alowe

Members
  • Content count

    24
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About alowe

  • Rank
    Warming Up
  1. I like that. Sounds (pun intended) similar to something I did recently. I had an imp behind a door with a hidden mini tunnel into a room you almost certainly have to shoot to get into. The imp hears you, opens the door and enters the room you're in. In order to make sure the imp goes where I want to I shepherd it with block monster lines (so it doesn't effect the player). There's a level in Doom2 where you play amongst buildings (and I remember there's a big arrow clue) - let me find it... MAP13: Downtown, where there's a good example of how to use a similar setup to get a load of Demons to teleport around the player. Another way I like is a room far far away that opens up with a ton of nastiness inside that takes a long time to reach you making you wonder where all these dudes are coming from. Requires a large open area to work, like an outside style map. This subject is a worthy category for a Doom (Hexen/Heritic) knowledge base. Ways to spawn/reveal monsters. Lol, I once made a nightclub where the monsters stay on the dance floor and 'dance' (even after seeing you) but only decide to kill you if you go to dance with them. Then they all break away from their dancing positions. This shows that, even in vanilla, the ability to control monster behaviour is quite broad and can be changed to suit the player's choices ingame. Another level I made, the only way to proceed is to hide behind a Revenant and wait until some Hell Knights hit him trying to get to you. Then you step aside and let them shoot it out. Otherwise there simply isn't enough ammo in the level to do it yourself. So, you can even make the monsters your friends :o)
  2. I wasn't aware other software was needed. Just downloaded DB2 and ran it and it worked.
  3. There are various ways to simulate the spawning of monsters in ZDoom. One typical way is to have a hidden sector connected to the room you're in, but with a mid texture acting as a wall and made impassible, so to you it's just a wall. Inside this place another wall between the monster and the midtexture. When you want to spawn the monster get the player to walk over a line and set the action to "raise floor to highest ceiling". The tag matches the wall between the monster and the mixtexture (fake wall). This wall will also need a control sector connected to a sector with the ceiling set to the desired floor height. When the player walks over the action line, this lowers the wall blocking the monster. The monster can see you but you can't see it. It walks towards you. You can make one of the lines making the blocking wall a monster teleporter (silent or audible). Recently I used this to make skulls float up from lava stalagmites, silently around the player. Sometimes you miss it and other times you watch them born from the lava. It's a creepy thing to see. You can put hidden rooms in a row connected by more and more walls so the same line trigger can spawn multiple monsters. There are other ways to spawn monsters in ZDoom but this is probably the one I use the most. I've also had zombies slowely rise up through fake floors so it looks like they're climbing out of the ground. Various ways to do it. Edit: Actually I just realised it's not the one I use the most, just in specific circumstances where this next method doesn't work. Put the monster in a deep pit (like -1024 below) with the walls set to no texture. When you want it to appear simply set the floor to "lower to the lowest floor" (no control sector needed). Make the monster deaf and avoid floating monsters. Hide the lines of the sunken pit and make sure the sides are less than 24 units so the player can't fall in. Because the walls have no texture they won't be drawn and the pit blends with the floor at its top making it invisible. Sneak attack!
  4. I'm running it in ZDoom and editing with DB2. I've got to a level of proficiency now that I decide what to do (regardless with how undoomlike it might seem) then just keep fiddling with the editor until it somehow happens. With this one I ended up using 4 linedefs 1 unit apart that can be walked across in a single action. I tried using a switch on the pulley but none of the actions did what I wanted. Even tried a ZDoom specific one that does ceiling and floor in one action. In order to get the rope to lengthen precisely with the barrel I had to use an upper and mid texture with a big y-axis offset. Because the problem was making it all an upper texture with a lower ceiling forced the barrel above the ceiling (it glitched basically). Kept trying and trying. Eventually it worked and I had a laugh at the humour of being trapped in a small room with a suicidal imp. The player is herded into the room in the first place to escape another trap, so, in my books, they brought it upon themselves haha Oh, and you can't shoot the imp before the barrels are lowered or you hit the barrels and die. It's a catch-22 situation - the best. Another time I had an opportunity trap. That's where if you make the wrong choice to lose out on a load of powerups. There are two barrels. The only way to see one barrel is to stand on top of the other. If you shoot the wrong barrel you can't climb up to the powerups and you have to shoot through the other barrel to hit a switch to reveal the powerups you could have got. It's enough to make you want to restart the level when you realise your mistake. I think torturing the player is a great way to increase replayability cause nobody likes to be bested by the designer.
