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Senior Member

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Registered: 02-10

I'm a bit late to update, since progress has been going very well, I've gotten a lot done in the past few days. I just need to add details/monsters/items and I'll fix whatever needs to be fixed. I'd be willing to send what I have so far to a playtester and I'm always open for criticism as long as it's not insulting.

Last edited by valkiriforce on May 15 2010 at 05:35

Old Post Apr 22 2010 07:17 #
valkiriforce is offline || Blog || PM || Post History || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote
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Well since there hasn't been any posts, I though I might update and say this map didn't take too long to make. I'm pretty surprised at what I've made in so little time compared to the other CC4 map I made. Well, if anyone wants to playtest this map, please let me know. It's been finished for some time now (but of course if there are any changed needed I'd be glad to oblige).

Old Post Apr 26 2010 02:54 #
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The Green Herring
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valkiriforce said:
Well, if anyone wants to playtest this map, please let me know.

Technically, what you're supposed to do is to send the WAD to every playtester listed in the first post of the sign-up thread. But I'm glad to see you were able to finish so fast!

- The Green Herring

Old Post Apr 26 2010 03:37 #
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Sorry I've forgotten to update; having the map finished and all I didn't think to at least update with some screen shots.

Episode 1 map - Cybernetics Compartment
The map takes place in a city by the ocean. Usually, the smaller areas you start in give the impression that the map you're playing in is not that big; but as you reach the stairway area, you'll find the map is bigger than it seems.

Don't forget to get the security armor behind you.

The nice thing about this map is that you start off in the smaller areas first so you can work your way to having obtained enough weapons and ammunition to prepare for what's to come.

Small area.

Open window.

View from the window.

Heavy gunfire.


Looks like a hint.

Mountain top fortress.

View of the city.

Old Post Jun 1 2010 07:02 #
valkiriforce is offline || Blog || PM || Post History || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote

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Looks like you improved a lot from your previous work. Keep it up !

Old Post Jun 1 2010 07:55 #
WH-Wilou84 is offline || Blog || PM || Post History || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote
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I had a quick look at this one the other day, and I have a fair amount of feedback to impart.

I agree with Wilou that this map is a significant improvement over the first, but I feel there's still a lot to be done on it.

The map may well be suitable for inclusion with some tweaking, since the layout is a lot better than in the first map, i.e there's plenty of space to move around, no annoying mazes, etc.

With regards to gameplay, I think the monster count is still a little too high. Don't remember exactly, but I seem to recall there being at least 400 monsters, which seems a little excessive in a map of this size. I imagine the monster count would probably go down significantly if you removed most of the pistol zombies, though, which really are nothing more than cannon-fodder here.

I feel that the texturing, detailing, architecture, etc need a lot of work still. Just looking at the screenshots you posted in the thread tells me that the indoors parts of the map are too plain and too simple. There isn't really a coherent theme with regards to your texturing, it still looks very disjointed, a lot like Mt. Erebus, which hasn't aged well. Your buildings all seem to be made of completely different materials, and I don't particularly like the textures you've chosen for most of them either.

Some rooms look fine on their own, but seem stunningly out of place in juxtaposition with their surroundings. This is a problem that was also evident in your first map, although it isn't as glaring here.

In areas that could flow together well with good use of transitioning textures, the place where one theme begins and the other ends is often too abrupt (like the caves and their base).

Before I pull out the screenshots for some more specific points, I'd like to point out that the starting base area really doesn't mesh well with the rest of the map. This is partly because of the hugely long straight stairway which makes me think you just tacked the starting area onto the outdoor bit without putting a lot of thought into the flow of the opening of the map, and partly because of the strange extremely sharp corners and oddly shaped corridors that are in the start of the map.

I think you should tweak the layout of the starting area somewhat, though I'm not saying that you should discard it all, since some of the rooms there were relatively well done. Could be a lot better though.

Now for some more substantial points with screenshots...

- http://yfrog.com/n8doom00p
When I mentioned the unnaturally sharp corridors earlier on in my critique, this was exactly what I meant. If you wanted to keep this layout, you should make the wall with the door longer and have the door set back into the wall a little further.

Also, doors that are the exact same height as the wall they're embedded in can be fine sometimes, but when done as often as in this map tend to look amateurish. This is a hallmark of inexperienced mappers.

- http://yfrog.com/nedoom01p
Again, I don't like the look of the really acute angles you're using here, and your linedefs don't even seem to be straight :/

I don't like the texturing in this area either, and I especially don't like how you place those two contrasting textures together without so much as a transition texture in between.

The door texture is not really to my taste (at least not in this context), and the area would look more interesting if it didn't look like you created corridors exactly the width and height of the door textures entirely for the purpose of putting a door in.

