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Everything posted by LVENdead

  1. 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!
  2. 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!)
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. LVENdead

    Plutonia Experiment?

    Definitely does
  6. 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
  7. 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!
  8. 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
  9. 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!
  10. 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!!
  11. LVENdead

    Creepy/dark/space skybox

    OTEX has some cool dark/space sky textures.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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!
  15. 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?
  16. 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?
  17. Give it a try! I put a lot of work into it and I think you'll like it.
  18. LVENdead

    I made new map :)

    I played one of your earlier versions of this map (as of several hours ago today) and it was pretty good! I'm going to get pretty critical in my assessment of your map, but I want you to know that I only take such a discerning eye to help you as a growing mapper, and myself as the same - because I think the ability to discern weak from strong mapping is important in someone who intends to make maps. Fun Factor: I definitely had fun playing this map, although navigation was simple and the map set the stage early for "prepare to get fucked constantly". I can always appreciate a simpler map with a high bodycount, but you could probably stand to mix up the gameplay a bit, either through some platforming or environmental interaction, key hunting, or some calmer pacing in between the crazier fights, etc. Difficulty: Overall, the difficulty is what I'd expect in such a cramped map. Starting the player off facing an Archie with only a shotgun definitely sets the stage for what kind of experience you'll face in the map. Spacing is important in Doom, and restricting the player's ability to dictate spacing is a powerful difficulty tool that this map takes advantage of. Allowing the player to "teleport" out of the danger zone with the water area might counteract your intended "claustrophobic" effect (it's definitely an easy getaway tool), so I would consider that to some degree. The last battle felt like some mean-spirited bullshit [this is just my phrasing from an emotional standpoint after having experienced the map, and not intended as a personal attack or anything ;) ] but I'd say it only feels slightly unfair. Doom mapping encourages a sort of "fuck you" mentality versus the player that you don't find in many other games, and I think maybe it's tough to strike the right balance. Also, punishing me for finding secrets felt kind of mean-spirited as well given how consistently I was punished for finding secrets. I'd say it can add a strong degree of tension if you vary up how often you spring traps in the secrets, because then it becomes an experience of "am I about to get fucked if I pick up this supercharge?" rather than "Okay so what kind of shit am I bout to face now?" Design and Layout: Visually, it definitely seems like you understand map design beyond a basic sensibility. Alignment and choice of textures is good - nothing stands out as "lazy". Still, the map could stand for some visual variety, especially in the texturing. I would consider how you could incorporate "border" textures, or how to add details like computer screens and other things (even if you are going for more abstract over realistic map design). Contrast is also important - the map is good in that there is some variety in open vs cramped, in vs out, but you can also consider light vs dark, and high vs low (elevation). Again, it's not like you need to include every ingredient in every map, but as a player, I am totally aware of things like if the light level doesn't change very often or if the map is just a series of corridors. Glitches/Bugs: Didn't notice anything major. Overall: I liked it though it definitely worked to frustrate me at every step. I like the concept of the map quite a bit, but I can't help but think the map is trying to fuck me at every step of the way. I would consider if you think the last fight is fair in the sense of - "should a player who is doing a blind run be able to survive this fight?". There isn't a right answer to this question, but it's something to chew on. I do think it's one of those things where you obviously KNOW as a player (given the plasma gun and amount of cell ammo) that you're about to get ambushed, and it's just a matter of striking the right balance. Flooding the map with meat isn't bad, and surrounding the player with dangerous enemies isn't bad, but is it in good spirit to put 4 Archies right there, then completely block any means of escape with not just pinkies, but imps, shotgunners, hellknights, etc? The "flow" of the ambush waves is probably a factor here. Multiple times in the last fight I thought I'd cut my way through the meat horde only to have some stronger enemy TP in right behind me and finish off my 24 HP pathetic self with almost no warning. I might just suck compared to how you want to balance the difficulty of the map, and if that's the case then consider my comments only with a grain of salt. Either way I'd say you seem to have a strong head on your shoulders as a mapper and I'm eager to see what other kinds of interesting maps you will craft in the future.
  19. Well shit...considering you've played 40+ pages of WADS I'll take this as a glowing endorsement! Thanks so much! I would probably consider there to be about 2 or 3 set pieces (depending on if you count the gray starbase room a set piece) so I'm glad to hear you think they worked. I found that the battle in the pinky horde room varies in difficulty substantially depending on if your source port has infinite height for monsters or not ;) I'm not sure if you played version 1.2 or not, but playtests I watched of earlier versions of that map saw most people door scumming that fight and thinning out the pinky horde pretty substantially before entering, so I designed that "airlock" area to force players into the room, since that's how I designed/balanced the fight to be experienced. I will say I don't think this is going to be a part of a megawad or anything, but I do think the collection will consist of between 3-5 maps, and maybe 10 if I'm feeling crazy. Either way though, I'm glad you think it's capable of standing on its own.
  20. LVENdead

