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About Cynical

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  1. This. Prey FTW.
  2. 40oz asked me to post this somewhere, and this seems as close to on-topic as anywhere. For anyone interested in the old UT99 tutorials I mentioned on the show as being my "design bible", here's links to the wayback archives of them:
  3. Found the n00b who's tired of losing and wants to blame it on the game! And you call yourself "hardcore_gamer", LOL. This is a feature, not a bug. Map control, bro. Learn it and love it. I mean, shit, Quake has armor tickdown, armor shards, and usually 4 or 5 armors per map (the most that a single player can reliably time being 2; top players can sort of time 3, but they're inevitably a bit sloppy with it); if you're getting out-gunned, you need to stop taking bad fights. (Also, at least in Q3A/Quake Live, grenades and lightning are just as important as rockets and railgun, and from what I've seen of QC, I don't think this has changed). (Oh, and if you used rocket launcher 90% of the time in UT2k4, you were garbage at that game. Double jump made rockets nearly worthless. UT2k4 was Lightning/Shock/Flak oriented, with Link also having a role in team-based modes [especially Onslaught].) Memorization isn't a skill, but choosing routes through a map is a skill. Doing trick jumps to get from one side of a map to the other quickly is a skill. Deciding whether to pressure a fresh spawn or to go for that RA that just spawned is a skill. Setting up an ambush at an item that's about to spawn is a skill. The reason "hardcore" players only tend to play on a few maps is because most other maps have something that makes them garbage for 1v1. To use UT 2k4 as an example, GrendelKeep had the imbalanced Super Shield spawn (which is unfortunate, since it was great otherwise; if 2K4 had UT4-style spawn mechanics, that map would have been a classic), Squader had too much stuff sticking out of the walls, Idoma was dependent on Adrenaline pickups (which are always turned off in 1v1) for sound cues, Desolation was too cramped, Mixer was too cramped, Ironic had too short of a distance from 50 shield to 100 shield, Spirit and Crash had lame layouts, Irondust's sight lines were too long, etc; as a result, everyone played Antalus, Roughinery, Rankin, Deck 17, and, later, Lea for all eternity not because they were too lazy to learn other maps but because they had learned the other maps and realized that they weren't suitable.
  4. ITYTD always gives you double ammo and makes monsters do half-damage, regardless of the wad being played.
  5. DVii's later maps aren't much (if any) easier than NG2 (although DVii does at least have skill levels).
  6. Better flow. Valiant and AA tend revolve more around self-contained encounters, while Lunatic and *especially* Vanguard let you tear-ass around a complex Quake/UT Deathmatch-y layout and fight/evade things as you see fit. Since Skillsaw doesn't tend to do self-contained encounters as well as a Ribbiks or Dannaebubinga, his newer style doesn't play to his strengths as well. When he *does* let you tear-ass around an open layout these days, it tends to be a lot flatter and more of a "open-plain dotted with random buildings" type of layout than the twisted interlocking complexes of Vanguard 2 or 4 or 6 or 10 or most of Lunatic (notable exceptions: Bane Capital from Valiant, Magenta Heat from AA).
  8. They're also better than Valiant (or AA).
  9. I played until the red key, at which point I couldn't figure out where to use it and quit. The good news -- aside from the disconnected blue-key run having a ton of visual errors (the skyboxes stretch badly as used here -- probably a bad sky-transfer -- and there's a very ugly visual glitch in the Mancubus room when the wall blocking the switch lowers, where a piece of another skybox shows through the ceiling), visually this is very impressive from a new mapper. Textures are used tastefully, shapes aren't bad, and some of the representational details like the gallows in the town square are neat. The bad news -- it plays terribly. Ammo here is really misjudged. Way too many bullets and way too few shells. Making the early chaingun a secret doesn't make anything harder; it just slows the pacing to an absolute crawl. Likewise, when my only options for killing a Cyberdemon are fire at it with rockets for half-damage or plink at it with the chaingun that I have 400 ammo for despite using in every remotely applicable situation... something has gone very wrong. Much of the encounter design here strikes me as very naive -- like the thought process was "bigger monsters = harder encounters", but that doesn't work in Doom. In Doom, bigger monsters = grindy and dull encounters, unless you manage your pressure vectors carefully, which hasn't been done here. Many fights here can be nullified by either just backing through a door, circle-strafing, U-streaming, or, in the case of that early double-Vile encounter, performing a simple body-block between the closest two pillars. Layout has some real "rooms with stuff connected by doors" issues -- there's no flow here. I'd strongly recommend studying Vanguard in regards to layout and Deus Vult II in regards to encounter design (and reading the extended text file for the latter). Also, DavidM's gameplay tutorials (read them here, here, and here) should be considered absolutely mandatory reading for any aspiring mapper -- they were originally written for Unreal Tournament deathmatch, but deathmatch and Doom single-player overlap more than you might think.
  10. I sense a forum smackdown in the making that I cannot wait to witness.  I just hope the older/meaner version of a particular poster comes out to play for perhaps the first time on this site.

