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Posts posted by LVENdead

  1. Recorded my playthrough here:



    Fantastic job on this project! This WAD manages to effectively establish an identity while also experimenting with gimmickry that never outstays its welcome. I have some personal qualms with how you've altered the SSG, but at the end of the day all the tweaks make for an interesting and different-enough experience that never encroaches beyond "this feels like Doom" territory. I like that each of the maps offers easily digestible content with their own feel that conclude just when they should.


    I think there are some qualities of more novice design, for example in how the layouts can be a BIT inaccessible to figure out (map 4 especially had me lost quite a bit), but the quality overall is there. It's clear you put in a lot of work in getting this right, and I'd say it definitely pays off. 

  2. Here's a playthrough of this map (recorded and uploaded prior to your update):




    I absolutely love this map. It's so impressive from a technical standpoint, but showcasing "how cool I can make it look" doesn't get in the way of (or come at the expense of) fun gameplay. I did think it was on the easier side, but it never came anywhere close to dull. There's so much fantastic interconnectedness which makes exploring the map a great experience, and that's before we even start talking about the verticality. It's great how fights could "flow over" into other areas, or maybe rather that there isn't always a clear delineation between areas which makes the combat this nice blend of incidental + arenas.


    This really reminds me of AMID EVIL for some reason and how the scope of some of the maps in that game could just blow you away. Climbing the tower and taking a second to look out at the expanse is kind of breath taking. From a gameplay perspective, there's also something to be said about how effectively the progression is signposted despite its more open and atypical (for Doom) layout. I mean, I did get lost a few times, but not in that classic Doom "okay I hit the switch, now what?" way. I particularly like how a soulsphere is used to get players to realize the presence of a jump pad that has the dual function of allowing you to retrieve the powerup, but also is necessary to get to the next area.


    I know this has been a bit rambley, but I can't understate how much I enjoyed this map, and it's a shame this hasn't gotten more attention (at least in the form of comments). 

  3. Here's my playthrough of your map:



    I think the effort put into this pays off for a first map. It shows off a lot of consideration on your part in how the encounters are setup and what the progression entails, and I think that's a very important aspect to get right. I really like the main hub area and how it was setup, but was disappointed it wasn't reused as a combat space. It CAN get tedious to make the players constantly fight new monsters while backtracking through old areas, but I think it's warranted in more memorable spaces like the hub in this level. The map has some good surprises and gives you several opportunities to engage with some good decision making, and I'd like to see more of that in any future maps you do.


    We can talk about the more novice aspects of the layout and visual design, but honestly I think that conversation boils down mostly to "just keep practicing". And of course, play a lot of other Doom WADS. Figure out which maps inspire your style, and try to look at what gives them their character. It will also be well worth it to start getting more discerning with your texture usage; being mindful of alignment, border textures, etc. One major tip I'd offer is to consider making the length of your lines congruent with the size of the textures you use. If you use a texture that's 256 units wide for instance, try to make sure the wall's length is a multiple of 256. This also applies to the height of your rooms. That simple detail will go a VERY long way in making your map look tighter, if that makes sense (it also has the effect of helping you more intuitively feel the appropriate size/scale of the spaces you design).


    You're off to a good start, and I see a lot of promise in maps you make in the future.

  4. I recorded a playthrough of your map which I uploaded here:



    This is a very cool map with a lot of great attention to detail. I loved the kickass mp3 song (although it might be a bit short for a map that takes like 30 minutes to beat on a blind run) and the textures you picked add a lot of neat visual variety without really violating any classic Doom-ness. 


    I think the weakest areas of this map fall within the encounter design and the signaling of how to progress through the map. With a 350+ monster count, I was really expecting some crazy intense battles with some ambushes or surprise closets opening up, and dangerous mixes of enemies where there are interesting choices to make, etc - but really it amounted to a lot of "open door, kill 10-20 of x to proceed" type of fighting. That's not to say there isn't any variety in this map, because there certainly is, but I just have to note that there were a few too many instances where you could trim the monster count without losing the essence of the encounter. I'm also not a huge fan of how much of the progression relied on just hitting switches to open doors, there were so many switches in this map. Almost every switch you hit requires you to just flat out back-track to whatever it opened for you. It started to get a little confusing after a while.


