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Everything posted by LVENdead

  1. Ran through Maps 6-7, 10-11, little under two hours. Depending on when you watch (and when youtube finishes processing my edit) you may see me moronically fiddling with alt-tab trying to stop the recording at the end of the video. My best self on display. Good to be poking around on Doomworld again. I started a new job back in August and have otherwise been distracted by the other games in my rotation, so I'm only recently getting back into mapping and engaging here. I'm glad you're enjoying my commentary. I've been finding it interesting to make, and it definitely helps me think about maps in a constructive way with respect to my own understanding of making maps. Plus I figured, you've been helping the fledgling mapper community around here so generously with what, 60 + pages of commentary in just your part 2 thread alone, so it's probably time you got a little bit back, yeah? I don't have much to say in direct response to the rest of your comments, but I did move on from trying to finish these maps saveless. Still, this session was pretty long, mostly due to map 11. I hope you find some of my deconstruction in this one helpful. You should probably take a lot of my conjecture or suggestion throughout as more of a thought experiment than anything intended to be purely prescriptive. I also end up using the term "pistol start" in an absent minded way to really man "no save", just so that's clear. And I'm sure there are plenty of spots in this playthrough where I was oblivious to or otherwise looked over something obvious - that's partly my own typical mindset while playing, and it's also partially affected by the distraction of recording and talking while I play. It is what it is, but worth taking into account as you evaluate my feedback as well. Overall, I've been enjoying experiencing what is some very thoughtful and creative mapping with a clearly emergent "HAK3180" style to each of the maps. Even the maps that I think need tweaking or more serious re-evaluation of the difficulty have a very clear character to them, and if I had to point to any one aspect that seems to define your maps to this point, it's that "The author respects that the maps themselves can be just as monstrous and lethal as the demons". That's some good Doom in my book, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's next.
  2. Fired it up this afternoon and played Maps 1-4. Overall a pretty positive impression! While I'd say there are definitely elements to it that betray the novice mapmaker, the maps I've played so far are very competently crafted, entertaining, and reflect a solid understanding of what makes Doom "Doom". I didn't finish map 4 (keep dying during that nice trap setpiece), but I only stopped because I ran out of time to play. I'm definitely going to keep working my way through this WAD because I enjoyed what I played so far.
  3. LVENdead

    BACULUS: 2020 WAD Overhaul

    I started this up today after having played the previous version several months ago (but not all the way through). I really like this so far. It manages to fold in some good detailing and interesting visual variety while retaining that classic abstract-style theme and layout. The gameplay has been pretty interesting so far and I'll be eager to see how it progresses as I get further into the WAD. Really enjoying myself so far!
  4. LVENdead

    Hell on Earth starter pack worth it?

