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brick

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  1. Heartland by skillsaw I didn't have much time these 2 weeks but when I saw ICID's random generator had picked a recent Cacoward winner that's been on my to-play pretty much since release, I knew I had to try. I've been trying to get into Eternity for some time, but I'm so used to specific QOL features that it's hard to lose them, and I feel I'm always fighting against both my comfort zone and EE's variously annoying quirks (case in point: I eventually had to give up trying to get screenshots). Still there's a lot that I like about the port, and Heartland is an outstanding demonstration of what it can do. MAP01 is an incredible opener. I've seen cool simulations of moving trains in Doom engine before, but this one is in a class of its own. I can't tell where scripts end and EE's unique use of portals begins. This, the vertical architecture, and the general layout and those building facades in the background all gave me a Build vibe, but the wad is also very much its own thing in gameplay, aesthetics, and the absolutely superb soundtrack. I really like the semi-open layouts and the progression, and loved the return into the subway at the end (and those unmentionable suicide bombers...). What a great way to start. MAP02 has the look and feel of a constructions site and of slowly climbing up, the 3D feel is even better in this map. I wasn't enamored with the cyberbruiser, I kept wondering why they took so many rockets until I read they're immune to splash damage. Getting the SSG is such a nice feeling, though I did have quite a bit of fun with the dual pistols early on. Another great music track. MAP03 is alright, the verticality gets obnoxious when you have flyers, and the PEs of course just LOVE to go way above where you can aim at them even with mouselook. I also disliked the archvile surprise. The central concept of draining the reservoir is really cool though. MAP04 is the one I didn't like. The warehouse is particularly bad about turrets shooting at you from the rafters where you can't even see them. This is also the first map I kept getting lost, the portals make the automap a lot less useful but the first levels were so well designed I could always orient myself with the architectural landmarks. I also really don't like the cyberbruisers here, the only weapon that is any good against them in groups is the dual SMG. That final ambush was just mean. MAP05 is packed with enemies. I really like how walls drop down as you progress and everything ends up interconnected. This layout and the textures give the map such a fantastic industrial atmosphere, it looks beautiful. I initially didn't like the flamethrower because the damage seemed low, it has very low range but will splash damage you if you're too close, and you can't see anything while using it, but I really came to appreciate it against archviles and to very quickly dispatch mancubi. Some fantastic sector machinery with the moving bridges. Unfortunately I won't be able to complete the wad before the end of this round, but I'll definitely finish it over the next week.
  2. I'll unfortunately have to skip this month as I'll be gone for most of August, but I'll definitely pop in once in a while and enjoy the writeups! I won't be back until some time mid-September but hopefully I'll catch up to whatever will be the wad of that month. Happy birthday DWMC, and happy birthday Doomkid!
  3. brick

