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About LVENdead

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  1. LVENdead

    Hydrosphere (6 level Boom mapset) RC4

    Ran thru these on UV and they were a lot of fun. Surprisingly I didn't die on any of the maps but there were a few dicey situations where I came close. I love how the maps are relatively simple in terms of scope but manage to make really efficient use of the space with loop backs and what not, and how detailed they are visually and geometrically. They look absolutely fantastic and are very fun to navigate through - they really do a great job of pulling you along. I have been out of the Doom sphere for months (and shooters in general) and this one was actually a great mapset to dust off the cobwebs. The pacing is very upbeat and often times frantic without being overwhelming, and the fights strike a good balance of being a reasonable difficulty while still providing lots of crunch and not being boring.
  2. LVENdead

    Arceon - Boom compatible mapset (now on idgames!)

    I just finished up this WAD and it was pretty great. I think you definitely succeeded in creating a very detailed interconnected set of maps. There has been a lot of competition for great use of OTEX recently and this definitely contends with the best of them; but it really stands out on its own thanks to the actual structure of the maps and overall gameplay. The levels flow very well from area to area and arena to arena, and there's a delightful amount of overlap to and transformation of older areas. I like that there's an overall consistent look that still manages to maintain enough variety to give each map its own style. The combat has a lot of good incidental fighting that effectively makes use of the level geometry themselves and item placement to give players plenty of reason to move around areas nonlinearly to kite enemies, recover resources, take shelter, and counterattack. The arenas stack up deadly hordes but give you plenty of decisions to make with the use of hazards and again the placement of resources. This WAD also has some of the most dastardly use of Pain Elementals I've seen in a while and they effectively pissed me off in basically every fight they appeared (the best way to use them, imo). I love how things ramped up toward the end, and I think the last couple of levels were my favorites (although Map 05 did feel like a slog at times taking out all the perched/sniper enemies). The final "actual" map is grandiose in scale, punishing in difficulty, and dense enough with gameplay to feel like an actual final struggle. I love the last map too...of course it kind of reminds me of the endings of BTSX1 and 2, but it's a great vignette to just kind of reflect for a moment at the conclusion of the set after everything you put the player through. Bravo, fantastic work with this one.
  3. I finally finished up this WAD tonight, and I have to say it's just such an impressive experience all around. Visually, it's one of my favorite WADS I've played this year - I was utterly delighted by SOMETHING in every map, be it the overall theme, some kind of serene vista, the absolutely dense detailing, or just a lush color combination. The muted red palette goes a really long way here too. Of course, the use of OTEX really ties it together into a tight package, it's bursting with something interesting to see around every corner, but it doesn't really seem like it lives or dies on OTEX - it's really the masterful usage of the texture pack in tandem with everything else that defines how this WAD looks. I love each of the episodes, but I can't decide if I like 2 or 3 better. I think The Reality Binder is easily the best and most impressive map in the set and it's kind of surprising you don't end the WAD itself with something equally grandiose. The multidimensional romp with the slaughterfest in the center is just such a high-octane ride that I don't think is matched at any other point, including the final fight. On the other hand, I love the "reality is melting" theme of episode 3, and I only wish it leaned harder into it. You seem to have a knack for selling it in your design (the doorways in the voids that look like portals to other worlds are just so much fun, I never get tired of the gimmick in any game) and I would have loved to see you go nuts with it. The music is also fantastic. I love how several of them weren't afraid to meander into something a bit unexpected, such as the jazzy woodwinds in Black Mountain (are those saxophones? clarinets? I don't know my classical instruments by ear :P), and each of them was interesting and gnarly enough to provide some great, energetic mood without getting old hearing on repeat. I realized that the MIDIs appear to be identical to the high quality tracks? I'm curious how you accomplished this - did you import the MIDI inputs from your DAW into a midi composition program or something (or vice versa)? I do think if I had a true critique, it'd be that most of the fight setups are room-to-room/incidental fighting and isolated setpiece arenas, and I would have liked there to be a few more more interconnected spaces with roaming monsters. I didn't find much of the combat TOO challenging, and the latter maps were just so flush with resources that it seemed more like a matter of not getting cornered and blasted down than managing my health or ammo over the course of the fight. But hey, I think it should be telling that most of my "critique" of this WAD is just of wishlist of things I would have loved even more, like some kind of Doom glutton. It'd be like getting a juicy cheeseburger with crispy bacon on it and saying it'd be even better with caramelized onions.
  4. LVENdead

    Dread Factory (First time OTEX!)

    This was a pretty fun map and it looks great! It's an interesting use of OTEX and overall detailing - it seems like a halfway point between classic-styled "good looking" maps and ultra detailed modern maps. Lots of use of border textures and thoughtful sector detailing, but you're not going so into it that you're making complex sector patterns on the floors or making each overhanging lightbulb its own unique sector like you might expect in a more modern-style map using this texture pack. I like it. The layout and progression were pretty interesting for a linear map that's this size. It's a very straightforward journey, but rather than be a sequence of hallways and rooms, it's like a sequences of nice-medium sized "internally" interconnected areas that all connect to each other one after another. I definitely was expecting some degree of backtracking at the outset, just based on how the map "presents itself" but it's not really a negative in this case. I think there is a tipping point where linear maps get to be too long and start to feel like a slog, but this one is over before you get to that point. I think that's helped a lot by how there's a good amount of exploring/looping in each of the mini areas themselves. I like a lot of the fight construction; the few traps were definitely the best parts. Outside of dying a couple times to the ambush near the berserk secret, and once during the last fight, I didn't find it to be very difficult at all. It almost makes me curious to know what my experience would be with the first version you posted. Good stuff, I definitely enjoyed it.
  5. I'm still working on this WAD but maaan these are some nice looking maps. I love the theme for MAP03 - the palette swap just gives it such a unique and lush aesthetic. Map 04 has such an immense scale to it, it has the perfect skybox. It feels every bit as vertical as it strives to look. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of these so far. EDIT: Just also wanted to add that the soundtrack is pretty stellar.
  6. Iterating from blocking out the space to designing the visual aesthetic. I map slowly, so these screenshots are WEEKS apart.






