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Everything posted by LVENdead

  1. LVENdead

    Fool's Penance: SinglePlayer TNT Map

    In retrospect it's really obvious given how close it is to the bars, but I think I would still say this: probably best to make it in a way that the player CAN'T possibly physically press the switch to mark that they should shoot it. Like if it's recessed into the wall a couple of feet, I'll know there's no way to activate it without shooting it. Hope you get to see L again soon!
  2. @Clippy Looking at your Performance tab in your Task Manager might also be helpful for diagnostic. . Maybe load up GZDoom and your recording software and then Ctrl Alt Delete to look at the Task Manager to see how your system is performing. If CPU, Memory, or GPU are getting close to maxing out while you're trying to play and record, then that can indicate a problem. If not, then we can cross some things off the list. I mean it looks almost totally smooth on the YT video. How does the game play when you are NOT trying to record?
  3. LVENdead

    Fool's Penance: SinglePlayer TNT Map

    I gave this map a playthrough and recorded it with commentary: This was an enjoyable, more "classic" style map. I took a look at the automap early on, so perhaps you won me over with some sentimentality :) Despite having what you called an arbitrary layout, I thought it made an effective adventure. The pacing is spot on for a map with 300+ monsters (I've been going through AV again and man, some of those maps are a SLOG) which is always appreciated - maybe that new SMG, which is a welcome addition, does a lot of the heavy lifting there. I thought the combat was engaging and well thought out, and even though most of the traps were predictable, I still was surprised by other elements of the map frequently enough that it was overall intriguing to wonder what's beyond the next locked door. It was pretty easy overall, but I'm glad you didn't use the tight spaces and high monster count to be overly cruel or punishing. Overall a pretty enjoyable experience that I think most people will agree is worth the time spent.
  4. @Clippy based on the model of the laptop you indicated, it seems like it should be substantially beefy to play GZDoom and record without much performance hiccup. Can you compare how the gameplay feels when you record vs when you don't record at all? That would help establish a baseline for troubleshooting. If your performance is equal when you record vs don't record, then it might be a combination of your hardware and GZDoom settings. If it's DIFFERENT when you record vs don't record, then it could point to your hardware struggling to keep up with the additional task, or maybe the recording software you use needing to be configured properly. Personally, the video you posted looks fine, but if there is a difference between the smoothness of the video, and the smoothness of your actual playing experience, then that's something to look into. With your mouse and keyboard, are they bluetooth or just regular wireless? I've personally never had great luck playing shooters with wireless mouse + kb. There could be a number of simpler things at play here, from signal interference, to even low batteries being the culprit. But it could also be something at the software/driver level - I'd say this is going to be hard to diagnose with a bunch of strangers over the internet ;) You might check to make sure you've got up to date drivers for your laptop model, looks like Acer has a page where you can plug in your serial or model # and check for updated drivers. Additionally, you might consider some alternative software for recording. OBS Studio is a solid alternative, but it's not quite "plug and play" so you'd have to do a little setting up. Trying to determine how performance is affected by comparing these different "components" will go a long way in helping others help diagnose the root cause of why it's not up to par with your previous laptop.
  5. LVENdead

    Arcane Archive: Another standalone map.

    It's going to absolutely be mostly a matter of people's preference. Personally I think you're allowed to make whatever map you want, especially if it's a one-off. You did incorporate the difficulties for a reason. And I think the chainsaw kind of tows the line, again, as a mandatory find, but you can also argue "Well that's the point of playing the map multiple times. If you want to beat it on UV, you might need to practice it or beat it on a lower difficulty first." I also need to point out, I did not even realize there was a SSG in this map until I came back and looked at this thread. That's one big reason this map felt very Doom 1 to me, even with the presence of some Doom 2 monsters.
  6. I recorded a video playthrough of your map with some commentary: I very much enjoyed this map. I'm sure it's no surprise to hear that it's absolutely gorgeous which is always a huge motivation for me to explore and engage with a map. I like how you've gone for this sort of "alternate plane" setting that is neither Hell nor Earth nor Techbase, yet still remains ominous and unholy looking. CC4 always gives me Quake vibes, and this map certainly leans into that aesthetic in places in my opinion. The combat is energetic and at times chaotic, but you give the player plenty of ammo to deal with the challenge and don't really skimp on the weaponry. I like that you wisely use ammo itself as a motivator for the player to move around the arena as much as they would to avoid enclosing monsters, and I never really felt like the balance was either too generous or too miserly. Just the right fit. Of course, I'm sure some players are going to say this map leans heavily towards the slaughter-y, but I didn't think that too much the case until the last fight, especially with what would be a very low monster count for that type of map. I do feel like there were a few noteworthy fights that kind of felt samey, between the consistent use of pinkies +imps, or the "maze of crates" setting for the arenas. The last fight is a sharp shift in difficulty, but I didn't feel like it was outside the character of the map leading up to it. I'm not amazing at slaughter stuff, so I caught the majority of my deaths here, but I still felt like it was a doable challenge that required some good crowd management and some ballsy gambits to survive. Overall, the map has a perfect stopping point where it avoids beginning to feel like a slog, and those transgressions of "sameyness" don't really stack up too high to detract from the total experience.
