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Everything posted by LVENdead

  1. This honestly cracks me up and makes the whole thing feel justified now. I never thought I'd see something standout as "prankish" by an author in a DOOM map of all things, and yet here we are. Hilarious. I just got lucky that the monsters were still bunched up under that ledge I jumped from, if I'd stayed down there too long they would have spread out again and probably blocked me. I think it's just because there are so many elements that kind of push you away from both the weapon and the switch for it. I've just noticed from watching people play my maps that it's almost impossible to make a weapon standout as "obvious enough", you could literally put 20 cyberdemons behind it and people would STILL find a way to not look at it. That leaves leading the player to it, and they are certainly disincentivized from going near based on the lava. And the switch room is a super dangerous area since there's only one way in or out, there's a combination of monsters on ground level and above you, and monsters from outside will flood in, so people might either avoid it, or just overlook it in a hurry to get out. Finally, the switch itself, EVEN THOUGH it is marked, isn't obvious enough for what it does because of the above factors of the room being dangerous. The only way to guarantee that someone will understand what a switch does is to put it right next to what it affects. I'm not saying that YOU should have done this (I happen to like that it's possible to make that mistake in this map), just sharing some thoughts if that's something you think you want to address in a future map. It might have the better reward, but I would say it's far more dangerous to acquire. But I think it's good that the key rewards are not equivalent. I usually turn it off, but it defaults back to it anytime I switch my compatibility mode back to strict. I think it's fair to just make a disclaimer for people, especially if you have tall areas in your map with flying monsters. Sometimes we just gotta let our memes guide our dreams ;) (okay I'll see myself out now)
  2. Here is my video of my playthrough. Disclaimer, I'm colossally stupid for like the first 20 minutes of the map. This was a fun little map, and yes it was hard! It felt almost like a big puzzle, a series of challenges to dissect. I really enjoyed the considerations about moving back and forth between the different places. Even though it wasn't that big in the grand scheme of things, it continuously felt fresh for the whole time because of dynamics like the monsters roaming around while I didn't have the ammo to kill them. I liked having to remember to some degree when I'd left resources behind so that I could get them later (like the rad suits), and the map was connected together well enough that it was simple to get between the areas, even when you'd gone somewhere far away. I'm also surprised overall at the lack of things like monster closets or other crazy surprises - they were used sparingly and pretty effectively. It was a good touch to perhaps realize that you don't need to include EVERYTHING "Doomy" in this map. Ultimately, it's totally okay if you don't pay much mind to the visuals, because this is an entertaining funhouse of a map and it feels just right in its niche I'd say.
  3. Alright gonna give this thing a shot and try to keep up. This seems like a fun way to work through some Doom, and this is a very interesting collection to start with! Disclaimer: I've played like, 10 maps or so of RR2 so I won't be playing that entirely fresh, but for reasons that are entirely irrelevant, I played it on a cell phone with an Xbox SCUF controller on Delta Touch and so at least the experience will be refreshed in some way. Playing in GZDoom, Expert, Pistol Start, Saveless until I decide I don't care anymore (anyone want to take the over/under? I'm guessing maybe map 5...) MAP 1 - Well damn, this map comes out swinging. Berserk punching is always enjoyable, but you don't realize how much better it feels until you get your hands on a Berserk bayonet. The gib sound is just so thick and is absolutely perfect. The gloves come off once you get inside the base. I was absolutely not expecting to be completely reamed by the hitscanners. The burst rifle replacement for the pistol is a nice touch, but it definitely still leaves you wanting some heavier hardware almost immediately. I like the novelty of discovering what the different enemies will do. Found all the secrets and left one random straggler, I've never been much for cleanup. MAP 2 - Certainly feels like this WAD is going to shape up to have an interesting resource dynamic. The shotgun is certainly the ideal weapon in most of these encounters, and yet ammunition for it is almost entirely absent for the level. Having to fall back on the burst rifle, and with the prevalence of hitscanners, gameplay is a pretty careful or calculated endeavor. Judicious monitoring of lines of sight. Cautiously picking off as many enemies before entering a room as possible. The TP trap is particularly nasty and killed me the first time. Big fan of the caco reveal. Found the lone secret and achieved 100% kills. Everything was on the beaten path, almost impossible to miss any of the monsters. --------- Overall: I like that structurally and visually these two maps don't try to do too much. I'm always a big fan of the "continuous" layouts that tie map endings and beginnings together, so it's a pleasure to see it in this WAD as well. The textures remain firmly placed in the "Doom" camp, but still give it a nice fresh coat of paint. Many almost seem to be variants of the HD textures? which seems to kind of clash a bit with the pixilated aesthetic everywhere else, but it's not majorly distracting. The maps are both fairly simple in terms of progression and are quick endeavors. Easy to digest content that is still a blast to play.