    Star Trek discussions

    I remember watching this episode and initially thinking it was stupidly cringe... until the moment Uhura and Chapel take control, at which point my opinion did a delightful 180 and it's now one of my favourites of TAS. I was always disappointed that she seemed to fade in the background a bit in the movies, but Uhura had several really nice moments throughout TOS even if most are minor, and I always loved the interludes with her singing in the mess, it was a nice perspective of a crew on their off time, and Nichols's voice was wonderful. She will be missed but never forgotten.
  4. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    Someone mentioned being impressed with MAP28 being vanilla-compatible, out of curiosity I went and ran it in doom2.exe. Much to my surprise the map runs perfectly (I expected sprite flickering to be a major problem), though it of course bombed when I tried to save. MAP29 - “Chair Brulante” by JC Dorne A much needed breather. Another atmospheric map in hellish red, with a fantastic and very fitting track from Duke3D, this reminds me a bit of MAP24. The gameplay loop is different (this one has fewer switches) but they're both almost like "exploration speedmaps". Combat here is still easy though marginally less so, it's not the map's main focus but there are still some fun encounters (I liked the ones around the crusher corridors). In fact this might be a good ammo-conservation challenge on pistol-start, you only get the E1 weapons and rockets are spoon-fed, so you'd have to make the shells and clips count against quite a few medium-heavies. I really liked it. MAP30 - “3 Heures d’Agonie 2” by JC Dorne The first part is pure atmosphere with no enemies, with another hellish red but with lots of lava this time. I liked the jaunt even if it's pretty linear, there's some very nice sightseeing on the way as you pick up all the weapons, as well as a strangely useless secret computer map; though the credits board is a cute touch. The second part is the usual IOS endgame, this one has 2 spawners but is otherwise very similar to the original (press switch, wait, call elevator, line up shot, get the timing right, repeat twice more), the IOS graphic itself is goofy but fun. Not a bad note to end on, and I have to say I was impressed with how beautiful the map looks considering the size and time limit. Total time was 4h40, longer than I expected considering the speedmap approach, but I guess the majority of the time comes from only a handful of maps. Overall I enjoyed the wad, as is typical for me I found myself more drawn to the adventure and exploration focused maps than the combat challenges, but one thing that's always fun with CPs is the great variety in styles even within very specific rules. I notice looking at my reviews that there's a streak during the second half where I seemed to be having less fun, but the positives definitely outweigh those moments, and I loved some of the specific gimmicks (MAP32 is just unforgettable). I think I need to play more speedmap wads now, here's hoping that 3HA1 makes it to the DWMC eventually - I'll keep voting!
  5. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP27 - “Passage a Vide” by Oxyde Another mini-slaughter, though this one is a bit more friendly to lesser skill. Once I got past the hot start I even started enjoying it a bit (though the "oops there's an archvile that's resurrecting everything on the other side of the map" shtick is once again way overused). Difficulty balancing is adequate for the most part but kinda goes out the window at the end, which throws 2 cybers at you; I wish I had saved that one secret for this part. This is also where I realized I was getting a bit tired of the cyber finale, it's just used too many times in the wad. My impression are still more on the positive side. MAP28 - “Gutter Grave” by Darkwave0000 And here it is. One big slaughter map with no difficulty balancing, 2400 monsters, and strange choices of textures and flats that strech across vast distances. I'll be honest, I didn't even try to beat the map fairly, and it still took 45 minutes. The detailing is impressive, but it's also a big cheat; it may be doubly impressive for the relatively short amount of time it took, but this time is still more than thrice what every other author spent on their map. I agree with Book Lord about the map feeling out of place in the wad, but I'm also a bit harsher because I don't like even the idea of a magnum opus in a community project, especially one that openly defies the very point of the CP.
  6. brick