    I've played it with PB3 and I thought it was pretty great.
  5. Glad you gave it a try! It was neat watching a no-save playthrough of the map. I like watching people try and dissect what's going on in it. Eager to see what your final thoughts are when you finish it.
  6. Greetings everyone! I'd like to officially publish version 1.0 (*UPDATED TO 1.2*) of my first completed WAD. Malleable Intent is a single level WAD for Doom 2 that I intend to fold into a larger WAD collection in the future. First though, I'd love to know what you think! This map contains around 350 monsters and should take between 20-30 minutes to complete. It is currently only balanced for Ultra Violence, though I plan to add support for other difficulties in future versions. The map uses only stock Doom 2 textures and assets, but it DOES feature an original MIDI track (titled "Mark of Anger") composed by me! PERTINENT INFO: STORY: All is not well within the confines of the UAC, but what else is new. Hidden high atop a remote plateau, sinister machinations unfurl themselves inside this facility's walls. The demonic threat is present once again, but this time it seems that someone at the top was keeping fevered secrets well before their arrival. What price did they pay for progress? You'll have to procure your answers, and your equipment, on-site, but nothing should prove too elusive for a seasoned hellwalker like yourself. Leave no stone unturned, no evil unpurged, and dismantle the mechanisms behind this malleable intent. COMPATIBILITY: Boom SOURCE PORTS TESTED: PR-Boom+/GL-Boom and GZDoom IWAD: DOOM2.WAD REPLACES: MAP01 GAMEPLAY: Vanilla Doom 2 - Exploration with Set Pieces. Expect traps/ambushes, a few difficult fights, and the need to manage your resources. FREELOOK/ADVANCED MOVEMENT? No - play it like vanilla Doom 2. The map is designed with the inability to freelook, jump, or crouch in mind DIFFICULTY: Currently only supports ULTRA VIOLENCE: Not as hard as PLUTONIA, difficulty is balanced around no quicksaving but you WILL die if you get careless or overwhelmed. CREATION TIME: Between 75-100 hours ASSETS INCLUDED: 1 New MIDI track, otherwise uses stock Doom 2 assets UPDATE CHANGES: ___________________________________ DOWNLOAD: MALLEABLE_INTENT_1.2.zip (*UPDATED to 1.2*) ___________________________________ SCREENSHOTS: (all screenshots captured in GZDoom with nomonsters, fly, and noclip - screenshots have also been brightened for clarity) ___________________________________ DOWNLOAD: MALLEABLE_INTENT_1.2.zip (*UPDATED to 1.1*) ___________________________________ WHAT I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: -How is the encounter design? I've play a metric shit-ton of Doom 2 over the years, but knowing how to blast through encounters isn't the same as knowing how to build them. Are there any that are way too difficult? Not as difficult as they should be? Obnoxious or poorly paced? -How does the level design lend to navigation? I tried real hard to avoid the player getting lost and constructing the map as series of little "loops", but I also have the curse of knowing the map's layout beforehand, and the only testers I have access to are you! -Did anything outright break? I tested all my linedef triggers probably a dozen times each if not more, but these things can be tricky. -Texture/Visual related: I'm sure there are some misaligned textures here and there. If you want to point them out, that's cool, but I'm not asking you to help me with this. -MOST IMPORTANTLY: Did you have fun?? Would you play the next map in a theoretical WAD collection? WHO AM I? I'm LVENdead, a 33 year-old nerd who's been playing Doom 2 since I unwrapped an original CD-ROM copy for my 7th birthday. I've always admired creative and clever map design and after playing this game for so damn long, I figured it was time to throw my hat into the ring and give this a try myself. I have made (unsuccessful) maps for other games such as Duke 3D and Half-Life, and I love designing Roll20 battle maps for the D&D game I run. I'm hoping to make Doom 2 mapping another one of my hobbies, and hopefully this map represents a solid first step.
  7. Oof, then you're gonna hate my next map, 1001 Doomian Switches. All joking aside, you're definitely right that I relied on switches pretty aggressively. I think a big reason for this is when I made this map, I didn't really understand how to keep the player locked into a fight, or force them to do certain things. I probably approached my map idea with too much of a "modern shooter" mindset where levels are often just a series of interesting looking arenas, with a switch or a trigger at the end to release the player and let them proceed. I think now I've begun to understand the other ways you can design the environment to facilitate this. Another reason is that while I understood that "keeping the environment interactive" is generally an element of good level design, I didn't have a lot of ideas about how to express that. In general, I thought of the map as a sequence of steps/tasks, and you can clearly see the map layout is basically as a sequence of steps, even if there are a couple of branches in it. The map has a pretty long list of "steps" to