  7. LVENdead

    Arcane Archive: Another standalone map.

    Gave this a play a few minutes ago. Managed 99% k, 33% s, 0 deaths. It was a pretty challenging map but somehow I managed to keep it together for a deathless run. I can see the point of anyone who complains about resources, but at the same time the map is almost entirely open and gives you plenty of alcoves to duck into so you can play cat and mouse with the different demons. I relied heavily on infighting, and the chainsaw is almost essential; I think it's good that the secret is very easy to find. Without it I would have probably felt a lot different about this map because I already felt like there was barely enough ammo, and I ended up chainsawing basically every pinkie/spectre and even multiple cacos. The arch-viles only serve to further put the squeeze on the player's resources, so I could absolutely see someone who runs out of ammo on this map. The map did a good job of overall feeling like one large arena made of a variety of interconnected spaces. Each one had a distinct look to it without violating any kind of visual consistency. It reminded me a lot of a combination of elements from E2M6 and E2M7. The lighting does a lot of heavy lifting and contributes to a nice aesthetic. I also like how you managed to incorporate degrees of verticality into the map while retaining its cramped feeling, and gave good opportunities for the cacos to really shine as pursuit enemies. I thought the cyberdemon encounter was interesting as a quick little puzzle. Maybe some would consider it underwhelming? But at the same time, it would be such a shift if you had decided "okay now it's time to give the player a bunch of ammo and weapons and make them actually fight this thing." And besides, for me the real "boss" was the archie that spawns near the exit at the end and starts resurrecting monsters. I'm impressed by the speed at which you crank out consistently good maps. There are certainly some detracting points, but so far none of them has any major showstopping flaws or glaring examples of rushed or careless mapping. Whatever your process is, it's pretty good.
  8. Here's my video playthrough of the map with some commentary/critique: I think this is a fun little map that maybe feels like it plays it a bit too safe. I like the construction and detailing, which is something you certainly have a good eye for. I might echo some other sentiments shared about the lighting - the implementation of it is good, in that there's nice contrast between light and dark areas, but you probably could stand to try more detailed shading especially if the mood is important to you. As an example, consider how this area might look with some lighting details: I just figured this might be especially relevant since you mentioned the lonely mood in your post and I assume you had a specific feel you were going for. Gameplay wise, it's definitely more engaging to explore than it is to fight through. The combat isn't bad at all, it's just not overtly exciting. On the other hand, there's a nice contrast between closed and more open areas that allows the combat to feel consist without feeling too samey throughout. I think the deployment of most of the heavier enemies falls a bit flat, with the two mancubi, and the archie you meet after finding the blue key to be particularly of note. I still enjoyed my time playing the map and I certainly wasn't bored during anything. Nothing about this map outstays its welcome. I make some critique about the switches and secrets in the video, and that would probably be my next biggest thing to point out. Other than that though, I liked this map and I hope to see more from you!
