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Big Ol Billy

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About Big Ol Billy

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  1. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    In my playthrough (this also happened to Mega) when you step into the blood teleporter, your screen instantly changes to the teleport location, no green flash or teleport sound. Like the silent teleport to line action, though I don’t have the map available to see how exactly it’s done. Not having the usual teleport sound/green flash just makes it unnecessarily jarring imho
  2. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    Heh, I know platforming tastes very greatly in the community, and I definitely support people following their muse. But to clarify—it’s not so much the platforming itself that bugged me, but the turret enemies in the room that you had to deal with while platforming. Also fwiw I might be more sensitive about upscale monsters than others, I think something about them just irrationally rubs me the wrong way. Let me look through the map and see where the worst offenders are as far as the more complex grid patterns. I really like the simplicity of the colored grids and arrows, just wanted to help that shine through more.
  3. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    also here's my pic for the hub map:
  4. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    Feedback part 2! @Pegleg (new version) main area is interesting and fun to fight in, though it's hard to get a foothold at first health seems a little scarce at the beginning, lots of effective insta-kills from snotball storms this is another map where I longed for a more-powerful-than-BFG weapon, there's just a lot of HK swarms teleporting in that make things exhausting secrets seem essentially mandatory on UV. I don't want to imagine what playing this map with no BFG would be like. I like the theme, but the visuals are a little underwhelming for me. There's a lot of orthogonal angles for a flesh-based map here, and not a lot of lighting variation. Admittedly this does give it a certain oldschool flavor. The eyeball switch lifts at the beginning and end are a fun, atmospheric touch, though. The blood insta-teleporter really needs some teleport fog. Even once I figured out what was happening, I still backed into it a couple of times and had a moment of "wtf kind of glitch is this? why did my screen completely change?" @DMPhobos Pretty excellent map. The scripted "prison cells explode open" conceit works really well--it's clear what's going on, where threats are gonna come from, and keeps ratcheting up the intensity. The modest length is a breath of fresh air for the set as a whole. The grenade launcher is actually fairly useful here, but can still be annoying when you're trying to kill HKs still in a prison cell--the low angle of the projectiles and the small step up to the cell makes it pretty easy to insta-kill yourself with two rockets. This is a problem with the weapon itself imho, though. Some texture and flat alignment problems in the current version (I know there have been some issues in compiling): @Myst.Haruko cool and memorable, fun theme executed well FWIW, I could stand to see more of the regular grid patterns, less of the grid with extra criss-crossing diagonal lines the platforming room is pretty annoying. I would maybe make hitting the floor itself teleport the player to make falling down less tedious, maybe also ease up on the repopulation Upscaled boss barons look weird. Similar to dexiaz's upscaled cyber, it's kind of hard to tell exactly where they are, since upscaling makes them look like they should be closer than they actually are. @Plusw Another personal favorite, I dig it. It keeps you moving and having to strategize, but doesn't feel too grindy or unfair. Grenades are actually useful here. You can walk out of the shuttle in the final cockpit area into the vacuum OF SPAAAAAACCCEEEEEE @DeXiaZ Impressive technical stuff, also provides something unique to the set. That said, tbh I feel like the cyber boss doesn't work on a couple of fundamental levels. For one, it's really confusing to tell where it's supposed to be since it's upscaled--the way you're used to using resolution to gauge distance in Doom just breaks down, and it kind of fucks with my head. Also the boss doesn't feel very threatening, since you have so much room to move and need to get supplies anyway. The big cyb also seems to spend most of its time fighting the HK horde, hard to even keep it's attention. It also took me a while to figure out what was even happening when it fired vertically, because I was never remotely in the same area by the time the rockets landed (for most of the fight, you can barely even get killed by the vertically fired rockets if you want to—if you stay in one place the HK balls will kill you much more quickly). Since the cyber boss is the real focus of the map, it feels weird that it doesn't end when he dies. Clean-up afterwards feels pretty anticlimactic. @Voltcom9 Fun theme! You really make putting the 3D into Wolf3D work. Ammo and health generosity are good and much appreciated. But glad I have to move and work for the RL / BFG, I think that helps strike a nice balance between giving you stuff and making you work for