complete the quest, and in retrospect, I see there's a lot of skill in making maps that feel or are big without making them have a whole bunch of steps to finish. Oh yeah that trap is rigged up pretty badly! When I made it I had absolutely no idea how to set it up properly. I actually started playing Valiant right after I published this map and discovered skillsaw had set up a similar trap (the trigger closes a door to lock you in AND opens monsters closets) in MAP09, except, you know, competently made :P I ended up opening the wad and studying how those triggers work, and discovered voodoo dolls for the first time. The spectres are just there to cause problems if you try to leave the cage. You can actually get the blue key AFTER you get the SSG and face the whole "pinky spam" battle, in which case you'd just go and open the blue door right after. It was my crack at a multi-stage objective (being find the blue key and raise the bridge). Yeah that whole room is trash. I think coming out of a long flesh elevator should have more of a climactic feel than that and I know that Archie is very close to useless there. I was pretty tired of working on the map at that point. Deserves another pass when I feel up for returning to the map. For sure. I actually decided to push this one back in the roster and insert at least one or two shorter maps. I am very bad at being creatively concise. At some point I'm gonna put some serious revision work into this map and clean it up when it's ready to go into a larger collection. I think when I come back with some fresher eyes and a little more experience in making other maps, I can tune-up a lot of these more irritating qualities and give it a better shine. Thanks for your feedback. It was pretty detailed and thoroughly considered. If you ever feel like checking out my other map, I'd be interested to see your critique of it as well.
  8. @HAK3180 hey man just wanted to say your commentary is fantastic as always. Not only do you vocalize your thoughts/mindset, you make a lot of effort to understand the mapper's thoughts/mindset, and you seem to be pretty accurate a lot of the time. I think you acutely picked up on the experimental nature of the map as far as my intent was concerned. My first map was kind of like "Let me try to recreate the idea of a Doom 2016 Snapmap I made and learn Doom Builder". This second map was more "Let me target a specific gameplay style and map progression". The first map I constrained myself to Boom because I didn't want to get overwhelmed, and some of my favorite WADS (Valiant, BTSX, etc) prove that the best maps in Doom's legacy still reside in older formats. This map I tried out UDMF specifically to explore sector lighting, and really for no other reason (though I found the experience to be vastly different). I also of course decided to play around in OTEX, because Eviternity is a visual feast and really shows off the merits of the pack, and because less worrying about textures means I can spend more time considering architecture (although this was obviously a foolish assumption to make because more textures = more options). One thing I hadn't considered was the Doom community's collective familiarity with the "tropes of Vanilla textures" vs the OTEX pack. Both you and @Austinado overlooked lifts based on the textures I used, which now seems like an easy element to take for granted that you would know when you discovered a lift. With Vanilla, you see SUPPORT3 on a wall and you're either humping it or looking for a switch nearby. Either way, I think you correctly "diagnosed" that I tried to do too much with this second outing : in fact, I'd say feature creep is probably one of my biggest flaws as a creator in general. I'm curious to know if you could unpack this a bit. If I'm being honest, I think I considered the monster setups substantially more than my first map; not just for each fight, but with considerations for the flow of the map as a whole, and how it contributed toward my greater intent with the map (to be something kind of like "Bushwacked" in Valiant). Like to use an example, the thought of using turrets didn't even occur to me until probably halfway through finishing my first map. I didn't really think much beyond "halls + doorways", and so a lot of the combat emerges from that mindset. Setpieces combined with resource-taxed exploration. This map I really wanted there to be a more consistent flow of fighting and being hunted by monsters, with some player goals being things like "I need to establish a foothold in this map and get some ammo". But on the other hand, I didn't mind if the player wanted to lure monsters/use infighting, or try to deal with fights in a less direct way - I just personally don't think that's the most efficient way to play the map. I tried to make sure turrets punished standing still, while pressure monsters like cacos would come hunt you if you tried to hide for too long, and "time limit" monsters like pain elementals or archies gave you incentive to come out of "safe" areas and try to fight the larger horde. Obviously I did not hit the mark with my intent, so what do you think would make these concepts more complete? What separates a Pain Elemental