    1. Biodegradable


      Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh... :^)

    2. sectrslayr


      😗 Nice! What grid size do you usually use for „blocking“?

    3. LVENdead


      @sectrslayr I don't think I stick to one specifically but it's usually one of the larger grid sizes. I could probably stand to learn from some more seasoned/efficient mappers because I'm sure there are many good habits I'm not even aware would be beneficial to have. 

  7. LVENdead

    The End (now on ID games)

    This happened to me as well. It was highly amusing.
  8. LVENdead

    Verdant Hollow - a single map wad

    This is pretty good for a first map! I had a ton of fun playing it and I love the all green theme. The traps and transformations kept the map feeling dynamic which is something you don't often see in first published maps. It wasn't particularly difficult, but I thought the fights were fairly well designed and quite a bit of fun. I never get tired of blasting imp hordes with the rocket launcher, but I also wouldn't mind a bit more variety. I think I agree with @Degree23 in there's a few areas that could stand to be filled with more monsters given how open they are, especially after you get the BFG. At the point you drop down into the final area, which is admittedly grand with its own sort of spectacle, I kind of expect to have to spam the BFG to cut through an absolute regiment of opposition. Something that leaves me covered in gallons of viscera. But overall, it's quite engaging and a good time.
  9. I flood filled most of this and now it's my waking nightmare.



  10. LVENdead

    The End (now on ID games)

    It's the helmet of the character Siegmeyer from Dark Souls
  11. LVENdead

    The End (now on ID games)

    This is such a charming map. My favorite part was teaming up with the baby caco. My least favorite part was when he died :( I found 3 of the secrets - lol I'm so bad at finding them. It drove me crazy trying to figure out what the flesh switch under the stairs did, I never figured out what it did. I also love the idea that you made a mirror version of this map. Did you really design it as Map 2 and then just decide to reverse the progression, or was this the whole idea from the start? Edit: I would like a whole adventure of maps with the baby caco please.
  12. LVENdead

    Tricked and Trapped - Mapset

    I've been finding time here and there to play these maps this week and I finally finished up the last one this evening. I just haven't had the stamina for extended sessions of Doom the past few months, but these maps are great digestible chunks and none really outstays its welcome. You always make great use of the OTEX pack and your levels are visually interesting in their own right. These maps definitely feel like sequels to Festering Cesspool, except I found each of them a little bit less "choking" if that makes sense. There was something about that one map that just made you feel...I dunno...like you were literally trudging through a grueling cesspool, what with the winding corridors and traps at basically every turn. These maps are more of the same, except maybe a bit lighter on the touch? Either way, they make for a very fun adventure/funhouse style of map that keeps you on your toes expecting the next ambush without really feeling too much like a slog. There was a decent amount of variety in each of the maps while still maintaining this consistent theme and style. Map 3 was the most distinct for me, with the wonderfully designed central area. I think overall...maybe I would love to see more experimentation from map to map in a pack like this one? But given that you can finish these in...I dunno an hour or two of continuous play...(?) that it's not like I'm just finishing the last map out of obligation to some sunk cost. I really enjoyed my time with these.
  13. Just wanted to pop in and say I played through this earlier today. This map is a lot of fun; it's action packed the whole way through, and never feels like a slog despite its higher monster count. As with your previous maps, I love how frequently the map transforms and loops back on itself, often recycling/recontextualizing old arenas in an "escalating" fashion. The styling of this map is great and a lot different than your previous techbase themed maps. The detailed natural look mixed with "hell fortress" and the consistent use of liquids is great. I love how each area emphasizes the color of the key you're hunting to give each one its own theme without violating any kind of overall consistency. I liked most of the encounters as well. I think my favorite path was for the green key with just how open it was and how the main arena gets reused multiple times with new mixes of monsters. I ran through the blue path first which was probably the hardest one, and of course the blue key fight is a LITTLE bogus but not undoable if you take some risks; but I think maybe ONE weakness of this hub and spoke type of design is that it kind of gets easier as you progress through the level, since each path seems to be balanced from possibly being approached from pistol start. The final area - I love the spectacle of it, but I think it really lets the finale down. I played what seems to be a different version than the recordings posted, and I'm not really sure how you're supposed to survive with revenant homing rockets, cyberdemon rockets, baron projectiles, and like 30 dark imp projectiles at any given moment in such a small space. I ended up just turning on god mode and finishing it up b/c it didn't seem like a fair or fun challenge. I'm assuming you tested it and it's doable in some way, but I didn't have the patience to dissect the proper way to do it. Overall I really enjoyed it and walked away with only a few minor nitpicks. It's a shame you didn't get more of a response to this when you released it, because this is an enjoyable map I think most Doom players will enjoy.
  14. Wow, you thoroughly dismantled this map and made it looks easy! Nice run, and glad you enjoyed it.
  15. Here's a playthrough of your map: Sorry, I recorded this video like 2 weeks ago but I was legitimately too lazy to post it lol. I'm really digging the aesthetic of this map. And as I've said a lot recently, I'm very surprised this thread hasn't gotten more response. I love the style you're going for in these two maps, and they manage to use OTEX wholly without feeling like they owe their identities to the texture pack if that makes sense. Since it's not as fresh on my mind, I don't have as much to say about the gameplay in this post, so I apologize that you may have to sift through the video if you want some actual feedback. I can say definitively that I enjoyed it though.