  4. __________________________ TRAILER __________________________ __________________________ SCREENSHOTS __________________________ Hello everyone! I'm finally ready to OFFICIALLY release version 1.0 of my newest map, Aspect of Daedalus! After reviewing a lot of the tester videos/feedback, I have made pretty substantial changes to many areas of this map, and have implemented all difficulties! It uses MOSTLY stock Doom 2 textures, although a few OTEX textures have been used where I really could not find a satisfactory stock one. The midi track featured is "Stardust" by Eris, a new inclusion with this release version. I'd also like to give a big thanks to @Biodegradable, @tourniquet, and @HAK3180, as well as kakhome1 on YouTube, for recording and sharing their playthroughs, which were paramount in helping me balance and fix the release candidate version of the map. Thank you all very much! Edit: Snuck in a quick 1.01 update - brilliantly broke a couple of triggers in the release version that I...somehow didn't notice. PERTINENT INFO: COMPATIBILITY: Boom SOURCE PORTS TESTED: PR-Boom+/GL-Boom and GZDoom IWAD: DOOM2.WAD REPLACES: MAP01 GAMEPLAY: Vanilla Doom 2 - Run and gun, exploration, adventure. ESTIMATED PLAY TIME: Probably about 20-25 minutes with practice, and maybe closer to 40ish with deaths/blind run factored in. ADVANCED MOVEMENT: Crouching and jumping is disabled, but freelook is not. DIFFICULTY: All difficulties are implemented. It should be fairly doable for just about any skill level, although it definitely ramps up toward the end. Better be good at your crowd control. CREATION TIME: On-off from mid-November 2020 until now. ASSETS INCLUDED: A few OTEX textures, "Stardust" by Eris. ____________________________________________ DOWNLOAD: DAEDALUS_1.01.zip ____________________________________________ CHANGES OVERVIEW: HINTS: MY OTHER MAPS:
  5. Thanks so much for playing and leaving your thoughts! Yeah this is easily and consistently the map's biggest misstep, and absolutely an exposure of my novice-ness as a mapper. I wanted the player to be a LITTLE bewildered at the beginning, but not to the extent I think it played out. Health is absolutely a commodity on UV - it is much more generous on HMP and lower. 2 of the secrets were an error I discovered after I published v 1.01 of the map, so you actually found more than half of the "real" secrets. I put them in the spoilers in my reply to Clippy's video, check it out if you want to see what you missed!
  6. @Clippy thanks for playing buddy! -Sorry about the confusing beginning. I really struggled with trying to telegraph that the switch opens that area down in the sewer, so almost everyone ends up hitting it then doing a few laps around the main area before realizing what it did. -Nice job on the archie in the blinking light maze area! I've never seen anyone just rush him down like that but that was well played. -I know that the end was absolutely chaotic, I hope it wasn't too frustrating! Honestly the way it played out for you is how I would have hoped it would for the most part, just monsters spilling out everywhere and the player having to take the big guns out and start blasting to survive. You came real close to a few of the secrets. I'm pretty bad at finding them in other people's maps so I guess that translates to being bad at hiding them? Anyways, here's a couple that you were close to: By the way I've had Feel the Burn on my list to play all week but haven't had time to record any Doom videos. Probably going to be the next one I upload though!
  7. Might be a good chance to rest your back from utterly carrying such a major function of the community on it for the past few years ;) I'm sure you've learned a lot yourself just from doing these "reviews" and I would imagine Crossbearer might look a lot different if you hadn't spent time analyzing however many hundreds of maps you've probably played. I know I've learned a lot just from skimming some of your videos of other peoples' stuff, and of course quite a bit from your tests of my three published maps. Best of luck on your project!
  8. Doom has a certain visual charm that I always love to see when authors take advantage of well. It's one thing to make a good looking map with extensive use of CC-4 or OTEX or whatever, but making a visually appealing map that taps into the charm while also looking modern takes some skill. So I'm not some expert on this or anything, but here's my thoughts on that. I think fights feel grindy when the combat stops feeling "necessary". If you think about what the purpose of the fight is with respect to the rest of your map stew, you should have some idea of when the test has "gone on long enough." Like why write a test with 50 questions when you can check a student's knowledge on the chapter with only 30, you know what I mean? So in the context of Doom, it's like - if this ambush is just as dangerous with two mancubi as it is with four mancubi, and you've only given the player a shotgun, then if they managed to dodge 12 fireballs to kill the first two, do you really need to make them also prove they can kill the other two? At some point someone might argue it feels a bit gratuitous or tedious without giving the player a gun that hits a bit harder. I realize in my run of your map, I went the direction that withheld better weaponry the longest, so that probably colored my impression some. It's of course all subjective, but I think you often can err on the side of thinning things out a bit, especially if your map has a lot of incidental combat or otherwise not much downtime between encounters. On the other hand, if the purpose of the map IS to feel like a grind, or test the player's endurance, then the answer looks quite different. And if you can maintain the combat feeling exciting, it's probably still going to sit well with most players. Ultimately, I think it comes down to you understanding what you're trying to accomplish with your encounter design.
  9. LVENdead