other stuff. Switches could be a little more user friendly. I wouldn't mind "x switches to go" messages, but at least it would be good for switches to be 1-use, so you can tell readily that you definitely didn't hit that switch over there earlier. @Empyre Nice to have a brief map with a strong visual idea. This is also maybe the purest version of the original prompt for the set. Combat isn't very interesting, mostly just involves circle strafing. But given the map's brevity this doesn't seem like a huge dealbreaker; this map is another one that feels nice to have in the mix for variety's sake. @DerFurer'sFace Really unique and memorable theme that must have been a lot of work to pull off. A lot of the combat is really frustrating to me. There's a lot of detail that's easy to get caught on, spaces too narrow to dodge HK projectiles, constant HK projectile hell in every outdoor area. Comp. demands seem pretty steep, it was even lagging pretty significantly for Mega--which makes getting stuck on detail even more prevalent and annoying. My experience was pretty similar to his playthrough, really. All that said, the HKs on planes are just epically hilarious. Overall: I think the biggest issue the set as a whole has is slogginess (my map is as big an offender as any). The shorter maps are definitely the ones shining through on the whole, with a few exceptions. The custom weapons don't do any favors to the set as well, unfortunately. It would really be nice to have a weapon more powerful than the BFG that could really cut through nobles. As it stands, fighting a large group of HKs with the railgun or PR feels about equivalent to fighting a horde of imps with the pistol, and even the RL/grenades don't feel much better. Both of the custom weapons have kind of annoying features imho. You can't hold down fire on the grenade launcher and the angle is weirdly low; the railgun has strange reloading (after every three shots?), plus feels underpowered to me. Another issue that carries across multiple maps is snotball hell—HK projectiles coming from a bunch of different directions or with no real cover, where effective dodging feels very RNG-based. This can get especially annoying when there isn't armor available, meaning that 2 or 3 hits will kill you. Here it's easy to start feeling like the level is just making you save-scum through the encounter. Playing through the whole set was pretty exhausting, although I think some of that will be alleviated by a hub structure, which will allow players to peek at all maps readily but not feel as obligated to complete a certain one before moving on to others. I also don't think we should be too down on ourselves, since this is supposed to be a ridiculous and freewheeling kind of project. But as I've said before, the more we can (reasonably) do to bring the fun forward, the better.
  5. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    Ok, here's part I of my feedback. I'm mostly replaying the maps since a number of things have changed since my first playthroughs. @DanielAlexander Love that opening spawn, tells you exactly what you're getting yourself into. This is a great opener, definitely should be one of the most readily accessible in the hub. Ammo and weapons are appropriately generous, so the whole level is threatening but actually pretty easy. This sky is better than the previous one iirc, but still looks awfully pixelated. Feel like there are better dark blue skies out there, unless you like the lo-fi charms of this one. Really want the RSK to open the big door, going straight to exit feels anticlimactic @Major Arlene Very in the spirit of the project. I think the additions you made in the newest version go a long way to make the fights more engaging. I think the opening teleporting hitscanners encounter is my favorite part, though I actually skipped it in my first playthrough b/c I hopped over the SSG coming out of the water. The custom weapons that you have to pick up to activate the progression switches are a little hard to see, especially the rail gun. You could smooth the progression signaling a little if you wanted to—either have the switches raised from the start or maybe have point lights that highlight the weapon and switch off after it's picked up. "Don't forget your backpack!" can still be confusing if the player initially backs up to look at the room, accidentally picking up the backpack. It's also a bit odd to see if the player picks up the backpack before triggering the message (this happened on Mega's stream, for example). Not a big deal, but small things like this can make the player less confident in the mapper. @riderr3 I think this is my favorite map of the set. I really liked how you used verticality to create progression in the open space. Saving the HKs until the end is a great little prank. The layout is admittedly kind of confusing and sometimes frustrating to navigate because of all that Doom parkour progression. Not a big deal to me, but maybe something to look at. I'd say watch Mega's stream and see if anything pops out that could be made clearer. UAC_Janitor Cleverly laid out and fun, this is another one that nails the vibe of the project to me. Framerate struggles a bit on my comp. Reflective floors should be the first to go, imho. Also colored lighting doesn't strike me as in the spirit of KDitD (admittedly