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About skillsaw

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  1. Just played through the latest version (maps03-06). Here are my thoughts. Rig This map was fantastic, absolutely a highlight. I loved the music, too (as usual). It's a great adventure map -- as soon as I saw rockets and items strewn about the snowfield (and thus knew that it would be accessible later), it conveyed the 'escape' narrative of the level. The layout is great, particularly the use of portals to build a 3d space... I was really impressed with how effortlessly the layout weaves above, below, and inside the rig. Finding shortcuts and getting previews of areas I'd go to later was awesome. This is the kind of layout that anyone who is curious about what EE/Linked portals can do should check out... just great stuff. Also, the escape ending was really cool. I love the visual of doomguy escaping onto the empty snowfield -- again, just felt like this map had a well executed narrative/adventure to it. Minor nitpicks.. I did get really confused after finding the BK -- took me a while to figure out I had to go back to the start and find the RK area from there. In the red area, there are some monsters standing on crates you can lock in place if you shoot them partway over the edges. There are some small, red ceiling light sprites... they look like they float in the air to me (maybe they need a Y-offset adjustment?) The midtex bars where you get the RK block hitscan shots for some reason, maybe this is intentional though (seemed weird to me) After getting the RK and BK, he yellow area felt empty ... mostly because I was able to snipe a lot of the enemies in there before gaining access You can leave the map without killing the big bad at the end (just walk around behind the exit hole and go in, even if the bars are raised still) Temple Another nice adventure map that was fun to explore. Layout is clever again, I suspect no matter where you go it takes you to one of the keys, even though it's very nonlinear and open... I thought it was weird when I found two pinkies just before exiting the map (since every other monster is skull themed!). I also thought it was strange that the lava wasn't damaging. Knee Deep Pretty nice map, very easy but still fun. It kind of suffers from the same thing Knee Deep in the Dead does, meaning, once you get the chaingun it's basically impossible to die. I liked the blue keycard ambush. I wasn't able to exit, though... I couldn't figure out where to go once I had all the keys. Maybe I missed something obvious? Toy Don't really want to spoil anything here, this map is cute as hell -- I liked it a lot. The color coordination is clever. Ammo and health both felt really low to me, though... I savescummed quite a bit to get through this on HMP (maybe I'm just bad though).
  2. skillsaw

    How do people come up with map layouts?

    I usually have a large central area that I build the map around (often, an outdoor area with separate buildings, other times a 'courtyard' type area that is encircled by structures, or (rarely) a collection of hub rooms). Usually this isn't too fleshed out to start but I will add loops around the periphery using roughly the following steps: 1) add an objective for the player to the central area (a weapon or powerup the player clearly needs, a locked door, or something that needs to be remotely activated, like a platform or stair that can be raised, or walls that can be lowered) 2) add the solution to that objective (the key or switch) in such a way that it is also visible (or hopefully at least obvious) from the central area 3) build a loop to allow access from the central area to 2) (hopefully quick access to 1) as well) Repeat steps 1-3 but optionally make access dependent on completing a previous loop. The reason I like to place the objectives/solutions before building any new areas is because it lets me concentrate on how I am reusing the central space of the map. This approach also provides clear milestones (another loop done! time to figure out the next one, etc) which helps keep me motivated. As I reread this post I realize I'm probably talking about "flow" more than "layout", but TBH I have a hard time distinguishing the two concepts.
  3. skillsaw

    Creating custom skybox not using map info

    Set the upper texture of the 271/272 line to the sky texture you want to use.
  4. skillsaw

    Ancient Aliens through Marine's Best Friend

    Ancient Aliens wasn't tested on anything other than PrBoom-plus, (G)ZDoom, Eternity, and Zandronum. I believe Doom Retro added support for all required features after AA's release, so it can also be used to play Ancient Aliens. Anyways, you'll also run into issues with the map nodes, which were built using ZDBSP extended nodes (which has the benefit of reducing slime trails significantly, but also limits the wad's compatibility to the subset of ports that also support extended nodes).
  5. skillsaw

    The strange case of a translucent floor

    It's an issue with the way midtextures are drawn in the software renderer. Someone more knowledgeable about the graphics engine could tell you why the midtextures get drawn this way, but to fix it all you need to do is set the sectors on both sides of the midtexture to different light levels (you can just add +1 light level to the sector on the inside if you want it to look exactly the same).
  6. skillsaw

    Sigma-X [5 maps demo version is out!]