feeling "grindy" from putting effective pressure on the player? Another thing I noticed is that this map seems to feel a lot different if you quicksave vs if you were to try and pistol-start/no-save run it. What do you think about striking the balance so that both styles of play are enjoyable? Literally all my playtesting was done without quicksaving, so to me this map became about trying to practice your run until you could beat it. If you fuck up a fight and start over, then the pacing of health and ammo in the map is less detrimental than if you quicksave in a bad spot. Either way, this post wasn't meant as a defense case for my map - I fully expected my second published map to have problems even as I worked to fix or tweak approaches I had for the fist map. I'm just glad I also got such through feedback. Thanks for giving it your attention and giving me your candid experience of it.
  9. Hey man, thanks for playing through this. I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as you did, it was thrilling to watch someone have that much fun while playing through my map! I was definitely afraid I was going to lose you a few times near the beginning when I realized how much of a blunder the nukeage pit was. Funny fact, there ARE lifts on each of the bridges, but obviously they are only useful AFTER you raise the bridges. I put a teleporter in the nukeage almost immediately after I finished watching your video. Thanks for discovering that errant pain sector, I never noticed that and I playtested the map a lot. Also, that secret switch you discovered that you didn't figure out is actually shootable, and reveals a secret to a medkit, blue armor, and big cell pack that you probably would have appreciated ;) I could probably stand to put just a little bit more health and ammo in a few places, I want the map to be punishing if you waste your resources but not impossible if you make a few mistakes. Seeing you have to resort to punching or rocketing lost souls was a bit painful, and I could probably stand to put a few more ammo boxes or shells without ruining the balance I was going for. Either way, watching your run was very informative and will definitely help me as I continue mapping. And don't worry, this map IS intended to be a part of a larger project. I started a new job this week, so my map productivity has dropped a lot, but eventually there will be more where this came from. Cheers!
  10. Hello everyone! It's time to finally release version 1.0 1.2 of my second map, A Stygian Anguish. This is a GZDOOM map that features extensive use of the OTEX 1.1 texture pack, with a new MIDI track that I composed. In the grand scheme of things, this map will follow my first one, Malleable Intent, in a larger WAD collection (that is likely to be between 3-5 maps depending) - but for now, this is a STAND ALONE release that is intended to be played from pistol start. NOTE: this map replaces MAP02 PERTINENT INFO: STORY: COMPATIBILITY: GZDoom (Default compatibility) MAP FORMAT: UDMF SOURCE PORTS TESTED: GZDoom IWAD: DOOM2.WAD REPLACES: MAP02 GAMEPLAY: Vanilla Doom 2 - Run and Gun, medium-high difficulty ESTIMATED PLAY TIME: I can finish it in 20, it will probably take you between 30-40 on your first playthrough FREELOOK/ADVANCED MOVEMENT? No freelook, jumping, or crouching DIFFICULTY: This map is intended to be challenging on UV (good luck with your FDA's). Currently, there are no item or monster adjustments made for other difficulties, so if it's too hard just play on HMP. CAVEATS: Please play the map in SOFTWARE mode. It's my personal opinion that hardware rendering washes out the sector lighting in an unflattering way, and I don't think OTEX textures look quite as good in hardware mode. Otherwise, dynamic lighting, lights.pk, etc are fine. I also composed the MIDI track with Microsoft MIDI in mind - if you use something else like FluidSynth, the mix is way off balance. Still learning how to account for this in my process. CREATION TIME: About 3 weeks ASSETS INCLUDED: 1 New MIDI track, OTEX 1.1 textures _______________________________ DOWNLOAD: STYGIANANGUISH.zip _______________________________ UPDATE CHANGES: SCREENSHOTS: As always, I'd love to hear your feedback! - This is a learning process for me and it's impossible as a creator to know what the experience will be like for a player jumping in blind. -How is the distribution of resources? This is tough to strike the right balance - I want the players to run low on health and ammo but I don't want you to run OUT of ammo. -How are the fights? I tried to structure this away from room-to-room combat and more towards open areas so it feels more like a continual battle but with larger setpieces interspersed. Was there any major bullshit or was it pretty reasonable? -Did you find all the secrets? :) -Did you notice any glaring bugs, softlocks, missing textures, or anything else out of wack? It took me a long time to use SLADE's "cleanup" feature for the textures, flats, and patches, and I hopefully didn't miss anything (but man was it a major pain in the ass) Link to my previous map: METHODOLOGY AND REFLECTIONS: (not important to play, but maybe you want to know my thought process!)
  11. LVENdead

