of a creaking mansion, through a succession of caverns and castles, to its ultimate and bloody throwdown against a legion of high-tier monsters and their demon-spitting master? Maybe I was just distracted while playing through this, but it didn't really click for me, like there was some expected, desired element of this-is-the-final-level that just wasn't present. I mean, yes, for better or for worse the Icon of Sin is there, and there are Cyberdemons and Spider Masterminds to contend with, but much of what comes before that feels... low-key, small-scale? Like this could mostly be lifted from anywhere else in the last one-third to one-half of the WAD, with everything past the yellow door feeling like a modular set-piece grafted onto another level. Individually the various areas and encounters are solid enough but they don't cohere well into a dramatically satisfying whole.
  6. MAP29: Salvation So this one's an arena map focused on survival against successive waves of enemies; the square footprint and staged nature of the whole thing had me mentally referring to it as Dead Simple II: Deader and Simpler, despite the lack of mancubi or arachnotrons or other Dead Simple hallmarks. So there's a couple of nasty surprises here, the first being the presence of arch-viles starting with the third wave of reinforcements, transforming what had previously just been a matter of running around and dodging revenant fireballs consistely while steadily wearing down the horde into a mad scramble to pop the arch-viles before they return an overwhelming number of defeated enemies to the fray, and the second being the fact that the fourth and final wave triggers not on the lowering of the key-bearing platform but on the opening of the yellow door, which might be just enough of a hiccup in the pattern to catch a player off-guard. One way or another this is a map that's over quickly.
  7. @Pirx yeah, the implementation of deep water here really doesn't play nice with the ability of monsters to detect and attack the player, so some of them you can just ignore, and others you can gun your way through with impunity should you be so inclined. (I felt cheap doing it, but then again there were moments when the map felt cheap in its insistence that I go for a long walk again so ultimately I swallowed my pride and got on with it.)
  8. MAP28: Turbine Accelerator If I were to try and describe this map in one word it would be obstinate, a great sense of the map's very layout resisting the player's progress and holding its secrets close. I think the biggest part of that stems from the numerous switchback passages and generally high amount of backtracking; the sheer amount of walking discourages "speculative" returns to earlier areas, you kind of want to know that something has changed, that a new path has opened, that a secret is available to be found before you put in that many footfalls and cover that much ground. I genuinely don't know if this map could have been built in a less obstinate way, with shorter passages, a more compact footprint, less backtracking; nor do I know if streamlining the level in that fashion would improve its gameplay sufficiently to offset the loss of atmosphere, of the player's sense of its scale, of opportunities to enjoy its dolorous, dirge-like music track. Sometimes it's worth going about things in a way that's discomforting and even counter-intuitive just for the sake of doing so, right? Setting aside such speculation I think the corridor-heavy layout does contribute to a sense of a map that must be approached in terms of individual "bits," separate set-pieces and scenes, rather than as a single interconnected whole. And some of those parts are better than others; there was a sense of the grand for me in something as simple as climbing the early staircase that clings to the walls of the silo, room, pumping alternating blasts into shotgun guys emerging from above and below, the slowly rising floor and the columnar shapes giving the whole area the sense of a grungy and technological cathedral. And on the other hand there's the interlocking "teeth" that form a barrier of moving parts at the mouth of the pump room, there's the moving floor a couple of chambers before the red key and its Cyberdemon guardian, there are other bits too that left me feeling like I was being messed with for the sake of messing, and I can't say I was too much of a fan. So ultimately my impression of this map is that it's memorable, that it's clearly not afraid to try and do different things even with a fairly restricted subset of game resources to work with, but that even so the end result is on the uneven side.
  9. No vote from me for next month's WAD(s) as I'm going to have to take a break from the club for that month due to other commitments. MAP27: Godspeed! Overall an interesting layout that's reminiscent, within the WAD, of MAP10, presenting the player with a large and open environment within which several substructures are built and three keys are hidden, waiting to be discovered. For all that this is a smaller, more focused, and less ambitious map than The Tech Towers, I feel that it plays better, with a greater sense of genuine freedom and less of a feeling of excessive, unwanted environmental complexity and overstaying its welcome. The secrets aren't great, one of them providing the rocket launcher without requiring a dip into the drink, the other one trading a handful of health bonuses for the opportunity to pop up into a narrow nook in a room where you will be shot to pieces in short order if you haven't previously explored the area and cleared out its denizens, so I don't know if I'm just missing the point there or what. I feel like I'm going to remember this one for its squads of shotgun guys trooping around it cavernous halls, each group seeming bigger than the last; it's just striking so see them deployed so liberally as fodder for the player's super shotgun or as instigators of infighting, albeit short-lived in the latter role.