  9. Rowdy Rudy II: Powertrip I'm super excited to get into this one. As I did with the last WAD, I'll be playing on expert, pistol starting, and going saveless as long as I can. MAP 01: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 100%k/s Powertrip is an aptly chosen subtitle, because this WAD is way different in feel than its prequel, and this is evident right off the bat. Powertrip immediately sets you up with a very useful weapon, plenty of ammo, some wide open spaces, and a lot of fodder to blast. You feel like a fucking monster in this WAD. One of the most fundamental changes the WAD makes is making weapon swapping almost instant, which alters Doom's cadence so substantially that it does more I think to give this sequel its distinct flavor than any of the weapon changes do. With that, you'd think this would carry over the former's focus on tight resource management to encourage frequent weapon swapping, but that's not really the case here. Weapon swapping absolutely has its value in rationing your ammo, but it's not mandatory anymore, and instead gives you much more discretion over your situational use of the weapons. The first map is a nice introduction. I like how how we're going with this jungle mountain (I finally read the backstory text) setting that really contributes toward this clandestine feel to the whole setup. This map does a great job at convincingly setting up an infiltration mission, from the way you have to scale up the cliffs and drop into the base, to the "secret" location of the blue key card. It's very good environmental storytelling. I like that we've switched from the variant HD textures and gone with something that more resembles IWAD or CC4 textures. You get a fun (re)introduction to the altered monster roster, with the psycho imp being a neat standout. The map still fights back with some teeth, and hopes you're ready to put the beefier weapons to use. The hitscanners are going to continue being a problem in this WAD, and this map isn't afraid to let you know that. The standout moment for me is of course the berserk + invuln rampage you get at the end. I just wish I had more baddies to kill! Great way to start this WAD off. MAP 02: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 100%k/s This map settles you back down a bit. It's an absolute famine of health, and there's hitscanners galore, so you better be ready. I love the use of verticality, which does a lot to mix up this otherwise fairly visually basic map. Our buddy the toxicaco returns, but you can quickly turn him into mince with the automatic shotgun. This thing is an absolute beast, and firmly plants itself in the regular rotation, even after you start to find the SSG in later maps. I found the the RL guy ambush a bit lame, mostly because the setup is just a square arena you circle strafe from a bunch of homing projectiles in. But at least it's over pretty quick. That might be one of the major strengths of this WAD getting start; everything is bite-sized enough that even things that aren't really as interesting don't stick around for long enough to turn them into dead weight on the experience. A map that, while punishing of early mistakes, is not too tough overall. It's a perfect way to establish the pulse while taking you into Map 03. Quick Edit: Goin' Down the Fast Way. Hell yeah. Get it. MAP 03: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 100%k, 17% s (oof!) I love this map. It's very easy to make a boring tech base, but this is absolutely not one of them. I'm a big fan of how the areas remain separated yet connected and open to one another that makes the space feel continuous rather existing as a sequence of hallways and rooms. You get a lot of ammo and a lot of enemies to blast in this map, with some fun ambushes and nice introductions to deadlier monsters. You also get your first taste of the RL and the Chaingun. The RL feels pretty close to stock, but being able to switch to it quicker + its quicker rate of fire turns an already beefy weapon into an absolute prime cut. And of course, I love the upgraded Chaingun. Anything that makes me reminisce about the SCG from Valiant gets a thumbs up in my book. The introduction of the Archie is barely a noteworthy moment with how savagely you can destroy him with anything from the new arsenal. Rowdy Rudy's Revenge this WAD is not. This is the first map in the WAD so far where I feel like the visual detailing really stands out. The previous two maps were perhaps more quaint and functional in their style, but this one goes to a lot of trouble to craft with some finer strokes, and it's definitely appreciate. Between the texturing and the actual geometry, this map is interesting to look at and explore. The interconnected areas give you some fun combat experiences and opportunities to put each weapon into good use. There are more wide open areas that either stretch out or look into each other where the RL and assault rifle shine, and then closer quarters with tight ambushes where the CG or SG are effectively brought to bare. Its certainly a map that understands the arsenal. Absolutely solid map that does a lot to make a case for this WAD's setup as a whole. I really want to keep playing, and I just might. I could always use an excuse to play through the maps again to do my daily writeups...
  10. So I'll preface this by saying I'm not defending the quality of this element, only describing the intent. This being a relatively simple (non)"trap" is on purpose. Anyone who runs carelessly into the room is bound to get popped a couple of times in the back by the formers, but otherwise they make for some nice fodder to blast, and provide a brief distraction for anyone who doesn't happen to see the spectres sneak up on them. It's a very low-threat encounter. It's not my intent to make every surprise something deadly. Sometimes the surprise is just a nice cluster of monsters to blow away. Respectfully, I feel like that trap is pretty well telegraphed, it might as well have a sign that says "this is absolutely a trap". Outside of that, the encounter is balanced around vanilla Doom, which I feel is very easy for a "key trap", and I don't really make considerations for mods when balancing anything. Between the chainsaw, berserk you can find in a secret, and the possibility that the player has the chaingun, but at least has the shotgun with a minimum of 40 shells (there are two boxes in that room on UV), along with the amount of room you can kite the monsters around with and the ability to get the spectres to try to infight the cacos, I don't think it's an unreasonable encounter. Now, is it fun/not boring? That's a completely different matter. But I am well aware of how absurdly difficult Brutal Doom (and its family of offshoots) can make WADS. I played through Alien Vendetta in Project Brutality. It was fucking bonkers. I'm not really sure what you mean by this. The purpose is that you get the key there and then you leave, unless you meant something else by that observation. I mean I don't really think that's a very unreasonable way to incorporate a blocking line, but at the same time I don't think your point is invalid. I could potentially alter the geometry to make the jump visually appear impossible. Thank you for playing, I appreciate your thoughtful feedback and you giving it a chance :) ------- This is probably the clearest piece of evidence that this map had an initial concept that later changed slightly when I came back to it. The original setpiece there had a much "deeper" outside area (it extended back much further toward an actual building) and it was filled with a bunch of former humans and it was basically just a fun encounter to blow up some fodder monsters with the rocket launcher. When I came back to it, I scrapped that and gave the fight some actual teeth, because it's not just leading to another map, the WAD is "over" after. Because I wasn't going to alter giving the player the RL, I tried to consider what else would be fun to blow up with rockets but at the same time make something a bit challenging (that's why the pain elementals are there, b/c lost souls are the perfect counter to the RL). I certainly understand the argument that it's an unexpected and perhaps unfair change in difficulty (something I'm still learning to balance, this is only the 4th map I've published). I personally never thought it was very difficult of a fight, but I guess if you are playing blind it probably comes across as a bit harder of a slap than I considered. Anyway, I'm not trying to diminish or dismantle your critique, only explaining some elements of my thought process. I appreciate you giving it a playthrough all the same and I welcome the feedback, as I absolutely do consider pain points that people note when I look toward my next projects.