    I really like this map though. I'm only spending so much time talking about the areas you could improve because I think it really is on the cusp of being a truly memorable map. I'm a fan of interconnected level design, and this map does give you a lot of satisfaction in seeing how areas click back together with one another. It is also a lot of fun to get some weaponry and just blast through hordes of monsters without having to think too much about it, and this map gives you a lot of that. I certainly enjoyed my time with it, and I'd absolutely play either a theoretical second map in this set, or whatever else you make after this.

  5. Here is my playthrough:



    Nice fun couple of maps here. There's some fun uptempo combat here and the maps are interesting to explore. I like the charming use of classic visuals, and how you mostly snuck in advanced UDMF features (which I didn't realize was the format when I started playing). I didn't find the maps particularly difficult at all, but didn't feel like they were too breezy either. There's only a few awkward things between both maps, which I note in the video, but overall they show a lot of refinement and I'd certainly be interested to play more from this set.


    Nice work!

  6. Gave this a playthrough here: 



    Very much enjoyed my time in this map. I'm completely down with your approach here: give us something that invokes slaughtermap spectacle without four digit monster counts. I love the emphasis on footwork in the combat, which really highlights how the map design is much more than just "look at these neat paths". I am curious to know what your overall intent or concepts were for how the fights were structured and what you expected the player to do, as I often found the best course of action was to try and dart around things or backup toward the entrance to an arena or drop down and let infighting do some preliminary cleanup. I'm not really making a value judgment out of that quality at this point, as I enjoyed the thrill of trying to squeeze through or around a dangerous cluster to get to a safe spot or reposition to take a better shot, but it also seemed like some of the arenas would be a bit impossible to just stand your ground.


    I also love how the overall concept for the map is like this fevered dream of Perfect Hatred, where you remember something about a past experience in this exaggerated sense of its distilled form. At the same time, it really takes on a life of its own, and effectively meshes that nostalgic seed with the monumental architecture of modern WADs like Sunder. There's so much attention to detail and really no spot where corners are cut, I can almost imagine you in there with like an exacto knife and one of those gem cutter's lenses lodged in your eye going through and making sure everything is touched.


    Got to say, I like your style quite a bit - fun to experience and explore with challenging combat that isn't really outlandishly bogus.

  7. 4 hours ago, Taurus Daggerknight said:

    Blood Swamps with its "One" style drums...don't stand out at all to you? 


    Blood Swamps is about the only one. I'm not saying the other tracks aren't good, but I guess to my ear there is some quality to how Mick wrote the melodies that stick with me that I don't experience in the DLC tracks. It could honestly have a lot to do with how many homages to Bobby Prince's music there are in Mick's tracks versus almost a complete absence of them in the DLC music? 

  8. Maybe it's just me, but I find the DLC soundtracks are absolutely competently made and very fitting, but also much less memorable. I mean you take something like the BFG Division motif (which comes from The Demon's Dead) and how that kind of became the "theme" for Doom 2016/Eternal (to some degree) and just how memorable it is, how recognizable it is and how it can get stuck in your head, and then compare that to the DLC combat music. I just can't think of any of them specifically. They sound great in the moment, but for me personally, they don't stick with you. 

  9. 5 hours ago, ArchCrusader said:

    however, as far as I'm aware, give or take a couple of monsters, the big arenas are the exact same.


    I actually agree with any "pacing adjustments" that they made, or at least the intent behind it. Might need to be tweaked a bit, or they should consider accommodating Nightmare differently than the lower difficulties.  But the nerfs don't actually extend to just the monster composition in the DLC, they actually nerfed specific monsters. The Arachnatron's turrent now fires slower and possibly less accurately (and they also might be less aggressive in general?), Marauders can now be stunned with PB, and something about the Blood Makyr hitbox or vulnerability window has been made much easier to deal with. I don't really feel like any of that was particularly necessary.

  10. Yes they specifically nerfed that Slayer Gate but also they tweaked the balance across TAG1 overall. The stars you see when you hit marauders when they are vulnerable I think is just a new signal for when you falter a demon. I recall Hugo saying something in a livestream about how they should help players understand this mechanic a bit better, or communicate it better to the player or something to that effect. But it's possible they also tweaked the mechanic, I don't really know if they made faltering more effective or if it just is easier to tell when it's happening and for how long.