neither do the 3D floors, but I think they're used well and have a clear gameplay purpose). Seems like the raised floor in the middle with all the bullet ammo could be more rewarding. With all those high tiers bullets aren't that valuable, and the area is pretty dangerous once things get going. I think there's more of an opportunity for offering the player a risk/reward scenario. @Capellan Really like the opening section, keeps you on your toes while you're hunting for ammo and dodging snotballs Megasphere as the only health is cool, but wears a little thin after you leave the opening section and go outside for the PEs and Cacos. Too easy to save yourself into a lame situation. Berserk could be cool. Ammo feels a little too scarce for the final section, I had to sneak around everything and hit the exit switch. @94's the best style This is a pretty frustrating one, though it does change things up by being more of a Ribbiks-style slaughter puzzle (reminds me a little bit of an early noble-themed map in Frogs). Not totally your fault, but this map made me hate the railgun with a burning passion. It often takes 4 rails (which means 1 reload) to kill one HK, which makes the RG feel less powerful and useful than the SSG. Just feels wrong, especially when you're desperately trying to stop a couple of HKs closing in on you. The hierophants at the end feel excessive. I flipped the switch with ~40% health, medikits still available, and was never able to kill even a single hierophant in about 40 tries (most of which were "your legs weaken"-->insta-kill). @Rolpa I dig it, the distinct monster/weapon waves give the map a cool flavor The "you murdered grandma" angle seems kind of arbitrary, doesn't really make any sense in the context of the map or the project as a whole. I guess that's the joke, but I would rather tell the player that they've been convicted of hunting hellknights out of season, cruelty to demonkind, something like that. @Worm318 Really solid addition to the set imho, looks and plays great. The 3D floors really work here and compliment the space. Is the HK counter necessary? Seems like it sets up the expectation that something is gonna happen when you kill them all. OMG I wanted that SSG so bad but couldn't figure out the secret. @Shadow Hog Definitely going to be one of the most memorable maps. The visuals are great even if the space is a little confusing to navigate (portals?). Throw a space marine a bone and give some indication of where the switches are on the automap. You can't really use the map extensively anyway until you've thinned out the horde, so I think it would just speed up the hunt for the final switches. Another map where I really struggled to get the SSG and really wanted it! Strangely, I couldn't figure out how to get the megasphere. Feels light on ammo, doesn't seem like it's practical to kill all the HKs. Music choice is strange, not sure how I feel about it. Something brooding and ominous would have been the more obvious choice. The circus-y tune here adds some quirkiness and energy, but it's also...odd.
  6. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    Ooh thanks for reminding me. I have those notes on another computer but I’ll send them along tonight or tomorrow. Also have some tweaks for the status bar I want to get to if people are still interested in using it.
  7. What's your rule of thumb for when you send a map to others to play? How does this vary by the nature of the map and the people playing it? I've been going around and around on my Interception II map recently. "This fight on HMP could be better... maybe if I adjust the geometry a bit... ok, just better make sure I didn't break something on UV—OFC I JUST BROKE SOMETHING ON UV... ok, fixed that... hmmm, but I should really check the fight on HMP again just to make sure... well, what if I use that alternate route..." But I've noticed I always get to this point on a map, where it's teetering on the edge of being worth playtesting but it's hard to break out of the loop of tweaking stuff, especially when I'm still occasionally finding stuff that's broken or very suboptimal. You want to be respectful of your playertesters' time, but should you just keep tweaking minor things on the map when an outside perspective might make you want to rework that stuff anyway? Is it better to get feedback earlier or later in the process for you? And how much testing is adequate—is it practical to test every route on a map on all three major difficulties with multiple source ports, for example? Where do you draw the line?
  8. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    We're doing something right, folks. Really appreciated Mega's committed playthrough of my map ("Doomguy's intiation"). In retrospect I think @94's the best style 's feedback was right, it feels too exhausting. I think I'm gonna try to scale the length back. I also want to play with letting the player activate successive waves. I like the idea of scripted fights but here at least I think it just adds to the slogginess because killing monsters feels like busywork that you have to do until the game decides to give you the next sequence. I do like the look and the overall "combat puzzle" angle, so hopefully I can help those to shine a little more. Glad someone finally found the secret minigame as well ;)
  9. Big Ol Billy