  11. Alright, I've got some catching up to do. MAP 10: Expert, pistol start, not saveless, 87% k, 0 s I just have to get this disclaimer out of the way right now: my feelings about this map are entirely colored by emotion and I don't have a lot of nice things to say about it. I have a very positive impression about this WAD as a whole, but this map is a black mark in my opinion. I just absolutely can't stand it and I got so fed up that I ended up saving just to beat it and get it over with. I think the hot start is fine, it started to get tedious after I did it for like the 20th time, but that's at least more a reflection of my own skill than its design. I hated the Plutonia-grade chaingunner stacking inside the castle, just vantage points everywhere and the only good strategy I had was very meticulous shotgun sniping. Any time I tried to just run and gun I got absolutely assblasted. I somehow died during the platforming beyond the Red Skull door on my first run, which was going very well until then. Just ran right into the lava. I was mad at myself, but I was also mad that I had no way out of a mandatory platforming section and my run was scrubbed. The room beyond that, I mean it's a little bogus but it's not EGREGIOUSLY so. But the real meat of my frustration is the actual IoS fight. I find them obnoxious and antithetical to the Doom experience, and I dislike them more the more complicated they get. This one - so many switches, so many platforms, so many flying (and infinitely tall) enemies. Obstacles everywhere. I mean yeah, once you know where you're going it's not too hard to maneuver, but on a first run it's just completely nonsensical. Standing on the final platform ready to shoot my BFG into the eye....and the ball flies into the floor because my autoaim tracked a Pinky at the base of the platform. And then the second shot. And then about 5 of my rockets. And I was actually killed by a pyro caco, but to my delight a final rocket did make it's way into Romero's head and I still won even though I was dead. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. This map frustrated me to to no end and I apologize I chose to be so candid about it here. OKAY LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PROJECT AS A WHOLE This is such a charming little WAD, and I have a massive amount of respect for Doomkid for the amount of work that must have gone into a passion project like this. Despite points where I may have criticized or flat out complained about things, I have an overall positive feeling about this project. I think Doomkid shows a knack for invoking the feel of classic Doom while allowing himself to effectively iterate on it, as seen in the revised monsters and weapon. It feels like it was intended to conspicuously play a bit differently than classic Doom - I found myself wall-peaking and "dissecting" combat encounters much more frequently than if I'd played some other Doom WADS. For instance, the Shotgunners have JUST enough health to commonly go from a 1 shot to a 2 shot kill, and that makes them substantially deadlier in almost any scenario, given the scant access to power weapons. The WAD as a whole just feels like it hits harder than classic Doom, and some levels were freaking tough even with most having fewer than 100 monsters. As a challenge, I actually appreciated getting a chance to practice saveless given that there was a low cost of starting over. I think this was a fantastic proof of concept, and a pretty good standalone WAD. - - - But it DOESN'T stand alone, because up next is Rowdy Rudy 2, and I am absolutely excited to jump back into it. I played it a few weeks ago (up to about map 10) on my cell phone with a bluetooth XB1 controller because I was kicked out of the office while my fiancee had late night international meetings for like a week straight. I was straining my eyes to focus on what the hell was going on, and I played it on Hard with saves, but I was having a blast. So yeah, I want to give it another go on expert, attempting saveless as long as I can, and on a screen I can actually see.