  11. On 3/13/2021 at 4:32 AM, Eurisko said:

     My issue with it is that it forces you to play in a very specific way i.e Flame-thrower for ammo, Glory for health, chainsaw for ammo. This narrows your creativity for dealing with situations and without using that very specific method you won't get far in the game. 


    With all due respect, I really don't understand this sentiment. People mention stuff like this, and I'm just left wondering: what better alternatives did Doom 2016 or even classic Doom present you? In those games, if you needed armor you had to go find it and pick it up if it was there. In classic Doom, if you need ammo, it was either in the map, or it wasn't. If the map author chooses to restrict shotgun shells for a particular segment, they are forcing you to use something else. This is, categorically, a situation where you would have fewer choices. Now I do happen to think that effect map design in classic Doom can invoke meaningful choices with the distribution of resources, but I digress.


    In both Doom 2016 and Doom Eternal, if you need health or ammo, you can choose to go find susceptible enemies to chainsaw or glory kill, or maybe just switch to a different weapon or to press your luck and hope you kill the heavy demon in front of you before you die. You're not at the mercy of if the map author happened to put the health or ammo that you want in the map. And it's precisely because DE restricts your carriable ammo that you have more of those choices to make. If you want to main the SSG, you absolutely can, but when you run low on ammo you have to make a choice: do I switch to something else because maybe there is a very dangerous threat present, or do I disengage and go find an enemy to chainsaw? People phrase these arguments like, once you run out of the meager 24 shotgun shells you are allowed to carry, you're going to be starved of shotgun shells for a significant portion of the map, and this couldn't be farther from the truth. Outside of that, you can flat out ignore weapons in your arsenal if you want. I mostly completely forget the regular SG exists in DE, despite the fact that both the grenade launcher and autoshotgun are both super useful. Same thing with the plasma gun, it wasn't until like my third playthrough that I gave the PG a second look and realized the microwave beam is actually very effective at stunlocking. 


    But if you want more choices, then DE really stacks you up with them. For even just the most basic example, take the shield guy. You can absolutely use the PG to blow up his shield for the nice splash damage, but you don't have to. You could instead remote detonate a rocket over his shield and trigger the falter on nearby demons to stun everything. Or you could just flamethrower + chainsaw the guy to replenish resources. But even if you were to say "Well I want to use the SSG against every enemy" then why don't you just meathook the guy, launch over his head, and SSG down onto him from above? Like, what is that scenario if not a presentation of multiple choices that you can make to get your desired outcome?

  12. I'm honestly surprised people are saying they spent like an hour on this boss fight. Granted, I only did it on UV for my first playthrough, but I thought it was stupidly easy for a final final final boss. The sword attacks are fairly telegraphed and also not that quick, you just dash backwards away from the swipes, and the shield bash I never found particularly difficult to avoid either. Each time I stunned him with the hammer I was able to DPS him down at least 50% health. I died on my very first attempt in phase 1 just because I wasn't really thinking about what I was doing, but my second attempt I was able to beat him in, like maybe 10 minutes? Not trying to brag or put anyone down, just a bit surprised.

  13. 1 hour ago, Spectre01 said:

    I've seen the opinion floating around that it's bad to combine OTEX with vanilla textures, as the art styles are different. Is there any merit to those claims? There are still some good vanilla textures without a direct equivalent in OTEX, like some fleshy faces/skintech.


    I think there is definitely some merit to that opinion, but as with most things, it's not a hard and fast rule and it can definitely work. 


    I actually experimented with this in a map that I'll link here (in spoilers so I'm not just like, hijacking the thread to pimp my own work):




    It took a lot of experimentation to find combinations that I liked and thought worked. I think it commonly works best if you pick one or the other set of textures as the "main textures", and then the other set as the "highlight textures". You also need to look for colors or patterns that compliment each other well enough. OTEX has some very extravagant and detailed textures, Doom 2's textures are 30 years old. However, OTEX has a lot of "classic inspired" textures, such as variations of the STARBASE patterns that can work well.