    Transparent menu background

    I've been using Eternity more lately and am starting to really like a lot of things about it. The one major obstacle to my enjoyment is the way menu background seems to work. There's such a huge selection of flats, but I can't seem to find a way to simply make the background transparent and actually see the "game world" while inside the menu. The background flats make it so much harder to see what effect various settings are having on the look of things in the game and going constantly back and forth between the menu and the game to check is frustrating and also makes it more difficult to directly compare. I admit I find it tedious enough that it's putting me off using the port when I otherwise would. Is there an option somewhere that I have stupidly not noticed? If there isn't one, can I make a feature request for that to be added? I think DSDA-Doom has exactly that now - by default the menu has that flat like Eternity's advanced menu, but there's a toggle to remove the flat (and it then works like the original doom.exe menu, and like the original menu option in Eternity for that matter).
  7. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP24 - “Supplice Claustrophobe” by Datacore A very beautiful, very atmospheric map. Pros will not like that it seems tuned to the easier side but I enjoyed not having to kill revenant hordes and a half dozen archviles on HNTR for a change! I liked some of the visual cues that help progression and keep it from being obscure, and while there's quite a bit of back and forth and switch-hunting the small size once again makes it much more palatable. One of my favourites so far. MAP25 - “Crise Infernale” by franckFRAG Another very hot start, though it's not so bad once you get a foothold. The hellish theme is done quite well and the open layout is done well, though it does make the start trickier. I thought the gameplay was ok, though the final ambush has been done so many times it's very predictable, which is a shame because it's actually telegraphed quite nicely visually. MAP26 - “Pacte de Noirceur” by William Huber The polar opposite of MAP24. A mini-slaughter map with ~200 enemies on Easy, lots archviles, tons of revenants, cyberdemon in tight spaces, and absolutely no concession for novice players. If you're pistol-starting I hope you like the SSG, because (unless you find the secret rocket launcher) it and the chaingun is all you'll have against the revenant walls, archviles, barons, mancubi, and more, until something better shows up halfway into the map. Many will probably enjoy this one but it's really not my thing. I remember that the French speedmap CPs do turn more slaughter in their final act, so I'm dreading that this is only a sign of things to come. I likely won't have much time next month and it seems pretty clear which wad will win, if it does I'll have to skip it because it seems great and I want to be able to dedicate it the time it deserves. So I'll vote for wads that I have a better change of keeping up with. +++ 3 Heures d'Agonie 1 +++ Altars of Madness (first one if combined with others) +++ Doom 2 In Spain Only
  8. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP21 - “Diabolic Patterns” by Memfis I found some of the combat design annoying (it's Plutonia-inspired so that might be it) but overall didn't dislike the map. It also looks beautiful, impressively so for the 3 hours. It's a bit too dark (maybe because I'm playing on a sunny day) but the lighting is otherwise very nice, the map is quite atmospheric as a result, helped by the music. MAP22 - “Vaine Tentative” by NilsTheRed I was really enjoying this one until near the end, but the mancubus/cyberdemon room followed by the barons in nukage soured me on it a bit. I still like it overall, but I thought it spiked a bit too much, especially with how little room you have to maneuver in both cases. MAP23 - “Enceinte Infernale” by Oxyde This one has some interesting ideas but I didn't like the execution. Too many PEs, and too many revenants and archviles on higher ledges that make it a pain to deal with them. The block monster lines make it worse, especially when they're far back enough to shoot you when you can barely see them (never mind hit them). The idea that most of the combat occurs in that central area could be cool but most of the ambushes felt cheap, and the last one was just weird with the cyberdemon stuck behind another block monster line.
  9. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP19 - “Brexin” by William Huber It's a slaughter map, and since I hate those it was inevitable that I would not like this one. It is also often mean: the starting alcove, the archvile-resurrects-everyone shtick that's used 3 or 4 times, and troll-cherry on top, a berserk right next to the exit. Thank god for carryover BFG, without which I would have almost certainly given up on the map. MAP20 - “Charnage” by Ch0wW Coming out of the previous map already in a bad mood made it harder to appreciate this one, especially since it pulls off a couple of annoyances early on (revenant mob in the background, followed not long after by instant-floor more-revenants). I can see why everyone else likes it though, it looks quite excellent and the texturing is impressive even counting the extra 2 hours dedicated to just that. The secrets are really fun to find. I didn't like the outdoor maze but again this could be just because of my mood.
  10. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP16 - “Vile Sombre” by JC Dorne Another map that makes me glad I'm playing continuous, and even then that hot start made me roll my eyes a bit. The rest of the level was ok, at least with the SSG, but as with other maps in the wad I'm not a huge fan of constantly spamming archviles behind your back to resurrect the same pack of monsters over and over. Compared to JC's other maps, better than MAP11, but nowhere near as memorable as MAP32 Speaking of, I realized also while reading others' comments that I forgot to praise MAP32's fantastic visuals. MAP17 - “InfiltrAction” by Ch0wW Havana Smooth is such an awesome track, but my feelings towards the map are more meh. I didn't find the secret, which would've resulted in a lot of hair-pulling on pistol-start. The layout of the map is pretty cool, I like how the yellow key is visible so early on, but combat was a pain. The map feels more Plutonia than anything: hidden chainguns depleting your health from far away, revenants forcing you to keep your head down, archviles running everywhere. The worst was the teleporting revenants, I expected something clever there but no, they just teleport into the next big room that already has a bunch of them. Carryovers meant I didn't have a bad time, but I didn't particularly have fun either, and found the map a bit tedious. MAP18 - “Somewhere in the Slime Ocean” by Plut Another one that I didn't enjoy much, though it does look good and has some simple but very nice detailing. Every fight is a surprise-closet or a surprise-appearance and it becomes predictable very quickly. I ended up dealing with most by hiding behind a doorway and sniping everything with the SSG; although there's a rocket launcher (which of course triggers one of the many ambushes) most of the map is too tight to use effectively. I also wasn't a fan of the last room, being dropped in the middle of a bunch of imps and knight with no room to maneuver. The music track is uncredited but fits the visual theme really well.
  11. brick