  12. The custom textures I used came from the OTEX pack by ukiro. They are the same textures used in Eviternity. It's a feature of UDMF format maps called "global sector color". It basically applies a colored tint to everything and everyone in a particular sector. ---- My previous maps are a lot harder than this one, and only Aspect of Daedalus actually has difficulty implemented in monster and item placement. I think you'd like Aspect though if you like the marriage of iWAD + modern textures, although it's made in Boom format so there's no fancy sector lighting or anything. Then between the other two maps, one is completely stock textures (my first map) and the other completely OTEX (the second). I'm absolutely planning on it ;)
  13. Well hot damn, really appreciative of the feedback so far everyone! Let me just go through some of this. @Salmon @dei_eldren Glad you found the ammo balance and difficulty in a good spot. It's always the toughest thing to get right, and I certainly was careful to try and keep it "Map 01 reasonable" levels of difficulty whilst not committing to either a total famine or a total glut of resources. Also glad you noted it still feels like classic Doom, as that's what I was going for. I love maps that fully commit to a modern look, but I always find it charming when a map can get a little modern without compromising the classic Doom quality. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! @Biodegradable it's an honor as always, love the video! "I don't have a berserk...don't know what I'm doing." Funny enough, there actually is a berserk in an early secret you missed. Was also pretty amusing watching you go for that soul sphere (sorry about the soft lock!), especially because you explored the other side of that platform and I was expecting you to immediately go to check the other side, but then you jumped down instead :P "Pulled the rug out from under me ya bastard!" Hah, I mean I was technically telling the truth from a relative perspective ;) Plus, having a panicked reaction to a situation going tits up is kind of your schtick, couldn't deny you the opportunity to include it in a video Thanks for playing buddy! @Clippy Canadian winters sound harsh, eff all that cold! Glad you were able to find an alternative to start your morning with this map. "Why aren't I dead yet?" Funny, I ask myself this same question every morning before I get out of bed. You almost found the secret berserk near the beginning. I mean like you did everything EXCEPT walk up to the door you opened, you even identified where the secret was and humped the wall that opened it up. "Oh nooooooo." Oops, I COMPLETELY forgot about that soft lock, which of course I identified very early during testing and then forgot to circle back to. Will fix it in an update. Much obliged for the video, always fun to watch. "Good times" ;) @MattFright @LouigiVerona Cheers everyone and thanks for playing!!
  14. MAP 09: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 99% k, 50% s Well this map is pretty mean, and not necessarily in a way that I like. I surprisingly beat it on my second try. The first 3/4 of it is just kind of careful room-to-room base clearing, with a few interesting fights, but some of it is feeling pretty routine at this point. The only time I died, one of the toxicacos TP'd into the post-yellow key room and I literally had no way of avoiding him when I teleported in myself. Then there's the teleport fight later in the map... I mean, on one hand, it certainly telegraphs that, yes, you probably know what's on the other side of this teleporter, given that you see the cyberdemon ahead of time. On the other hand, I really dislike teleports that just dump you into the middle of an ambush where you have no real chance of knowing what's awaiting you. I was very surprised to see not one, but two cyberdemons, with a gaggle of barons conveniently encircling the second one. I had found the secret BFG earlier and put my back to everything-not-a-cyberdemon and was very fortunate enough to DPS him down before I got pelted too badly. I dropped back down to the cave and allowed infighting to give me a serious upper hand on the second cyberdemon. Ultimately, it's not that bad of a trap, especially because there aren't hitscanners perched up (that I remember), but I still didn't really like it. My experience with the map was 75% grindy, careful combat, a little opportunity to open it up once you get the super shotty, and then a serious trap that can really spoil a run if you don't handle it well. I don't want to seem like I'm dogging on this map, it just wasn't for me. I do like how the stakes have really increased the past few maps, and this one doesn't break that stride. Maybe in retrospect, it'll feel like an appropriate penultimate map, but on its own I've definitely preferred other maps in this WAD so far.
  15. @HAK3180 unless I'm very mistaken, archies can resurrect gibbed monsters.
  16. LVENdead

    Dumping Ground: a small map made of actual trash.

    No video this time, but wanted to chime in and say this one was pretty fun. I think I'll just reiterate what others have said - nothing groundbreaking, but still interesting and engaging all the same. I found it pretty easy (beat it on UV without saving or dying), but with enough of a pulse that I had to stay on my toes. I actually like the setting quite a bit, with the skybox doing great work at making this feel like a sunset industrial environment. In some ways it kind of reminded me of a level from the game Dusk - giving you quite a few monsters to kill in a relatively small amount of real estate, an identifiable progression that has exploration possibilities, and a minimalist approach to creating a convincing "realistic" location. Despite there being no actual trash texture in the stock Doom 2 set, I can see exactly what you were going for. Great for a quick "get myself out of this funk" exercise, very good for a map in general. EDIT: Also to quickly note, I found the RL secret you reveal when walking across that one line def. Helped that I cleared out the area and could hear it when I was exploring.
