Single Status Update
I want to preface this blog by saying that this isn't a means of responding to everyone's reactions to it, and I'm not posting this for more detailed feedback. At this risk of sounding like a cry for attention, I'm hoping this is interpretted the way I intended it and less like "PLEASE LIKE MY MAPS!!" I'm just laying out my thoughts on how the first episode panned out and how the results were different than what I expected. This is helpful for me as a mapper, to spell this out for me to review during times of need, instead of letting it dwell in my mind, abstaining me from moving forward.
I believe I was successful in creating what many of my listeners said were overly ambitious. I created levels that could be played in single player, cooperative and deathmatch. I designed the maps to play quite differently in all skill levels, with each skill level optimized to a different style of gameplay per player. All done, without reducing the volume of monsters that appear in each map. I designed the levels with a high volume of large secrets to heavily expand the gameplay if the player so chooses. I also designed the levels with many different possible routes to the exit, so that coop players could spread out and attack the same monsters from different angles, and in Nightmare, respawning hordes of monsters wouldn't crowd up hallways, blocking the only paths the player can take. This was also exciting to me as the designer, as with almost every demo I watched, the players each had a different approach to each map, none of which matching my usual runs. It seemed almost every player had a different experience, even though most of them conceded on it being rather boring.
Watching the demos of my players in my maps was infuriating at times. The way many of the players skulked around corners, picked off monsters from a safe distance, and played highly defensively was absurd to me. It appeared as though they were expecting any step to activate the trap that jumps out and slits their throat. Like the use of light monsters was supposed to lead up to something deadly. When truthfully, I wanted my players to play highly aggressively, utilize all their weapons, ration out their ammo, and crash through this thing. Instead, players weren't very observant of the ammo items, were hesitant to press onward, and resorted to infighting to conserve ammunition. With six levels with the same style of gameplay, where players were quite obviously missing the point, I couldn't help but scream "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" while watching some of the demos people made for me, as they simply wandered around crowds of monsters, even while carrying powerful weapons and tons of ammo, and unintentionally ignoring the hitscanners that devastated them. Apparently distracted by the array of directions to choose from, which was the type of gameplay I designed the easier skill levels for. I was expecting people to approach these levels with the same aggressive enthusiasm as they would Knee-Deep in the Dead, or Hell Revealed 2. From my observations it looks as though the foreboding atmosphere and lack of highly threatening monsters implied a different method of gameplay, and the players obliged.
I was beginning to be concerned that with a game as black and white as Doom, that people seem to have a need to be told what to do, and that even with an increasing demand for non-linearity in the Doom community, it's the levels that pit the player in situations where "the only way out is through" are the most successful. It became increasingly depressing as I wondered how the creator of Garry's Mod might feel, after creating a mod designed for infinite possibilities, the majority of it's player base uses it to show off Gman making silly faces.
It was comforting when I retreated to my playtesters to ask where I went wrong, and they responded that I have successfully created levels that were perfect for the type of player that I am, and that what is perfect to me may sound good on paper, but in practice, it is so specific to my own taste that it's discouraging when another player, even one who does like the same gameplay as I do, has a mild disagreement with it, especially with a brand name that people will play with specific expectations. Just give it time.
I hope time is all that it is, but it feels as though my time is up now that UAC Ultra 2 is residing in post hell. I still have hopes that after UAC Ultra 2 is completed, that players may recognize its beauty and how careful I was at designing it after playing and replaying it a few times. That is, if they can reserve the strength to give it a second chance even after it left them with a sour taste in their mouth the first time around. Who knows how long that will take. It may take decades to even consider playing UAC Ultra 2 in Nightmare coop or in Deathmatch. And I could simply be completely full of myself to be expecting that, especially when a quick sadistic zinger at the end of my opening post is all it takes put its credibility in ruins for most people. But I certainly hope not.
I'm hesitant to move right on to making the rest of UAC Ultra 2. Even though I have set high standards for myself, along with any doom level designer, I'm in full confidence that I can create the amazing Doom experiences that I can envision in my head. I'm just concerned whether I can successfully design something that will appeal to the types of people that enjoyed Speed of Doom, Alien Vendetta, Scythe 2, and the Memento Mori's without compromising the goals I set for myself in the first place, especially because many of the scenarios that appear in these wads cannot be recreated without a UV-only like design. It will take a lot of careful planning to make them work in the many game modes I wish to appeal to, and simultaneously create a unique and fun experience for the people that won't play in anything other than UV. I'm taking my time with it, but I refuse to ship out a rushed product, and can assure that every map that appears in the completed megawad will have to endure a cruel and severe level of quality control monitored by myself.
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Maybe even just a dummy sector with multiple W1 teleports to the same location (or different locations) and after each teleport linedef there is a different generalized linedef action, so you could get in sequence any number of actions to occur with each respawn of the same monster.
ie: you have to kill the same cyberdemon three times before the exit door will open.
Hrm, I just read on doom wiki that respawn time is a random value between 8sec - 5min. Anything over 2mins might not be that desirable for a repeat action like the above (especially if it leaves the player waiting for it to occur to proceed) heh, those close for 30sec door actions feel long as it is sometimes ;0)