    Terminus' Playtesting Streams Series!

    Would love to see your playthru of my map, Aspect of Daedalus It's a single map, all difficulties incorporated, will probably take about 35-45 minutes for a first run.
  10. Guess I'll continue this semi-weekly trend of digging up this thread to post a video :P Really enjoyed this map. Felt like it took some inspiration from Doom 1 a bit, like maybe E3M3? I really enjoyed the overall layout and flow, and how many of the areas wound back into each other without making navigation confusing. Hit just the right balance of challenge in my opinion without anything feeling cheap or unfair. Kind of interesting how you basically don't get the SSG until just before the end, but at least you doled out other tools before that. Absolutely one of my favorites so far.
  11. Here's my video playthrough of this map with commentary: I really enjoyed this map! It was a fun little frantic adventure that wasn't afraid to try and deploy some challenging fights. I thought the map looks very nice, and almost kind of looked like a Shores of Hell type level with a modern touch for aesthetics. I'm a big fan of how frequently the areas transformed, and how effectively you reused old areas - it kept the map feeling full of surprises. If I had to nitpick, maybe it would be that it feels kind of on the fringe of being a bit grindy with its monster density...like it could easily have 20 fewer monsters and not lose much flavor...but ultimately I don't feel like this is a major detail I'd tear the map down over, just some food for thought. I'm definitely look forward to whatever else is coming up in this wad!
  12. Here's a video of Map 22: It's been a while since I've read this thread, so I think I kind of misremembered/misinterpreted your comment about this map (go left at the start) as more kind of like you being dissatisfied with the map overall?? I don't really know where that coloring came from, but I hope it doesn't come across too strongly in my "analysis" since it was a bit of an assumption I made. In retrospect it feels kind of like a dumb thing to assume. Right after getting the plasma gun and backtracking, I went down back to the start and legitimately forgot that's where the player spawn is. So yeah, some dazzling mental prowess on display in this video... Overall, I like the idea of this map much more than I like the execution of it. It's hard to articulate why in a broad stroke, but I'll try: I think it goes from feeling like too much of a slog right into a pretty "by the numbers" sequence of arenas, and neither portions were particularly captivating. it often felt a bit frustrating, even if this video features probably the least amount of swearing by me? In the early portions, you are climbing up this mountain pass (cool idea) with fairly restricted ammo and what feels kind of like grindy combat, but getting to the actual fortress at the end of the road is a bit underwhelming. The arenas weren't anything that couldn't be handled with some circle strafing, but on the other hand I did like having lots of rockets to blast away with. I make quite a few comments on the visual styling, I hope it doesn't come across as belaboring the point. I know you've said you have your own way of texturing and detailing and a lot of it comes down to your own taste; I'll give that one to you. I appreciate the overall aversion to just slathering everything in bright red and calling that enough to look like Hell. On the other hand, I feel like some more effort could have been put toward making it look a bit "gnarly". Maybe not my favorite map, but it's ambitious and interesting. Seems like it sits in the right place in this WAD - a nice transition-type of level, that maybe bears some more attention down the line. But overall, I wouldn't say I have much prescriptive commentary here.
  13. Version 1.0 of this map is officially released! This release version features a substantial balance pass and some hefty redesign of a few areas, and full implementation of all skill levels! Check it out and let me know what you think.
  14. LVENdead