    A STYGIAN ANGUISH - Doom 2 single WAD *UPDATED 1.2*

    @DragonsForLunch thanks for giving this a spin! Do you mind telling me your visual settings? I tried tweaking this a lot, but one thing I've discovered with GZDoom is that the sector brightness can vary pretty wildly depending on your visual settings. Hopefully I can make adjustments that hit a good spot for a majority of settings. For sure, I know this map leans pretty heavily on that to pressure you, especially near the beginning. I really wanted to lean into making you feel like you have to get across the bridges as fast as possible, and probably ignore most enemies shooting at you until you get into the cave past the SSG. I definitely agree with your general sentiment - I wanted that to be the sort of theme for THIS map, but if I played a map pack where every map was like this, I'd probably get tired of it real quick. Ultimately, for this map, I really wanted it to feel like you were descending into a really dangerous place and had to work to establish a foothold in a place that the demons would have heavily fortified against intruders. That's good to know that it mostly hit the mark - this is one area that is VERY tough to balance in my opinion, and I wanted to force the player into making decisions based on available resources, and also to possibly have to scramble DURING a fight to find more ammo. Honestly, I don't expect most people to kill the cacodemon horde at the beginning - ideally, you thin out a few of them as you have the chance, and then revisit them once you've become better stocked (such as coming back from getting the RL). Greatly appreciate your thoughts! Every little bit of feedback helps me out as I continue to figure out how to be a better mapper.
  12. Hey @Austinado I saw that you indicated you added my WAD to your list. I don't know if you've already downloaded it, but I made some minor updates last night and have uploaded a new version. If it's not too much trouble, I'd much prefer that you play this version. Thanks!
  13. LVENdead

    Plutonia Experiment?

    Definitely does
  14. LVENdead

    A STYGIAN ANGUISH - Doom 2 single WAD *UPDATED 1.2*

    Made some minor updates to this map to fix a couple things that I broke in the 1.1 update. Working on updating the MIDI file for a future update so that it sounds better, but that's gonna take some time and probably won't warrant a completely new upload unless I make other major changes to the map. We'll see. A STYGIAN ANGUISH v 1.2 : STYGIANANGUISH.zip
  15. Wow, I started this WAD a couple weeks ago and got up to MAP 25 earlier this week. Ha ha ha... Guess that means I need to start over :P Congrats on the update!
  16. Hope you don't mind giving my map a try! Didn't get much feedback with my initial post, so I'm hoping to hear your thoughts! - Source port: GZDoom - IWAD: Doom2 - Skill Level: HMP is fine - How Many maps? One - replaces MAP02 - Gameplay: Crouch, jump, freelook restricted via MAPINFO - Gameplay Length: About 30 minutes
  17. Hah! I suspect this is why my newest map hasn't gotten as much attention as my first one :P Good luck to you, I'm looking forward to playing the finished WAD!
  18. I just finished giving your latest version a run through. Overall I thought it was pretty good, especially for a new mapper! For full disclosure's sake, I played it continuously and I used quicksaves (I've been running through BTSX pistol starts and no saving and I have just run out of patience for dying and starting maps over again and again :P). I think this impacted the difficulty quite a bit toward the easier side, but that didn't diminish my enjoyment. I will say that I think the Hell maps are where your mapping starts to shine, it feels like you're starting to hit your stride. The earlier techbase maps are kind of "take it or leave it" for me, there was definitely some interesting elements to them but I also found some of the battles to be a bit bland. For example, I think it was the 3rd map(?) where one of the traps was just like, a dozen Hellknights and Revenants and it was just kind of meh - not a difficult fight, just a tedious one. I would suggest trying to vary up encounters like this one so there is a bit more of an element of target prioritization, otherwise it just becomes a matter of killing clusters of bullet sponges which I don't find very exciting, and doubly so because this type of encounter mix isn't uncommon in this WAD. Fight-wise, the WAD ranges from "uninspired" to "pretty interesting" with nothing really dipping into the negative - I would definitely say for a new mapper this is a pretty good mark to hit! Nothing felt like "okay that's just bullshit". Structurally, the maps are pretty interesting. I liked exploring in these maps and appreciated that there was some non-linearity to them. Finding the secrets was usually not too difficult but at the same time felt clever enough that it felt like an accomplishment. I also liked that you provide the automap at the end, which is a real bonus if you are playing continuous, and is probably nice for anyone who would pistol start these maps and want to come back to them again. Again, to talk about the Hell maps as where you stride really starts to pick up, I liked a lot of the trickery/transformation that was frequently present. It really felt like some classic Doom 2 without relying on mean-spirited or "impossible to survive unless you already know it's coming" type of gotcha moments. You seem to be able to lean into this type of design without making anything gimmicky. Visually, I thought most of the maps were "serviceable" if not a bit bland looking, but basically without any major glaring flaws that scream "noob mapper" to me. I wouldn't really consider this a negative, just more that there's nothing that stands out to score bonus points if that makes sense. But you also do a good job at incorporating contrast into your design, either as cramped/open areas, light/dark areas, and the general shape of things. Overall, the visual styling definitely leans towards more classic abstract than anything modern or hyperdetailed, and again, it's not a bad thing, just more that there isn't a whole lot of "wow!" factor in it either. I also like your tweaks to the monster roster. The Cacodemons remind me of the Astral Cacodemons from Eviternity (but waaaay less of a pain in the ass :P) and I always like that Pyro Knight sprite (especially the death animation, idk why but it's so satisfying to just watch them vaporize like that). Are you planning to tweak more of the monsters, or was this just done for a bit of variety? I would definitely recommend this set to anyone looking to plug in and experience some classic Doom 2. You seem to have a surprising degree of competence that puts you a step ahead of other new mappers (I hope that doesn't sound like an underhanded compliment or anything, I mean it completely sincerely!) and I can only imagine how your mapping will evolve as you continue to gain experience. I'm honestly looking forward to seeing the rest of the maps that round out this WAD - finishing your take on Dead Simple left me wanting more, and honestly I think that's about the best place you can find yourself as a content creator. Nicely done!!
  19. LVENdead

