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About MrMean

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  1. Enjmin Doom is an interesting one. It was a 2023 gen ed class at a game industry university rather than being hosted in any sort of traditional Doom community and required that all maps be made for GZDoom (remember to turn off Texture Filtering if you try it yourself). The resulting maps tend to have shovelware levels of polish and early ZDoom levels of source port experimentation. My personal favorites include: Breakout by Gurlu (Nathanaël) is a mostly monsterless exploration map that pitch-shifts monster sounds to make some goofy Banjo-Kazooie style dialog noises and messes with pitch black areas that require using the automap to navigate as well as areas that require navigating terrain that doesn’t show on the automap at all. Le Pélerinage by Baptiste is another monsterless exploration map that manages to combine a bunch of GZDoom-isms (dynamic and colored lighting, slopes, reflections, etc) into a coherent artstyle and really picks up on how Doom’s graphical style and level design limitations really lend themselves to sheer architectural scale. Saw666 by Gorik - Chainsaw that upgrades your movement speed with each kill. Also, the combat design here is pretty fun, especially for someone who may never have played Doom before Deconstruction by AmeSun - Surrealist secret hunting Kopalnia Soli by Cajou - Another monsterless exploration map, this time with striking lighting. The Doom Dimension by Bigaston - Portal inspired map where you can toggle whether blue or green terrain is raised by firing your “weapon”. The terrain “raising and lowering” is actually handled by teleporting you between two otherwise identical versions of the same map. Khazad-Doom by Victor - Similar notes to Le Pélerinage, but it’s a LOTR reference. Doom Souls 3 by Vincent - All around solid map if you don’t mind low difficulty and heavy use of dynamic lighting and colored fog. Implements some cute Dark Souls references ( bonfires and soapstone messages) The Tower by Creamos - The kind of cutscene heavy GZDoom map that would be exhausting as a full megaWAD but is pretty fun as a one-off. Highlights include the skybox, drowned imps that reuse frames from the imp’s gib animation to represent forming from and collapsing back into the water, and the custom gem and key sprites. (Also on a side note I just realized while looking back at this that apparently GZDoom can load wads with umlauts and diacritics in their filename)
  2. Hey all! Playing through some of Tarnsman's Projectile Hell's early levels and some of the maps from the old First-Try Demo contest has left me thinking a lot about what I find makes a fun to play without saves, and I figured I'd make a Doomworld account to expose those thoughts to the greater dooming collective. Additional methods for making a map fun to play without saving, examples of maps that you find find to play without saving, and even critique on why one of the methods I've listed might not be a great idea are all welcome! Please quote whatever section you respond to, since this post is long, and I may edit it later in response to feedback. Goals Players should be able to die and redo the start of the map multiple times without the experience becoming repetitive. Players should be able to play a map multiple times with different playstyles Methods Allow For Expressive Encounter Tactics Saveless players will need to redo fights that they have already survived when they die in a later portion of the map. Add room for encounters (especially ones early in a long map) to be optimized for speed using strategies that are more challenging than those required for basic survival. Allow the player to exit an encounter after taking out just key hit scanners and body blockers rather than requiring that they wait out a timed lock in or clear out an enemy packed but low threat choke point. (Ex. Bourgeois Megawad, Ancient Aliens, Down The Drain, Baker’s Dozen Map01) Allow the player to make an encounter more lethal for all parties involved via optional threats such as crushers, telefrag setups, or running multiple encounters together for infighting. (Ex. Disintegration Muffin) Allow the player to optimize non-combat sections of the map via corners that can be cut, turns that can be optimized to SR40 through large chunks of the map, simple platforming that can be taken at full speed with enough skill, and incidental enemies that can be sprinted past at full speed. (Ex. TODO) Allow For Expressive Routing In saveless play, the number of times the player needs to play through the first encounter of the map is the sum of all attempts needed to finish the encounters after it. This means that a challenging map with a traditional layout that is linear and increases in difficulty with each encounter will ensure that the first portion of the map is a miserable, trivial slog by the time the player even reaches the last encounter. Allow the player to attempt any difficult encounters in the map near the beginning of the map in whatever order the player chooses, so that saveless players can face the encounters in whatever order goes from least consistent to most consistent for them. (Ex. TODO) Allow the player to save any encounter that can’t be optimized much beyond whatever is needed to survive (read: some lock-in encounters) until the end of the map. (Ex. TODO) Allow the player to enforce their preferred playstyle via mutually exclusive weapons. For example, choosing between a chaingun with more than enough ammo vs a berserk and a few rockets lets the player decide whether they want to be methodical and avoid as much pressure as possible or speedrun taking out key enemies at the cost of needing to play more aggressively and likely leave more enemies alive. (Idea from This RD Post[TODO: add link once I am able to]) (Ex. Disintegration Muffin) Long Levels In addition to making the above methods harder to consistently implement, increasing a level’s length decreases the margin for error exponentially. For instance, a player facing a map with 5 encounters that they are 80% consistent at will take on average roughly 3 attempts to finish the map, while a map with 10 encounters will take around 9 attempts, and a map with 15 encounters will take around 28 attempts. This can be countered by avoiding encounters that kill the player from full health in favor of resource attrition with a limited supply of health pickups, where encounters that take an above average amount of health and encounters that take a below average amount can cancel out. (Ex. Down The Drain Map 11)