  10. MAP26: Fallen Angel I'm not going to lie, I wasn't fond of this one, with its endless tight tunnels and enormous numbers of switches, some of which seem to exist only for the purpose of making sure that you can't stand beside or look at the door you want to open as you're opening it; I don't know, it feels like a gimmick that's being indulged for its own sake. There's plasma and rockets but little enough space to put them to use without running the risk of auto-aim dragging a rocket into a collision with some surface that's far too close to your face for comfort. It's nice to have something relatively short and sweet after what I think is four fairly large and lengthy levels in a row but I do wish that I had nicer things to say about this one than "at least it's over quickly enough."
  11. @valkiriforce, thank you for the insights into the WAD's creative processes. :) MAP25: Sever Tomorrow Goodness, another sewer map right on the heels of the last one? Oh, wait, Sever, my bad. So this is a brick-heavy affair that in some places has an industrial quality to it and in others evokes more of a sense of some forgotten, blasphemous temple, the two variations on the masonry theme rolled nicely together. I'm not convinced the grinding guitars and occasional playful solo of the Metallica-esque music track do the atmosphere and pacing of the level any favours, spurring the player on through segments that seem as though they want to be explored at a more thoughtful pace, but it doesn't ever become irritating. Architecturally the highlight of the level for me is probably the western node with its attempt to invoke a balcony and catwalk over a previously explored room, as though the player is scrambling through the vaulted workings of some cavernous factory; on the other hand, the roughly L-shaped outdoor area toward the end felt needly uncomfortable in its arrangement and dimensions.
  12. MAP24: Sewer System (Arch Vile's Den) This one feels like it balances the aesthetics of Plutonia with the more free-form environments and layouts of Evilution, with a slick and nicely designed network of sewers connecting thematically varied temple, cavern, and brickbase nodes through which the map's various keys are scattered. Depending on the player's initial route and choices, the super shotgun and chaingun could end up acting as the prospective spelunker's bread-and-butter monster-slaying tools for quite some time; fortunately there are not too many places that demand the range and rapid damage of a rocket launcher that the player might stumble into before grabbing it, aside from the titular den of arch-viles which honestly can be left alone until you're damn well ready to deal with it. The music is quite the delightful track, albeit one that perhaps calls to mind more fantasy-themed environs than are to be found here, but maybe that's just me and how it sounds to my ear. I'll agree with @Magnusblitz that the switches-and-columns section that permits access to the red switch is more annoying than it needs to be, with a simple solution but an inconvenient placement of moving parts that doesn't challenge, simply irritates.
  13. MAP23: Cyclone Rider Very much a map of two halves, with a straightforward arena of slaughter followed by a more intricate at at times downright vicious labyrinth of monstrous ambushes and puzzle segments. It's pretty generous with ammunition, less so with health in the second half of the map though not to the point of starvation, especially if you happen upon the secret soul sphere (fairly straightforward) and megasphere (not so much, though the chain of secret panels necessary to access it offers a fun little puzzle). The initial arena is solid fun, the later labyrinth section is a bit uneven, with some areas and encounters standing out as better developed and more carefully balanced than others; the non-stop barrage of tricks, traps, and false floors in the wooden area leading up to the yellow key was a delight, for example, while the winding stairwell into darkness that led to a cramped confrontation with a pair of Barons of Hell just felt like a health tax, given the player's restricted movement and ability to dodge in such close quarters. I do think both halves of the map benefit from the presence of the other, with the arena getting the blood pumping before the player heads into the maze, and the maze providing more substance than the arena alone could offer.
  14. MAP22: Egyptian Plains So, this one's much more to my taste and is divided pretty neatly into three sections, an initial tomb/tunnel crawl that's perhaps a little obtuse but can ultimately be brute-forced simply by pressing every switch in both branches of the complex with no regard for what they do, and then an outdoor pitched battle which culminates in a duel with a Spider Mastermind, and then a delve back into sewer-like tunnels for another round of tough combat before proceeding to the exit. The Egyptian part of the level concept is obvious enough, Plains not so much as the outdoor areas are more cliff/river themed. I think the most memorable of the combat encounters comes toward the end, in the northern part of the sewer with various walkways that the player was to scramble up only to be greeted by arch-viles at the top ready to eagerly undo all your hard work. It's an enjoyable map overall that does a lot with its theme and diverges from it as necessary for the sake of variety and challenge.
  15. MAP21: Sunrise Ah, this is where I got to last time I played Revere; the sudden shift from interesting exploratory maps to a carnage-choked arena wasn't what I was in the mood for last time and I can't say I found myself caring for it much more this go 'round. Which isn't a commentary on the map itself so much as my tastes. Next please.