    What is this?........A Siege for Ants?

    How can we teach demons to die good if they can't even fit inside of the MAP??? But seriously this is too charming.
  15. LVENdead

    (Boom) - Station of the Doomed

    Ahh, that makes a lot more sense. That 2 years of practice really paid off, you've got a lot of mapping talent! Very impressive! It would probably take me like, a month or two to make this map. I know you said you were going to try and make something Vanilla compatible next, but are you planning on possibly putting these maps together in a collection? I really like the consistency in styling and could easily see them existing in the same section of a WAD. Plus the Dark Imps are a nice touch, they really fill a niche space that I'd say exists like, a tier below Hell Knights in terms of threat level, and I'd like to see more maps that use them.
  16. LVENdead

    (Boom) - Station of the Doomed

    Here is a video of my playthrough. The initial run is the first ~23 minutes, the latter 12 minutes I reload the map without monsters and flythrough/note additional thoughts: What can I say, this is an outstanding map Valhen. It's consistently clever, delivers on your promise of making it harder, and seems to be an all around improvement over anything I might have thought was lacking in the first map. I thought the combat was well balanced and that generally my deaths were my own fault. The only areas I might consider turning an eye toward are the area behind the red key, and the final battle - maybe just a tad underwhelming after what preceded. But again, this is less "these aspects are bad" and more "these are slightly less good than everything else". I'm impressed that you are able to articulate your own particular style, and at the more advanced Boom "scripting" tricks you employ to good use. You're already well past the "beginner mapper" stage. I'm legitimately looking forward to whatever you make next.
  17. Well shit this looks really cool. I'm digging all the vibes I get from these screenshots: FEAR, Doom 3, System Shock, maybe a little Half-Life? Incredibly impressive use of the Doom engine.
  18. @HAK3180 thanks for the thoughtful commentary as always man! A few thoughts:
  19. LVENdead

    Best Final Doom OSTs?