    Nova III - mapping deadline 31st October!

    bob_ritual.zip Here's a series of increasingly sloppy attempts at @Scotty's new map. DNF yet but I feel like I'm getting close lol :) Playthroughs of any kind are always helpful to me, so I'm sending this along. It's good stuff, looks great and the encounters are fun, varied, and lethal. I think I died at least once to each of the major fights, but none of them are too bad once you know what you're getting yourself into. I *really* like some of the freedom you give players to string encounters together in different orders (e.g. when you want to get the soulsphere, backpack). The computer map fight itself is cool but seems pretty hardcore for the reward, especially compared against the pretty gentle soulsphere fight. Wonder what it would be like to switch the items there, though I dig how the computer map/soulsphere each fit aesthetically in each space. Maybe throw in some cells in the comp map area to sweeten the reward? I feel like getting a bit more use out of the secret PR would be fun.
  10. Big Ol Billy

    'Verse Hopper: Community Project

    Sounds groovy to me, I’m just finishing up my Interception II map so this might just hit the spot. Really intrigued by the construction/shopping mall episode theme :)
  11. Big Ol Billy

    Nova III - mapping deadline 31st October!

    Works with n3txv1.4.wad for me (linked in the second post of the thread). Tried to do a FDA last night but I was just too beat, looking good though Scotty! Gonna give a proper try today I think.
  12. Big Ol Billy

    4800 Hell Knights. We dumb, MegaBlast smart. Alpha 3

    Re: source port compatibility I think we’re pretty much locked in to GZDoom and we should just embrace it. About half the maps, maybe more, are totally unsuitable for being de-made in Boom—basically authors would need to start over and make entirely new maps using some ideas from their originals. I don’t know much about Zandronum, but even that smells like mission creep to me. People have been making maps for GZDoom 3.x; I think we should try to do the best version of a GZDoom 3.x map set we can. This means coming to terms with GZDoom’s limitations, i.e. demo compatibility and multiplayer options. Sets for other source ports seem like separate projects to me, and better to pursue once the current project is at a stopping point.
  13. Big Ol Billy

    Post Your Mapping Tips

    I'm still a mapping n00b but here are things I've found helpful: 1. "X meets Y" ideas are great for brainstorming. Pick two contrasting maps/authors/themes/setups that you enjoy or find interesting, then try to combine them into a single map. Most of my maps have had some version of this in their conception: mouldy meets franckFrag, mouldy meets Lainos, a Sandy city map gone medieval, Brotherhood of Ruin if it was done by dobu, etc. 2. The distinction between visuals and gameplay is actually pretty artificial. There are of course maps that look pretty and play poorly. But most "ugly but fun" maps actually have strong (if not conventionally pleasing) visuals. The appearance of a level usually tells players a lot about how they can traverse spaces, what kind of encounters to expect, and what they should want (weapons, key, exit, etc.)--all stuff that is pretty relevant to combat. So while not every map needs to approach Viggles' or Lutz's standards of detail and polish, it rarely works out to approach a map with the attitude of "I'll make something fun and worry about how it looks later." 3. Written comments are great, but there's no substitute for seeing someone play your map. 4. Accept that your map isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. Look at reviews of any classic map or IWAD map and you'll find someone who didn't have fun with it. So take people's feedback seriously but don't dilute your fundamental point of view; you only really have a style when you have a way of doing things that some people don't like.
  14. Ugh, so close. I tried whipping up a map yesterday and got 90% of the way, but got hung up on some annoying moving sector bugs and slime trails. Probably will do the final polishing and set 'er loose sometime soon. Time management is hard y'all
  15. This is an interesting discussion. I think Bauul is onto something, even though it's a little tricky to argue that games in general have become much more curated experiences in a world where open world sandboxes are now the standard AAA formula. My sense, admittedly being pretty out of the loop as far as actually *playing* new games, is that claims of "meaningful player choice" in modern games are often oversold (famously, when it comes to stuff like loot boxes, these claims sometimes serve to obfuscate a design philosophy that is about as far from promoting meaningful choice as you can get). Still, it's interesting that modern games attempt to appeal to players' desires for independence pretty regularly, even if there's a good bit of hype in such appeals. My theory, putting on my sociologist's hat, is that both modern Doom maps and modern games have to deal with problems of abundance and near-instantaneous access that you didn't have in the 90's. Basically, there's enough competition for a player's time that the possibility of players having a very bad experience is a lot more worrisome for creators. Late 80s/90s games in particular, in genres ranging from Sierra adventure games to tournament fighters to action-packed games like Doom, were often happy to just confront you with mysterious systems that you had to figure out with little guidance. Back in the day, just figuring out how fairly basic controls and interactions worked basically counted as gameplay. And I think back then at least, when getting something else to play meant going to a physical store or (at least) starting up the ol' modem and slowly browsing through Doom sites/newsgroups, flailing around trying to figure stuff out could produce enough "eureka" moments to actually sorta *be* fun. Now, with greater abundance of games and quicker, readier access to new things to play, the conditions just aren't in place to produce that kind of fun as reliably. It's too tempting to just pick up something else that will give you a more immediate fix. You could perhaps make an analogy between vinyl records and streaming services. More important than the "warm sound" of vinyl, imho, is that a record creates a different listening experience from streaming by just being a more demanding object in everything from its size, need for care, and the length of time it will play music before it needs attending to. (This is part of what's helped vinyl hang on as a kind of boutique form of music consumption--it's great to have music you respect and have deep attachment to make real demands of you.) As many thinkpieces have pointed out, the conditions of musical consumption that streaming services have created have changed the way pop music is structured--artists try to put hooks and other "wow" moments at the beginning of songs, engineers need to master song so that they'll "pop" in virtually any listening environment, etc. Underlying it all are some of the basic dynamics that we see in he game industry, and arguably a great deal of, let's say, late capitalist commodity production: an abundance of goods, intensified competition, methods of rapid distribution that allow and indeed encourage consumers to switch to new products quickly. Basically, in other words, I think 90's wads (and games more generally) had the historically specific luxury of being able to demand more of the player--not so much in terms of difficulty, obviously, but in terms of figuring things out and potentially confronting "bad" gameplay experiences on the way to making discoveries about how one *could* play. (Sandy's sandbox maps are an especially good illustration of this specific kind of demanding gameplay imho.) Not only could designers get away with creating experiences like this, but these experiences may have been fun then in a way they can't really fully be now in the late 2010s.
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