    Really nice maps. The visuals are expertly crafted (blue, gray, and dark gray with lots of vegetation is the secret key to my heart :)), and it's really great to see layouts incorporating 3d floors and swimmable water. I did find a secret rocket launcher on MAP02, but even so, I'll admit that the combination of high monster density and low rocket supply overall made the gameplay a little slower than I like overall. Also - I assumed jumping was OK considering it wasn't explicitly disabled by the MAPINFO, hopefully that wasn't cheating. I'll be watching this thread for more!
  7. Fun maps. I got a pleasant sense of disorientation navigating the passages that twist and turn around (and above and below!) themselves. It feels a lot like Gray Dwarf or One Flew Over the Reindeer's Nest, just on a smaller, 1024 scale. On MAP02 I did manage to get an Arachnotron on a catwalk stuck (shooting him with the shotgun a few times pushed him partway over the edge of the catwalk.. some monster blocking lines should do the trick). I'm looking forward to more!
  8. skillsaw

    Do you wish modern megawads were shorter?

    In my experience, I've mostly gotten the feeling that a megawad is going on too long from community or team based projects (i.e. projects with less strict map curation or a less centralized directorial vision). When you are only committed to making a single map for a megawad instead of making it in it's entirety, I think there's some pressure to make your mark, and no one is going to reject your magnum opus ... but it gets thrown on the pile with all the others, and it's exhausting to play all these efforts back to back. In addition, when it comes to the overall composition of the community project, everyone is working in the dark - no one really knows what map might come before theirs or after theirs (likely because those maps don't even exist yet since everyone is working concurrently!). On the other hand, if you're planning to make all/most of the 32 maps yourself, for the sake of your own sanity you'll almost need to make some small/punchy maps just to have any hope of ever seeing release, and that ends up working in the player's favor. And since you're intimately aware of how all your finished maps play and if any of them have the potential to be exhausting (because you've actually played them all to death while making them), you can make maps that compliment the composition as a whole, and place them in a logical order so that diversity and escalation/deescalation of play are satisfying. And you can identify and plan the maps that you need to make to pull disparate maps together. The best wads, IMO, have a harmony that comes from the quality of the composition as a whole rather than quality of individual maps. I'm generalizing, though - there are definitely exceptions :)
  9. It did not. Although I find gameplay mods an interesting source of novelty, my projects are all intended to stand alone - I do not make any considerations towards any mods or test with them.
  10. skillsaw

    Doom Pictures Thread 2020

    ya'll are way too nice
  11. skillsaw

    Valiant.wad - now on /idgames!

    No need to apologize, thanks for reporting the issue... If a change in had broken the wad, I would definitely want to know. But I'm glad it was something you were able to fix.
  12. skillsaw

    Valiant.wad - now on /idgames!

    Thanks erzboesewicht! The MAP31 issue is definitely an issue with the map, I've been aware of it since just after the final release but since demos had already been recorded I opted not to fix it (the map can be completed, but there is a particular route that will mess up triggers and make it impossible to reach the exit ... it's been more than four years, so I don't remember the specifics beyond that). I haven't heard the MAP07 or the MAP17 issues reported before, despite them being played and tested pretty extensively in -cl 11. On a quick test, MAP17 seems to work with the build of on this page: http://prboom-plus.sourceforge.net/history.html ( test r4526), at least, assuming this area is where you encountered the HOM: Archvile gimmick on 07 seems to work as well. Are you on a different build of prboom-plus? Any chance you could reproduce the bug?
  13. skillsaw

    The DWIronman League dies to: Vanguard & Lunatic

    Nice! I'll try to participate this month ... not that I expect to survive! WARNING! Just as a heads up to all who participate - the death exits on Vanguard MAP05, MAP10, and MAP12 are ridiculously janky and slow. Take care not to press anything when you die, or you'll get reset to the beginning of the map.
  14. Where'd you get your trees/grass/bushes from for Valiant?


    I'd like to use them.

    1. Misty


      These are from Deus Vult II. 

    2. MarketAnarchy
  15. skillsaw

    New features added in Eternity

    Thanks - I wasn't aware of this. Looks extremely useful.