    Creepy/dark/space skybox

    OTEX has some cool dark/space sky textures.
  20. LVENdead

    A STYGIAN ANGUISH - Doom 2 single WAD *UPDATED 1.2*

    @el_inf thanks for giving my map a run! Your experience is basically exactly what I was curious about when balancing the map towards the more difficult, and one that is hard to do well as the author of the map since I can't just "forget" where all the items are or monsters will spawn, etc. This definitely brought something to light though, which is that if you get beat up early in the map it's very hard to get back on your feet. I think that kind of illustrates something I hadn't really considered much in the map design which is "checkpoints" to replenish the player's health, especially with some of the traps being so brutal. I'm also sorry to see that you missed several (what I hope are) interesting "visual" set pieces...the room where you find the RL actually has the Barons rising out of the floor in little tanks that lower back down and reveal the enemies, and the red switch you pressed after the nuke fall at the end actually opens several airlock doors in that long hallway one after the other in a sequence that I thought looked neat. The lone grunt at the end was actually supposed to be a bit humorous because you'd expect something really dangerous after watching the doors open, but I understand your suspicion that shooting him would wake up an ambush or something. Appreciate the feedback! I'm gonna work on a revised version with a little more health spread around so hopefully it's less frustrating.
  21. Well I just took this one out of the oven but it looks like it's gonna have time to set before you get back to recording :P Your video and commentary offered so much useful insight I hope to get your opinion of my newest map. GZDoom Compatibility
  22. Man you offer some greatly insightful commentary while you play - it's super informative to hear your thoughts as both a player experiencing the map and as someone who understands map design and Doom in general. To clarify something you commented on, when I say this is my first map, there have been probably two(?) other times in the past that I've installed and booted up one version of Doom Builder or another and messed around, made a few rooms, whatever - but overall, it is legitimately the first map I've attempted to make. That's probably most obvious in how I didn't place walls with consideration for texture width in a lot of places - by the time I started to notice it as a compounding problem, I'd already designed a ton of the map. I don't know if you have much interest in settling your curiosity about the secrets, but in case you wanted to know... (also, you were the only person who recorded their FDA that found the secret Berserk) Thanks again buddy!
  23. I'm talking about walls like the doors that open when triggering monster spawn traps (in the sectors that house the ambushing monsters outside the playable area of the map) and other things that a player would not feasibly see unless using noclip cheats. It certainly saves time as a mapper, but of course it also throws up a whole bunch of "errors" when running the checker in Ultimate Doom Builder. Is it common for skilled mappers to texture these walls or can I get by leaving them untextured? Are there things that could break by not texturing these walls that aren't obvious to new mappers?
  24. Do you mind sharing a tutorial about this technique (or elaborating a bit)? My understanding is that, at least with Boom compatible maps, you need to join the sector of the monster teleport closet to the ambushing area (or an adjacent sector) so that the sound propagates and wakes the monsters up, thus allowing them to walk into the teleport linedef...but then this would preclude you from hiding the sector from the automap since it is joined with a sector that is in the playable area. Is there a way to build these closets/triggers so that they can be "activated" AND hidden from the automap?