    Generally, I'd say this: If you want to rely mostly on the OTEX textures for the aesthetic, use stock textures for highlights/borders. If you want a mostly classic aesthetic with OTEX thrown in for variety, the opposite should be true.

  14. 8 hours ago, Remilia Scarlet said:

    So I was thinking about the ending, and I'll be honest... it never occurred to me to put some sort of final epic fight in it.  The idea of the level is that the guy dies and is in a sort of hellish limbo.  Just when he thinks he's about to get out of it, it loops back.  He's stuck in a personal hell, experiencing dying in the car crash over and over.  That's what the ending is meant to convey. 


    Totally understandable. I have a tendency to overlook critical details in the original post when I download maps and if I had read yours, I probably would have interpreted the ending a little more accurately ;) I only mentioned the finale because it almost feels like standalone maps might have more of an expectation to "build to something", or at least that tends to be my expectation. But again, I think the map is memorable enough with how it currently is. 


    8 hours ago, Remilia Scarlet said:

    "It's old, I'm proud of it but want it out the door so I can move on, so ship it" sort of thing.


    I completely understand this. The most recent map I released was basically this. "I spent all this time working on it, I actually still like it a lot, but I want to FINISH it and get it out the door."


    8 hours ago, ketmar said:

    am i the only one who found that "anti-climatic" ending to be actually good? i mean, this is about personal hell, and just when the protagonist (and the player) thinks that they can get the grand final fight and escape... hell plays its trick.


    I would only offer this as a counterpoint, and literally for the sake of argument - but wouldn't you think if there was some kind of ultimate struggle at the end, where you overcome something challenging and feel like "Oh thank god I FINALLY earned my escape, I can get out of this place, they threw everything they had at me and it still wasn't enough and now I'm finally going to get out of here-" only to have the rug pulled out from under you when you realized it's going to repeat might underscore the theme a little more? In my opinion, just basically having the ending laid out easily in front of you kind of diminishes this in my opinion. But I would never try to tell a map author it definitively SHOULD be one thing or another. I love experiencing what the author wanted to create and what they intended, not my idea of what I think they should have intended ;)


    Sorry for that. I just love discussing the creative process, and Doom is like my favorite game ever so I have a lot to say about it, probably past the point where people are willing to continue listening :P

  15. @ketmar the engine is certainly impressive as evidenced by this map. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions about which settings are most ideal to tweak for performance? I think I stuck pretty close to the "out of the box" settings, although I did change a few things before recording this playthrough. I love the way this map looks in this engine, I'd love to figure out how to boost my framerate at minimal expense to how it looks.

  16. 2 minutes ago, Remilia Scarlet said:

    I suppose I was in a way since both are part of my older style of mapping. 


    Oh wow, I didn't realize that YOU made that mapset. I even looked it up, I guess on idgames you put a different alias in the readme than your Doomworld profile?

  17. Here's my video playthrough of your map:



    I've always been a big fan of Quake's aesthetic. Combining that with Doom 3 style shadows and gorgeous dynamic lighting makes this an absolute visual feast. I love the rendition of Sign of Evil you included in the map. Overall, just a very atmospheric experience. 


     I generally liked the progression of the map and the combat as well. I did think it was a bit too "room to room" in that there wasn't much in the way of roaming monsters that you have to account for, it was mostly "push to new area, open door, kill monsters inside". On the other hand, the rooms or arenas themselves were pretty effective, often giving you some tighter quarters to maneuver in where footwork and spacing felt important (especially with the incorporation of the skags as medium pressure units). I do have to say I was a little disappointed that the map didn't really build to anything - you get the red key and then it's just kind of over. I was expecting some kind of resolution especially after the cool intro sequence. Not even really much of a final fight which was a bit of a shame. With so much work put into how amazing this map looks and feels, I think it would have really brought the whole thing together if there was something iconic that happens at the end. 


    But I mean I'm not trying to focus too much on those aspects or really imply that they majorly detract from the map. I thought it was great and I very much enjoyed playing it. I would love to see more in this style. Out of curiosity, were you inspired at all by Shadows of the Nightmare Realm? This map had me thinking about that WAD a lot while playing it - even if the visuals don't quite look as similar as I thought they did, it really felt similar.