  5. I'm currently the 18th level into a PWAD of about 10min to 30min play per level, including intermissions and a custom start picture. Decided to use Doom 2 WAD with no new graphics or music. That way there's also no scripting. A good place to start learning how to design levels as you're working with the basics first and not overloading yourself with stuff like creating animated bitmaps and flats, etc. And what I've made looks nothing like Doom 2. It doesn't really matter what you have to begin with. Most of the invention is in the design. 1 year into it and still every level I'm incorporating a trick, trap, feature or gimmick not included in any of the other levels (or any WAD I've ever played). Got to keep it unique and original. Awesome play is an absolute minimum requirement. So, it's a lot of fun to figure this stuff out for yourself. I had to read up about self referencing cells to begin with, and donuts were also difficult to understand at first. Another maddening thing was when I saved a map as MAP01 but edited the MAPINFO to refer to MAP17 etc, then wonder why special actions didn't work. I didn't learn how to edit from anyone - didn't read any manual, but having a reference when you're stuck is always good. Also, different people have different learning styles. I struggle to follow some online stuff so it's easier for me to teach myself. That's my problem. If you design as you learn your levels have a natural progression of difficulty and complexity. It's hard to pretend a level is simple once you know all the tricks as it's too tempting to do complicated stuff. Yesterday I pulled off a new trick. Having a line of barrels seemingly held up by ropes connected to metallic pulleys. The challenge was to be able to lower the barrels and the ropes without any textures bleeding through the bitmap objects (so the ropes actually get longer - their ceilings lower, as the self referencing sectors below also lower their floors). Coupled with independent lighting on ceiling and floor merging across the sectors and you've got a rather complicated setup. End result, you enter a room at the same time as the imp opposite. He seemingly walks over to the pulley and lowers the barrels between you. Then you realise the door you just came through doesn't open and you're now trapped in a small room with a suicidal imp and a load of barrels. Boom! Muahahahaha!
  6. Draw a sector within a sector. Note the index of the inner sector. Edit the lines of the inner sector so their front and back sector references are the same as the inner sector index. In game the sector still has height but it is no longer drawn. This allows you to do things like make stuff seem to float in air. It can also be used to create a "liquid" (or fake) floor, even in vanilla. Has lots of uses. You can create a 3d bridge in DB2 without using a self referencing sector but the illusion fails if you stand on the edge and look under the bridge while standing on top of it. Creates a HOM without a self referencing sector. Edit: Talking of HOMs, one idea I've never got working is to have an intentional HOM that has a purpose in a level. Always the effect is messy or disappointing. I once heard that someone did this but haven't seen how. For example, the plot could be that you're given a hallucinogenic drug and your visual perception of reality breaks down.