  17. MAP 08: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 100% k, 66% s Alright then. You were complaining about not getting to shoot enough, so with this map, I hope you're ready to put up or shut up. Damn was it tough, and I took a very fair share of deaths before I got it together. The progression includes cycling back to old areas multiple times, and with each new iteration, the stakes raise with deadlier enemies spawning. As usual, infighting is the best tool at your disposal, but this time it's not to mitigate a lack of ammunition, but more to just be able to manage the heat. Aggression is rewarded as often as it is punished, and you'll need the wherewithal to know which is warranted room to room. By the end, you're stocked with heavy ammo and you'll be challenged to use it. The double archie + cybie enclosure that taunts you the whole map ended up being perhaps way more manageable than it had any right to be on my winning run. What I didn't expect was the SECOND archie + cybie trap guarding the exit. The former, I had located the BFG secret and managed to DPS down the major threats. The latter, I relied on the infighting + archie rezzing the barons until cybie # 2 took him out, and then pitifully shot him with the chaingun in between the bars. What do you want from me, I'm trying to do this without saving! Overall, I was much more engaged with this map from top to bottom. The combat is brutal but punchy, with a plethora of both deadly enemies and ammo to fight back against them. The layout was very interesting, with an adroitly economical use of space and re-treading, and the adventure was never short on surprises. This map is easily the best of the bunch so far.
  18. MAP 07: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 94% k, 50% s I should have known those demon maggots booby trapped the UAC! The Water World track always makes me think of a struggle. It's not exactly a heavy song, but it has an elevated pace, and it elicits this feeling of trying to claw your way out of something. So it was a perfect fit for this frantic map. Damn this one was tough, it took me about 10 solid tries to get a good start. Once again, I found it best to just grab the guns and start running past the monsters. Every attempt where I tried to whittle my way through the pyro cacos and grunts ended in total failure, but I had the most luck grabbing the SSG, blasting at least one rocket guy, and getting up the lift as fast as possible. There were a couple BS areas where enemies could congregate right at the base of something I needed to jump off from, making it very difficult to shoot at or see or really do anything other than guess that I'd killed enough of them. At least two of my deaths were to the plasma troops at the drop right below the plasma gun pickup. Not a big fan of that, but I imagine it's more a fault of Doom's AI than any specific intent of Doomkid's to design the area that way. The squeeze of ammo scarcity really starts to hurt in this map. The new monsters all have a moment to shine as well. Everything you've been overlooking as "not as bad as I was anticipating" comes back to haunt you. Specifically, the plasma gunners I talked shit about a few posts ago kicked my ass multiple times. The pyro cacos are tanky and relentless. Even the nightmare imps manage to catch you off guard. This is certainly the first map that undoubtedly justifies the alterations to the monster roster beyond the conceit of "it's cool and different." It also firmly entrenches the WAD in its scarce resource gameplay flavor. By now, you're either in or out, and there are no more concession to be made to those on the fence. Visually, I like the dark ominous skybox, and that's about all that stands out. The visuals otherwise manage to continue to get by on the novelty of the textures, but not much effort has been made across the WAD as a whole to do anything distinct or inspiring; it's almost entirely serviceable. Again, this isn't always a bad thing, not every map needs to be Technicolor Antichrist Box, but when so much effort has gone into shaking up the vanilla formulas in the bestiary, weapons, and textures, it's surprising that the architectural design doesn't really want to poke its head out of the 90s. But hey, I'm just looking for things to critique at this point. This map has the teeth I've been looking for in this WAD. It put me in my place and made me respect all the things I was getting cocky about. EDIT: Just wanted to add that I was highly pleased to see these boys having a gaff
  19. Finally got around to Map 26 This map is pretty steadfast to rebuke the player at every opportunity. The early portions are stingy with ammo, the latter portions are dense with traps and tough monsters, and all the while it still manages to keep a well-paced flow. The use of ammo scarcity is a bit of a double edge sword, as it simultaneously motivates the player to push forward while also requiring players to be careful and economical. It's not really until you get a decent cache of rockets that I feel like the map picks up its pace, but it effectively maintains that pace when it gets there. Seems like you could be totally effed if you miss the rocket launcher, which is not technically on the critical path, even though you can circle back around eventually. The only thing I really majorly question is the pretty obtuse yellow key puzzle and the