    I love this one as well although I understand why people are probably tired of it. After like ~25 years of hearing the same song over and over (and much more frequently than other songs I'd imagine) it's bound to get on people's nerves. Personally though, I love the solo over the 2nd half of the song, it's just so energizing. I've come to appreciate it even more when coming across covers of it on YouTube - it seems like a really tough passage to memorize and play on the guitar. Here's one of the cleanest renditions of the solo I've come across:
  20. Just a few extra thoughts.
  21. Here is a video of map 21: Easily my favorite map in the WAD so far. The layout of the map itself is absolutely awesome and I love the interconnectedness of it. The combat encounters are mostly great as well - they seem to lean more into a careful style of play (at least in how I was able to find success) but still reward quick thinking and decision making. There's a good balance between really cramped "oh shit" encounters with larger ones, without giving the player an inordinate amount of space in any one area to make the fights too simple. As I also state in the video, I think this map also represents some of your best visual design, and I love the fusion between buildings/structures and the natural terrain. Looks like I might only have 3 maps left? (if you don't count map 27) Interested to see how the collection rounds out so far.
  22. Here is my recorded playthrough with some commentary/critique: I think this is a great example of how taking some time with your first published map can yield some great results. As other commenters have said, the combat can be a little flat at times, but the traps still manage to surprise and the map is certainly engaging. Visually, it is very well put together. The actual layout/design of the map and its progression itself is also fairly thoughtful, as I kind of detail in the video. I would love to see more maps from you!
  23. Hey man got my newest one ready and would love to see your thoughts on it. This map is my release candidate because while it is "map complete" in terms of being playable, I don't think it's finished as far as adjusting and balancing goes. I don't think it's quite reached the "minor tweaks" phase yet and I need more playtesting to help me get there. So I'd really appreciate if you could give me some considered feedback regarding the encounters, particularly the big last setpiece that takes place in the canyon. Let's just say it involves a lot of "moving parts" and I think it still feels a bit cobbled together rather than being a functioning machine if that makes sense. Details: Single map, 300ish monsters, Boom compatible, no advanced movement required.
  24. LVENdead

    vorpal's 2020 wad picks from the community

    Thanks for the mention buddy. Worked hard on Daedalus and it means a lot to see someone give it a recommendation!
  25. LVENdead

    Assembly Line 1.1 - A warm facility map

    I would say that this obviously boils down to experience, but you can also try and break this down into a few considerations to try and influence your design thinking. The first thing I would say is to try and not think about the level in terms of "discrete arenas" and instead try to think about how to make interconnected areas that have the potential to ebb and flow between each other. One way to go about this is to try and minimize your usage of doors, because they create a lot of potential for cheesing fights. With respect to your apparent mapping style, I could see this making the dynamic music a bit trickier, but if the scripting allows for it, maybe you can tie the music more to which monsters are present during the fight kind of like how Doom Eternal does it? So like the ambient switches to combat track 1 when the player triggers the first fight, let's say there's 20 imps or something - and maybe after killing 5 imps or so, an arch-vile teleports in and you can switch to combat track 2? Just some random thoughts. The second thing I would suggest is to aggressively root out symmetry from your area design. That is NOT to say eliminate visual consistency - but having even one plane of symmetry in an arena really contributes to that circuit-style design that made a lot of the fights in this map easier than they should have been. But I also mean more than don't incorporate visual symmetry, I mean it with respect to the whole layout. Incorporate choke points, substantial elevation changes, and hazards into an area so that the player has decisions to make about where to go or what to prioritize. Having some revenants on a higher place that the player REALLY wants to get to for a better vantage point/to take out the "turrets" up there immediately gives the player something more to do than "circle strafe while holding down fire to win". On top of that, asymmetrically place monsters in your encounters. Put a lot of hitscanners in one area, and maybe a small horde of pinkies in another, and suddenly the player has extra decisions to make. Do I take out the enemies that will chip down my health (hitscanners) or do I deal with the pinkies first so I don't get spaced into a corner? Finally, I would suggest using the availability of resources (or lack thereof) to force the player to move around and make decisions. In this map, you place a lot of resources in easily accessible clusters, usually at the start of the arena, so there's not much incentive to push around. By putting valuable resources behind the monsters (or deeper into the area/arena), it forces the player to be a bit more aggressive or risk running out of supplies. HAK3180 has a very succinct mantra when it comes to the line of thinking that encapsulates a lot of these concepts: Doom is at its best when Doomguy is forced to make decisions. I would not consider this small list to be all inclusive, nor would I expect everyone to agree with it - but I DO think it might contain some useful considerations for your future mapping endeavors. I think if I had to pick a mapper who seems to really master this synthesis between level design and combat design, it's Skillsaw. Valiant and Ancient Aliens contain some of the best combat designs that I've personally played, I would highly recommend you take a look at those maps to see what I mean.