  7. Or a much simpler solution is to just mark the sector the door opens to as Secret. No scripting required.
  8. Whether a switch is accessible is dependant on whether it is physically reachable (ignoring the z axis). You can choose when switches are inaccessible by placing a physical barrier in front of them (or doing it in script). I haven't done scripting in Doom so the solutions I find are always non-scripted. E.g. You might think that having a physical barrier in front of your switch would prevent you from being able to activate it but in my experience not always. The game doesn't model z-axis actions very well so sometimes you can activate switches that seem to be inaccessible (or monsters can). I think it might also depend on the source port you use. To be absolutely sure the switch cannot be accessed (and sometimes, not even then) you need to cut off all z-axis routes to the line the action is triggered from. E.g. Even if the barrier in front of the linedef with the trigger is higher, this doesn't mean your switch won't trigger. I tested this recently with a Cyberdemon and a barrier that was hundreds of units higher than the monster (but crucially didn't reach all the way to the ceiling). The monster still easily reached right over the obstruction and activated the trigger (in this case a teleport). I had to redesign that part of the level to achieve the desired result. I've noticed that ZDoom has some options on how it interprets some variables that have a height element (involving player height, clipping, switch triggering etc). Edit: I like the way the camera works with your train. I don't think it's wonky at all. To me it's scenic. You get a good view of the city and how and where the train goes. Even makes a good screen saver while you're away from the computer :o)
  9. Since I've never used cameras in a map I don't have any experience. But, could you have more than one camera then set which one is being used by some trigger? The internal of the train needs a little work. Is it possible to use one way mid textures for windows so you get a feeling of movement (other then the Flintstone style ground moving along? Also, I haven't quite understood if you need to move between the carriages inside the train to make it work. Would also be nice if there was an inside-of-train sound when on the train to confirm you're on it. But, you're taking this further that I thought would work. Nice! And I like how each train has it's own unique graffiti on the side. 👍👍👍
  10. Very nice. Even the announcements are as clear as real life lol
  11. Could you make the train solid and trap an actor inside a box with no textures on the sides to make it undetectable from the outside, then use that actor as the trigger for the stuff you want? I think there maybe an issue getting the actor to stay in the hidden box though. E.g. But I think it's looking good and going around the corners a lot smoother. Was thinking you could have carriages behind using an offset but the problem would be going around corners. I wonder if it's worth the effort as it already looks good as it's an ambient thing not the whole map. Edit: Now my imagination is going wild and I'm thinking that if the hidden box was put close enough to the front of the train then a rocket or BFG orb could kill an actor in it. If this actor had a unique ID with BOSSKILL you could use this to trigger an action like the train stopping (or in the script for the train checking for the existence of the unique ID to continue). The action could be something like the release of a load of police lol. Chaos!
  12. I like the ambient sounds of the people at the end of the video.
  13. I think it's a mixture of attitude and enjoyment. If your attitude is that you're willing to learn and you enjoy designing then you'll be motivated enough to learn the skills. The more you practice the better you'll get. Some people might have a disposition to being more arty but that'll only get you so far. A dedicated person who enjoys their work will eventually, with enough learning and practice, become more proficient than someone who was gifted. Lol, it's like when you have 200 health and armour. It won't last forever and the player who learns how to be efficient will last longer even if they only start with 10 health and armour. Obviously if you have formal training/education in digital art, programming etc you'll start with an advantage but I've met people who started with no programming experience and no training who later technically surpassed people with a university degree. Training can't give you a love for design, that has to come from within. Always being curious also helps. I'm always looking for ideas. If I'm abroad and see an unusual pattern on the ground I quickly take a photo and use it for inspiration later on. Anything can be inspiration, from some crappy film to something your girlfriend said one day. In a way the less you know the better, because exploring how to do stuff is where a lot of inspiration comes from. E.g. the first time you learn how to make fake floors you do lots of levels with fake floors to explore the potential, then when you learn how to use variable lighting that becomes the new thing to explore. The danger is when you "know it all" you stop exploring. Sometimes it's better to leave designing for a year then come back like you never designed before.
  14. Typically I start at the beginning and end at the finish. When you have a story behind the levels this becomes more obvious. This narrative informs where the level starts and where it ends. For example: If the story is that you're infiltrating a power plant, you'd typically start outside (or maybe even underground) and work your way in. If the story is that you've been captured and held prisoner you'd start inside and work your way out. If the story is that you're sweeping the streets for monsters you'd start in the streets, or maybe even as a sharpshooter on a rooftop who decides to leave their post. The story is part of the level design. It informs the designer certain aesthetics and level layouts.
  15. I've already addressed this. Here's a quote: "If I'm going to make it truly backward compatible, I'd test it with the original Doom DOS executable." So, you see, if I wanted to prove backwards compatibility I would only use the original DOS executable. Chocolate Doom, for me, adds an element of the unknown. I know I can trust the original executable but I don't know if I can trust Chocolate Doom, so I would default to the original executable. Note, I predicate all of this on an 'If'. People who think I'm claiming anything really need to learn to read properly.