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Andy Johnsen

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  1. Having played Doom regularly on multiplayer cooperative mode for near 25 years, I figured it might be time to do a post on a few elements of annoyance that were prevalent back then, but seem to still prosper just fine in many modern maps. These were certainly even more common issues in the nineties, but they are still very much evident in modern maps, in all probability still because most mappers don't have the incentive, the interest or the testing environment needed to consider them. All of these pet peeve issues have relatively easy fixes. Please consider them friendly and trite reminders if you're knee deep in a mapping project at the moment, and want to make old crusty cooperative mode cats happy: - Paths / traps that are blocked by features that only trigger once. The most common issue in a Doom map on multiplayer is the kind of feature that work just fine on singleplayer, but leave you unable to pass a certain blockade upon respawning. These are found in almost every megawad out there, one would find a surprising short list of full 32 map sets where several of the maps do not require a restart upon death. The easy fix to this is to have either a shortcut implementation at the start area, or simply allow the blockade to be lowered again at the site. I can see why this was easy to forget in the early days, but that it should still be as prevalent in modern maps is weird considering how accessible multiplayer is now. ** - Keyed doors that are not stay open. Beyond the aesthetics and gameplay consideration there is very little reason to allow a keyed door to close again. In almost every scenario it would be vastly preferable to always use "stay open" on a keyed door, especially in a lengthy map. The repetitive hunt for already used keys becomes a huge chore and a harsh progression killer in way too many maps. If one do not want the door to be permanently stay open for whatever reason, the easy fix is to implement shortcuts at the start area, or have the keys lower / spawn at start once picked up. ** - Similar to the above issue; having to hunt for weapons in already explored areas before you can resume map progression. Again the simple fix is to make the weapons available at spawn once they are discovered. If one combine this with lowering teleporters to shortcut past lengthy distances, the multiplayer flow really comes alive. Tracking for five minutes through empty corridors, or climbing the same ledge sequence repeatedly and what not, is the bane of many multiplayer sessions. ** - Avoid flooding spawn starts / teleport landings with monsters. The chore of spawning into a boiling pot of revenants and barons when basically weaponless is a good way to deplete the fun. Usually some architectural tact can be applied to avoid this scenario. Similar consideration should be used if you allow monsters to flood below a drop, where you get a "clog" if death appears once the monsters have gathered at said spot (only an issue if you play with vanilla settings / infinitely tall actors, but easy enough to avoid). ** - Bio-Suits that become pivotal to get past hurt floor areas, or deplete you to unfair levels repeatedly when expired. Similar to the paths being blocked off or lowered because of traps and what not, this pesky "required" Bio-Suit, health boost or invulnerability variant completely breaks a map in multiplayer if death occur. ** - Lifts / moving floors that only carry one player. Some of these must be allowed for architectural freedom, but the need to make every lift in a lengthy map just wide enough to carry one player becomes a bit of a slog. One cannot accommodate for 15 players at a time, but at the minimum allowing for two players in a lift / moving floor sector, would be an improvement. ** - Stacked ammo, or items placed in front of doors or paths where you cannot avoid picking them up. We sinned with this in Alien Vendetta as well, so this is a lesson learned in-house. Very annoying, especially on multiplayer where you wanna be able to share the goods.
  2. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    That's nice to hear, but be forewarned - I might as well release screenshots instead of the actual map when it's eventually done, because the frame rate will be about the same. :) The map brought my former (outdated) GZDoom version to the breaking point already (It was unable to render it properly and just drew all kinda trippy stuff). Latest version runs it, but I'm guessing there might come a time. Because of the open architecture, and various effects applied (and quite possibly some uneducated decisions), a GZDoom map of this size kills most current high end hardware completely. I'm getting from 5-25 fps on a rather up to date rig, with no monsters placed yet. Fortunately, I'm having fun just creating the environment, so I'm mostly seeing that as the end goal here, the process of it. Like knitting a sweater that no one will wear (I guess?). As long as it's fun work :)
  3. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    That would be correct sir. Thank you for the enthusiasm. : ) Downside is, it won't be playable for ...well, almost everyone. I'm having too much fun with a near limitless format.
  4. Andy Johnsen

    Post Your Doom Picture (Part 2)

    UDMF obnoxiousness in the works, at a celebratory sidedef # (probably more already than all of Alien Vendetta combined...ouch)
  5. Well, there was this Russian guy with a web store selling off megawads burned to discs, with cover-art and all. Strange to happen by Alien Vendetta on ebay. Unfortunately I didn't have time to buy an overpriced copy before someone reported him :)
  6. Andy Johnsen