corresponding archie fight. You can see my attempts to decipher the puzzle a couple of times in the video, and then the way I anticipated the ambush vs how it played out. Honestly I'm kind of mixed about it - having such a tantalizing powerup in full display absolutely telegraphs how deadly the ambush is going to be, and yet even though I wasn't able to figure out how to get it, it really wasn't that deadly at all. So I guess I kind of feel the way you feel about putting exclusive weapons in secrets. If I'm going to need it then give it to me and if I won't then maybe why bother? Aside from that, I might also just suggest considering making the hitscanners stand out a bit more in a couple of places. The central area has a few snipers that just bushwhack you, it could be more interesting if the player is able to identify them a little easier just to give them a more noticeable decision to make. I always find action the most exciting when I can SEE that a deadly revenant or archie ambush is balanced by a group of deadly hitscanners and I KNOW I have to make a tough choice in what I attack first. On the other hand, if you popped those scanners like, on some ledge far behind me, and I didn't know they were there until I was being attacked by them, I would find that less interesting just because the first scenario creates some immediate drama. But man, on the whole this map is pretty legit. The layout and progression is very well thought out and makes great use of the whole "looping around through a main area" archetype. I think it's appropriately punishing for a map 26, and manages to avoid feeling like a slog even with 250+ monsters. I know the map I alpha tested is up next, and I guess that's it right? Means you need to pick up the pace and drop some more maps to play :P
  20. MAP 05: Expert, Pistol start, saveless, 100% k/50% s Starting this map off with a substantially higher monster count than previous ones, I was ready to do some blasting. This map manages to up the monster count while keeping alive a quality of the WAD as a whole: ammo management and weapon switching. The plasma rifle is first given to you in this map, and at first it seems like the perfect opportunity to use it to mow through the fluffed up horde numbers - but on the other hand, you know you're going to need to save it for the inevitable heavies in an ambush somewhere up ahead, and ammo of the other types isn't handed out so freely that you can just take them for granted. As a side note, I didn't realize how much I needed a RED plasma rifle until I hold the trigger down on this one. But back to my original point, I liked how often I found myself dumping about 10-15 cells into a heavy and then switching to a different weapon to finish them off. I like the idea of softening up the big boys before you take them down with a weaker weapon. Nightmare imps have some effective moments in this map. The other new monsters don't really shine all that much, with most of the grunt varieties just blending in with the crowds. On the other hand, plenty of opportunities for infighting with the monster distribution. It's in this map that I noticed that the toxic caco seems to be a little more tenacious than the stock version. The pyro caco at the end was perhaps almost entirely useless, given that he was a good 50 feet away from me and trying to use his little flamethrower belch, but oh well :P Overall this map had me on my toes, but it still wasn't too tough. It certainly felt like the first "test" of the WAD, with Maps 1-4 being like little homework assignments. I'm always pleased when I hear a Lee Jackson midi in a Doom map, but this might be one of my least favorite of his. No worries though, it lends to the overall feel of this WAD. MAP 06: Expert, pistol start, saveless, missed 1 kill, 0 secrets Here's a Lee Jackson midi that I really like. This is the first map that has killed me multiple times. I had to figure out the ideal way to execute the beginning, which for me was dropping to grab the shotty and armor, run out into the courtyard while avoiding the various enemies, doing a lap or two to rile up infighting, and then retreating back to the start. After I allowed time for the chaos to spread around, I had a good opportunity (and a lot more ammo) to pick off the enemies there at the start. The caco variants are used as effective pressure units and are really coming into their own. Doomkid really gave me an excuse to talk shit about the pyro caco in the last map so I could eat my words while he kicked my ass at the start of this map! Also, I realized just for the first time that ALL Revenant rockets are homing rockets in this WAD. So that was nice. And giving me 70 shells and the super shotty at the END of the map? Come on man, you are too cruel! Layout wise, I think I was not a big fan of the simplicity of this one. Just some bog standard "follow the path to get the key, backtrack to the locked door, rinse repeat to the exit." I think at this point I'm just starting to get a hankering for some more interesting arenas or fights with more structured use of the new monster roster. But I'm still greatly enjoying myself while I play this. Loading up Map 07 and hearing "Water World" begin playing...well, I may have a fondness for Lee Jackson, but let's just say the use of Bobby Prince's track (and possibly my favorite from DN3D) really has me intrigued about what comes next...