  18. @rd. well said about the weapon meta, this is pretty much my exact experience as well.


    The flamethrower is a great permutation of the PG for the reasons you specified. It's noticeably more powerful, but much less effective as a panic "let me cut my way out of this mess" type of weapon because of how easy it is to kill yourself with it. This opens up space for the Dual Skorpions to have a role in the crowd control space - even though they seem far more effective against single enemies. I mean, given how high the fire rate is, with the Dual Skorps it's almost impossible to NOT proc a pain state on any single monster, including Archies. Very reliable stunlock. I absolutely love this aspect.

  19. 6 hours ago, LoneAlpha2401 said:

    @LVENdead Glad you liked the wad, and I enjoyed your critique. I do have another wad but it doesn't focus as much on detail and visuals, more towards environmental storytelling.


    Oh yeah, I actually remember that one! I got like 6 maps in I think and then got distracted at some point. I remember it being pretty cool, some of the layouts were kind of confusing but it did a lot of very interesting things with the GZDoom engine I really liked.

  20. Here's my playthrough of this map:



    I really like what you've done to create this good classic feeling map with some nice advanced features sprinkled in. The elements like sector glows/lighting, ambient sounds, 3d floors, etc are implemented in a rather reserved way that doesn't really seem to hint that this map may have been an experiment for you. It's overall a great example of how you can maintain a classic Doom feel while relying on some modern tech and detailing to spruce it up.


    The map layout was really cool and exploration was fun. I like how multiple areas were reused and how the map looped back on itself multiple times. It's pretty linear overall, but that's not a bad thing. I did feel like the additional monsters didn't really add anything, and overall the combat was completely acceptable without being very noteworthy. Given the weapons I did find, plus the hint that a plasma gun was hidden somewhere I never discovered, I was really expecting a few of the traps to be quite a bit deadlier than they turned out to be. I also felt like there was some artificial difficulty in placement of the hitscanners outside that could snipe me a bit ridiculously in multiple rooms, and that outside of it it was pretty easy. I enjoyed the map overall though.


    I like your style a lot and I'd be interested to see what else you end up doing with UDMF if you keep experimenting with it.


  21. Finally had a chance to finish this up. 


    It's just absolutely incredible. This WAD is for the Doom engine what Ion Fury is to the Build engine. The maps use all the advanced features to really effective extents - I mean it never feels gimmicky. I can't understate this enough: to be so consistently surprised during the entire duration of the WAD is incredible, because I've been playing Doom literally since it came out. I love the way the 3d geometry and advanced engine capabilities allow for some inspiring exploration and excellent combat, with arenas and setpieces you really haven't seen in Doom before but which don't really violate any intrinsic "Doomness". I love the scope of everything, and how the levels just feel like these giant superstructures that are interconnected and like intricate machines, folding back on themselves and opening and changing constantly. It's not just an industrial-themed texture or visual design we have going on - it really informs everything about the maps.


    The new weapons and monsters were such a delight to experience as well. I've been a big fan of @skillsaw's incorporation of glass cannon enemies into the rosters of Valiant and Ancient Aliens, and they are well appreciated in this one as well. @Xaser you fucking knocked it out of the park with the weapons. I love how the flame thrower fits well into the PG role, but flips it on its head a bit by making it deadly to use up close - something you frequently would do with the PG to escape tough situations, and transfers some of its value over to the dual Skorpions. And of course, the Cluster Bomb launcher...man it's hard to replace the BFG, but I can't say this weapon had me wishing it was the old classic, it was just so damn fun to use.


     And the soundtrack is just amazing. You half-way forget you're listening to midi music these are just so layered and masterfully crafted. I know there are a lot of great composers in the Doom community but @stewboy is absolutely legendary with this thing. I don't know how you can take this like, house/funk/rock style and mash it up into this catchy but driving groove that fits with an industrial themed map set, or compose what sounds like an entire prog album condensed into a 5 minute track (Map 06) but damn man does it have great results. 


    The standout map for me is Map 06, where it feels like everything awesome about the WAD comes together in a true moment of synthesis. I enjoyed every second of this WAD, and the only thing bad I can say about it is that I'm sorry it's already over.