    NEW MAP - Infested Citadel (UPDATED)

    Just ran through your version 2 and overall finished it with a positive impression. Fun Factor: I enjoyed it. There were some fun surprises like the RL trap and the adjacent room with the monsters coming out of the mid-textured wall, it's a cool idea that you both don't know what monsters are coming out of the trap, and don't know what to expect when you step beyond the wall. The heavy reliance on various surprises is the single best element I would say, and did a lot to keep it interesting. Difficulty: It was a bit on the easy side, but that's not a bad thing if this is intentional. I will say that most of the ambushes were pretty easy to deal with - the only "oh shit!" moment I had was after activating the yellow key switch, but the fight didn't end up being very difficult. I thought getting trapped in that room would be a detriment, but most of the meatier monsters spawned away from me and ended up infighting, so after I cleared out the pinkies and the fodder monsters, I was able to escape back towards the RL hallway and avoid most of the danger. It could possibly work toward amping up the tension to put a couple of meatier monsters in the possible escape paths to catch the player off guard. The abundance of plasma cells makes it easy to DPS down high priority targets like the Pain Elementals. Design and Layout: The layout was pretty neat, again owing a lot to the various traps and surprises. Navigation is fairly basic and straightforward, but this isn't a bad thing (whether or not it's good or bad probably depends more on what other maps are in your WAD). The design has some high points like the starting area, and I noticed the neat little trick you did with the tan flesh texture, drawing out the tendril as a sector, but the map was also pretty bland in a lot of places. Overall I'd say it was decent; not outstanding, but definitely not bad either. Glitches/Bugs: Wasn't really looking for any so nothing major stood out. I did note that in the computer map staircase is only one way (you can only go up to get the map due to the ceiling height, can't go back down) but I don't know if that's intentional or not. Overall: I'd recommend it. I think the length is just right, and the fun factor is there above everything else. I think any tweaks you make to things like difficulty or whatever probably depend more on the context of being in a larger WAD than on any single deciding factor. Keep at it, I'd be eager to play the rest of the WAD this map is a part of!
  21. I actually wanted that to be a secret since there is already a lot of armor in the level. Now that you bring it up again, I could probably stand to make a thin inner-rim sector that's tagged as a secret (which I didn't think about when I made that originally).
  22. Aside from some of the other good reasoning, this one stands out to me as something that might not be as intuitive until you have experience, and I definitely wouldn't have thought about it from that angle without your comment. I probably have a default setting in some strange configuration then, because if I make a sector and then make like a door sector and begin lowering the height, the front sides of the door are untextured. Good to know there is probably a quick fix for this.
  23. Thanks for giving this a try. Your no bullshit/candid commentary while playing, and the comments from your chat, were very insightful and you rightfully pointed out some pain points that need to be addressed. Hey thanks for the feedback (all of it, not just what I've quoted here)! I tried to strafe grab the shotgun in my playtests but I never did it successfully, but it's good that you shared it was actually possible. I've adjusted that enclosure and the "arena trap bars" you mentioned for my 1.1 update. Thanks for helping me become a better mapper!
  24. Hey I really appreciate that! While I don't think I'll keep any of the custom graphics/sounds (as much as I love Doom 64) it's very helpful that you've included an example of HOW I might go about doing that. You rock!
  25. I was basically learning Ultimate Doom Builder and how to do literally everything while making this map, and made a ton of mistakes, especially with my early layouts. I'd say at least half the rooms in the final version are drastically altered from the original iterations in some way. The time also includes all the time I spent playtesting the map and trying to understand how my linedef actions worked or trying out the various fights with different variables like if I'd found powerups from the secrets or not. The time also includes composing the MIDI track, which is something else I am largely unfamiliar with. I took a lot of time with it because I didn't want to publish a half-baked beginner WAD and stake my early reputation on being "just another noob mapper". I dunno, all I can say is I started the map about 3 weeks ago and finally had a version I felt comfortable publishing 2 days ago. It wasn't meant as a brag, if anything it's an admission that I largely didn't know what I was doing and that my workflow was and still is very inefficient. Thanks for the suggestion. Am I correct in my assumption that Boom doesn't support MAPINFO patches? I'm honestly still trying to understand how a lot of this works, and I'm still wrapping my head around MAPINFO formatting and syntax, and of course what stuff is and isn't compatible with all the various source ports.