  21. As a thought, do you WANT the player to have to pace out consuming those resources in that area, or did you just put that many there to make the later fights fair? If you didn't intend to have the player need to have some restraint on those items, maybe you could figure out a way to put portions of them in little closets until the next fight in the area? Like maybe put a few of the medikits in the container the cyberdemon comes out of, or build a couple more structures LIKE that which also lower down at the same trigger to reveal the items.
  22. Here's my video + commentary of Perpetual Strife: I definitely like what you've been doing so far. You can focus on my nitpicks if you really want, but you're absolutely showing some nice stuff with this being your second published WAD. Maybe some takeaways would be related to visuals, and that I feel like a lot of the combat is like "80% there" and just needs to be dialed in a bit. Some of the fights are great, like the final setpiece, but others can be a bit hit or miss, like the room with just all chaingunners, or the way archies aren't super threatening in the fight after getting the blue key. That fight could be a great spot to pressure the player, but the horde of enemies kind of cluster together and are quick work with the RL, and the player doesn't have many other things to prioritize - even with the archies in there it's just a matter of "shoot the whole mass of them". This isn't like a critical flaw or anything, it's just more like, if you're gonna go for that fight, why not just crank it up a little more? You could put some pressure units up on perches, have cacos spawn in from the perimeter so they surprise you, you know whatever, give me something more to do than strafe around this horde and shoot at them. I think the arena plays into this a bit too, it's easy for the player to break line of sight. But I have a completely positive impression of the map at the end. I recall mentioning the potential for some of the combat to tip toward grindy after playing your first map, but this one didn't feel that way at all. It seems like you tried to make something intentionally different from your first map, and if that's the case then so far you seem to be executing these experiments pretty well. This feels like a map you'll be able to really dial in maybe after you've seen some playtests and collated some of the responses you've gotten. But that's just part of the process. Looking forward to the next one!
  23. MAP 04: Expert, pistol start, saveless, 100% k/s Another bite sized map. I really need to channel some Doomkid energy because every map I attempt to make balloons out of control into some massive endeavor. He certainly has a knack for making maps that are over in a pinch but have a good amount of substance to them regardless. Starting to really appreciate the new monsters. Love that even though the plasma marine (reminds me a little of the invisible alien guys from AA) and rocket guy could be about equally dangerous, their inclusion gives you choices about who you would prioritize, especially if there's some hitscanners in the mix. Maybe you personally do better against one type or the other and make a choice based on that. I still don't find any of them to be that particularly dangerous, but I feel like once we get a real fight where the rug gets pulled out, they'll find a way to mess me up. And even though his debut was a bit tepid, I'm already anticipating that pyro caco being pretty nasty if he catches you off guard. Even though I saw the monster count at the start, I was still surprised to see how short it was. I like that the level was a bit more open. It gives you a nice opportunity to run between the few major rooms though, and rile up some infighting, which I always love I was very pleased to see in this map. My only regret is that these maps are practically over before they start, and in the interest of keeping a good cadence, I'm only playing one per day. Otherwise I would have crammed this whole thing down by now.
  24. MAP03: Expert, pistol start, still saveless (for now), 85/87 kills, 0 secrets The chainsaw at the start is there for a reason. The burst rifle is serviceable for much of this level, but you can really take advantage of the chainsaw's hunger for meat to make quick work of some of the encounters. The SG ambush was pretty obvious and also low threat, just back out of the room and let infighting save you some shells. Dropping into the poison was a bit of an interesting "mini-challenge" since you want to grab the items and then kill the chaingunner in the pit as quickly as possible. I missed the berserk at the foot of the stairs the first time through, and I completely forgot about the blue key and never realized what it did until I loaded the level up again to see the secrets. The blue armor trap was also pretty obvious, I was able to escape even with the toxic caco popping in behind me. I guess I'm not too bummed Doomkid isn't twisting the screws TOO hard for Map 03 :) Most of the fighting feels like you are "carving your way" through this base, since most of the fights happen "in front of you". There aren't too many tactical considerations except "kill the guys blocking the path" and not much that really pushes you around, just mostly pushes back. All the ambushes happen at dead ends. I'm also thirsting for some REAL shotgun action by the end of this map. Design-wise, it's still a fairly typical techbase, but it's charming. Honestly, I've come to appreciate maps that can keep it fairly simple but still manage to be interesting. So far this WAD is more like an hors d'oeuvres tray rather than an entree of Doom maps, and I don't know about you but I can definitely fill up on cocktail sausages and bacon-wrapped jalapenos. Where am I going with this and why am I talking about food? I just mean, these maps are short and to the point - they don't try to do too much, they let the gameplay speak for itself, and they don't bother with wasting your time. In and out, let's see what else you got. Very much enjoying the WAD so far.