    The DWmegawad Club plays: 3 Heures d'Agonie 2

    MAP15 - “Les Comtes de la Crypte” by Jambon I liked this one more than Jambon's previous outing. Combat is more interesting and the tricks more engaging and less annoying. Speaking of tricks, they really put into focus the power of speedmaps, gotchas and nasty gimmicks are a lot more palatable in quick-and-short format I think. I had to do a bit of work for the secret exit, and even after unlocking it I'm still not quite sure what exactly opens up the passage with the backpack. MAP31 - “Dextromethorphane 84%” by William Huber I liked the map at first but got more annoyed with it as it went on. The mini-slaughter was a bit of a surprise, and I didn't mind it too much at first, but the surprise silent archvile spawning all the way back and reviving everyone is way overused; it's fun the first time, not so much by the third. I'm ever so grateful for my carryover BFG from 2 maps ago, I would've been far more annoyed with the map otherwise. I also didn't like that picking up the Megasphere is mandatory for progression, especially since I initially left it for when I needed it more and got stuck for some time. I really liked the visual theme, the yellow textures go well with the AV fire. Took me 15min to clear the map, I think it's the longest so far. I had to look up the secret exit, no way I would've found it on my own, but I'm so glad I cheated. MAP32 - “Safe Zone” by JC Dorne Ok this map is pure genius. Once I realized the gimmick I restarted, set aside my weapons and played it as intended. The only part I had some trouble with was with the cybers; it's not enough to just run to the safe zone, because while they won't fire, already-fired rockets will still hit and knock you off platform. A bit of extra dancing took care of this though, and otherwise I found the entire gauntlet extremely fun to navigate. A perfect map for the super secret slot, and a great example of how to abuse Doom's engine quirks to create a fun gimmick.
  12. I second the suggestion for Heretic, it would only be 2 maps for E4 and E5 (and maybe a tiny one for E6's 3 maps?) so if you're looking for a small project that's not as intensive as the last that might be a good option. Hexen would be really cool but I don't think the way the game is structured really invites this, since there are no intermission screens and the back-and-forth within a hub raises questions about when the map should pop up. It also plays very differently from Doom. You may enjoy Heretic since its gameplay is much more similar. As always though, I'm sure whatever you end up doing will be great and I will definitely be using it. The Eviternity screenshots look great and I can't wait to check out the wad when I get home tonight.
  13. I'm not sure what award this would fall under, but I would like to nominate the collection of intermission maps that @oliacym has been working on. There are sets for the Doom II IWAD, No Rest For The Living, TNT: Evilution, The Plutonia Experiment, SIGIL, and most recently Eviternity. At this rate I expect we'll have another handful by the time the end of the year. I don't know if something like this fits any of the existing categories, they're not gamemplay mods in the traditional sense, and I suspect Machaward will be reserved for something more all-encompassing (and that includes maps), but I'd love to see it in a mentioned as a special feature, something we never knew we needed until we got it but secretly always hoped someone would make.
  14. One suggestion for the bonus maps is to use UMAPINFO, you could even have them be their own episode this way and you can then assign any music track (already-existing or otherwise) as well as custom skies. Anything in MAP36 or above still won't work in vanilla (or in Chocolate) but, well, bonus maps. Looking forward to this, whatever you do decide to do.
  15. brick

    Shovelware Society #25 - ODYSSEY.WAD

    MATRIX.WAD Reading EnrichedUranium's review made me want to try the map myself, and what a pleasant surprise this was! It won't sit in my top favourites ever but it's quite good with no major flaws, which is doubly impressive for a first map. The txt has the typical 90s teenager energy and is quite cute. About my only complaint with the map is that you spend a bit too much time with the shotguns before other weapons show up, but otherwise the alignment is excellent, the layout and progression are very well designed (I personally enjoyed the looping, it creates a good sense of space and of familiarity with the place), there's some really cool detailing and lighting in parts, secrets are numerous and clever. The map is a bit easy but that doesn't bother me. This map definitely doesn't belong here, there's nothing remotely shovelware about it! A very enjoyable surprise overall.
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