    Jim Flynn

    Sad news indeed. Rightfully legendary, as much for his work on Boom as for the pioneering and memorable puzzle maps he made. For years we've had a local saying during cooperative bouts; when stuff becomes heavily puzzle oriented we refer to it as the map "Flynning up". Perhaps a testament to how solving a Jim Flynn map the first time around was a memorable and satisfying experience, quite different from the usual. Condolences to the people who knew him, and thank you for informing us, Lee.
  7. My constructive advice would be to aim for proper quality control in order to root out hideous maps from the final product, if the goal is to receive grand reviews. Opinions differ, and that's all fine when it's free content. Sometimes it's okay to summarize your impression without having to go through each section of a map to explain why. If that is "abuse" then we have a different viewpoint of the term. As a whole the product is a highly mixed bag in my opinion, and I pointed out what I consider polar highs and lows. Always fun to check out new stuff, regardless.
  8. Map32, 18 and 19 are absolute 100% trash. Yikes. 19 killed my last incentive to complete this. The cave ara in Map02, Urbanismo's stairway climb and the dynamic nature of map17 were the highlights, beautiful stuff and stark contrast to the overall quality.
  9. Andy Johnsen

    Aaron "DemonSphere" Emge has passed

    Very sad news indeed...I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him personally, but his reputation as an excellent player and a nice guy was evident. I'm sure we would have spent hours discussing the game if the timelines of activity matched up. Condolences to his family and everyone who knew him.
  10. Andy Johnsen

    Historical/Informational AV Crap

    I think you actually mean Lake Poison :) Nukefall was an even earlier map than this. That said, this horrible mesh was one of my first attempts at "atmospheric" settings utilizing a new texture wad, I belive I made most of this back in 1996 and as such it's a good representative of my early, cringy efforts. As a little bit of trivia the indoor part of it was based on the Derceto Manor from Infogrames "Alone in the Dark", but you'd have to put some effort into seeing that when comparing the two!
  11. Andy Johnsen

    Historical/Informational AV Crap

    That one went through the wringer a few times as well, yep. I don't wanna complicate your fun with this, but maybe it would be good to present these with a little bit of commentary as to why the different parts got changed specifically and what the reasoning for cutting the Croatian map was :) You decide on that, if you wanna go ahead and showcase feel free. I'd love to team up with you for some commentary tracks on these relics to give them a context perhaps. I'll hit you up on irc to discuss it further when I have the chance. That said, feel free to present what you desire, you have a pretty good idea of the backdrop for most of this - fun incentive.
  12. Andy Johnsen

    Historical/Informational AV Crap

    Fun to see the DM part of map03 again, I had completely forgotten about that :) I've been talking to Martin about making a little rundown vid of the various changes we did to AV, from the Alien Vindicta origins in 1996 until the finished product. Since there's a lot of cut versions and altered map versions one could dive into, and people seem to enjoy musings about old projects of the kind, it might be fun. I just need to get another project out of the way first, then we'll put something together. I think I have all the map versions backed up still, from cut maps to just tidbits of planned ones. Map03 sure enjoyed a serious Malde overhaul, didn't it. That map17 version you see there was cut real late, it was actually moved to the map31 slot until we had Gemini and Ebola do the included three color creation (one of the last maps completed for the project).
  13. Andy Johnsen

    Sprite clipping issue, GZDoom

    Fantastic! That's what I get for not realizing there's a more up to date version. Thanks :)
  14. Andy Johnsen

    Sprite clipping issue, GZDoom

    Thank you for the input :) Yeah, moving them would indeed fix the issue, I'm mainly wondering why it became an issue from one version of GZdoom to another, given the old build handles this fine, you do get sprites passing through each other, but it doesn't blank out the sprite in front of it in the process, like in the recent version. In the old one it just simply seamlessly clips through. The picture does not capture the flickering effect, it just showcase a sprite placement where such occurs because of the proximity. It would require many hours of rework to fix every overlapping sprite placement issue in the map (it's an enormous thing) and many areas have been designed / composed specifically for a certain density and combination of sprites, so if there's a possible setting to combat this I'd want to try that first. :)
  15. Andy Johnsen

    Sprite clipping issue, GZDoom

    You're probably right. The problem only occurs with certain sprites that will overlap slightly and bleed through each other as you move by. The shot below illustrates a sprite placed on a sector in the back, bleeding through the tree sprite on a ledge below. Moving by, you'll get the flicker effect, and when you have plenty of these it looks unacceptably ugly. I do wonder why it worked just fine in the old build however