    1. Phade102


      Whats with this cryptic statements in teh status feed? You know people are going to ask questions, its almost like you're begging us to ask?

    2. MrGlide



    3. bzzrak


      Waiting for Roozy Senior, did I get it right?

    4. Cynical

      Nope.  Sadly, the one I was hoping for didn't happen :\

    5. bzzrak


      LittleInferno? Zerthex?

      Don't make me guess.

    6. Cynical

      Let's just say that there was a time when PsychoGoatee would not have gotten away with the first sentence of this post without getting a very ornately verbose smackdown.

    7. bzzrak


      No idea. I guess I probably wasn't registered or even born when what you're talking about happened. :]

  11. So, after attempting to play NG2, I realized that I've mostly lost interest in Doom (the only new "traditional-ish" wads I've played in the last three or four years that didn't just feel like rote chores were Plutonium Winds, Unholy Realms, Resurgence, and the better parts of Sunlust and Stardate 20x7), and that neither of these maps are ever going to evolve beyond this basic "unfinished rough layout with some monsters for a few backbone encounters" state. So, I upload them here. Do what you want with them -- if someone wants to finish either of them, that's fine; if you just want to run around and see what sort of things might exist in another timeline, that's fine; if you just want to completely ignore them, that's fine. If you want to learn more about either of these, you can go listen to the episode of WXR where I was the guest (link here), but here's the short versions: DCR sprang from an old unfinished SteveD map; my transformation of it was meant to be a tribute to HR24, "Post-Mortem". I scrapped it when I realized that I had misunderstood the role that vertical scale played in the original, and that what I created played more like a lame version of KS28 "Hard Target" instead. "DCR" was short for "Death Comes Ripping" -- I figured it was a name it would be easy to get both me and SteveD to agree on, since he's an old-school hardcore punk guy, and I love Danzig-era Misfits (plus, it's a really fitting title for a Doom map! "Shotgun blast, a demon piece of lead", indeed!) False Roman Cancel was started after appearing on WXR and talking about the "Four Room Challenge"; I thought "fuck it, why not start a map like that myself? It's been a long while". The layout is kinda sexy in some ways, but I overscaled it badly and it didn't seem like there was any way I'd get the combat to work and I don't have any fucks left to give to find ways to fix it. The name derives from "Four Room Challenge" -> "frc.wad" working name -> me giggling and saying "hehe, FRC" thinking in the GGXX sense. So here you go. Look at it, or don't, whatever.
  12. "I want to flood my map with monsters, better not make it too long or it's going to be a PITA to play" is more like it. No one really cares if people can exit their maps quickly (see: the number of "challenge maps" that intentionally have speedrunning shortcuts that let you skip most of the map).
  13. The early Doom 2 maps were meant to be a gentle introduction to people brand new to FPS, not something fun to play for experienced players. Underhalls ended up being decent regardless, and Entryway is supposed to be great for deathmatch (I personally can't attest to that, having never played Doom deathmatch), but otherwise, Doom 2 stars at Tricks and Traps as far as I'm concerned.
  14. One problem is that, a lot of the time, when people say "classic" it tends to translate into "E1 style" or "chew threw mid-tier enemies with a shotgun", both of which are dull as dishwater. I wish people studied Petersen's maps more. That sort of "under-armed and attacked from all sides while on the run and going further into danger" stuff in E3M2 and E3M3 is what "classic" should mean.
  15. Nonsense. I got my "modern Dooming" start in ZDoom with freelook; I stopped using it when I realized it screwed up the intended combat dynamics in a bunch of classic maps.