- http://yfrog.com/afdoom02p
Texturing here really needs work. I especially dislike the ceiling texture, where the bricks just seem to cut off for no perceptible reason.

- http://yfrog.com/7edoom03p
This is rather a pedantic one, I'll admit, but something about this 'window' to the chaingun bothered me. Why not remove the door and have the sector a little less deeply embedded and the gun closer to you? Also didn't like the texturing.

- http://yfrog.com/mxdoom04p
More clashing textures.

- http://yfrog.com/eudoom05p
It's hard to highlight what bothers me so much about this, but it's probably the way the roof and floor textures clash with the vines on the walls. The shape of the doorway sector itself looks odd.

- http://yfrog.com/jodoom06p
This room was not bad, though I do think the texturing left something to be desired. Also, there's the obligatory doorway that stretches right up to the ceiling, and a ledge that you have to drop off for some reason. If this were actually a base, why would there be a one way ledge? Why wouldn't there be stairs or at least a lift?

- http://yfrog.com/n5doom07p
Horrible, horrible wall texture here, and a grille so flat that it almost disappears when you look at it from the side :P

- http://yfrog.com/0udoom08p
Why is this weird grille thing here anyway? Not sure I approve of the green crate either.

- http://yfrog.com/5udoom10p
Surely you can see how ill-suited this texture is to tiling a wall of that size?

- http://yfrog.com/56doom11p
Another sure sign of an inexperienced mapper. Leaves the ceilings almost entirely flat and generally with only one (bad) texture. This is a problem throughout the map. The laser things were pretty cool, but there's no point having a cool idea if the rest of the map can't live up to the same standard.

- http://yfrog.com/1sdoom12p
Actually I rather liked this room (relative to most of the map that is, it still has a few minor flaws) but it just didn't fit with the rest of the base. It looks like in the opening alone you managed to cobble together 3 or 4 entirely different themes, which was the map's biggest problem.

- http://yfrog.com/5odoom13p
These grille textures are really terrible when used to cover an entire wall. I'd expect to see them used on small windows if at all :/

- http://yfrog.com/mxdoom14p
I feel this is another area that's hugely out of place in what I thought was meant to be a techbase, and even if it were textured better I don't like the shape and the cramped nature of the room.

- http://yfrog.com/7fdoom15p
This looks terrible because the ceiling is too high by far and the wall is too tall to be given these textures. There's also some clashing.

- http://yfrog.com/jvdoom17p
Again, the door that goes up all the way to the ceiling. Makes a cramped, empty rectangular room look even worse.

- http://yfrog.com/n8doom18p
The lighting is not bad (I tend to think you don't use enough of it) but again the doors go up to ceiling height, and the red brick textures are really out of place.

- http://yfrog.com/g4doom19p
Some weird texture choice here. Why is that building red? Looks like you've been playing E2 and E3 of Ultimate Doom. Your buildings could benefit from more windows as well.

- http://yfrog.com/1qdoom20p
Didn't at all like the texturing of this bridge, since you get a lot of misaligned bits. I think your cliffs are far too sharp as well. Need to add more vertices and make them curvier.

- http://yfrog.com/mtdoom21p
Seems an odd place for a door. Maybe if the door had some sort of building around it I could accept this.

- http://yfrog.com/87doom22p
Really don't think your texture choice looks at all good here.

- http://yfrog.com/jmdoom23p
This actually looks really good, even though it's quite simple. Most of your walls should have some kind of layering like this instead of just being dull flat walls. This is the kind of thing the map needs more of.

- http://yfrog.com/b9doom24p
I talked about transitions. This one really doesn't work. Base goes to water goes to wood in a tiny space and you don't even do anything to make the transition seem more natural. I suggest you pay attention to how more experienced authors do this in their maps.

- http://yfrog.com/4odoom25p
I'm kind of wondering why the wall is cave but the ceiling looks to have been worked on. Why are the walls so flat and smooth?

- http://yfrog.com/ncdoom26p
I already said your cliffs were too sharp. This is exactly what I mean.

- http://yfrog.com/b9doom27p
Why the green texture on the floor here?

- http://yfrog.com/6tdoom28p
Terrible texture choice for that building, I think. So repetitive. Also emphasises the blockiness of the building. Make your buildings a little curvier at the edges maybe?

- http://yfrog.com/jmdoom29p
I liked your cave areas more than most of the other themes in the map, but again I can't help but notice how incredibly flat the ceilings are. Also, consider adding water and lighting to these caverns to break up the monotony a bit.

There's a lot more I could say, a lot lot more. Critiquing the efforts of new mappers can be time consuming, so I won't say much more, and I'll hope I've left you with a lot of food for thought.

You can continue to tweak the map if you want, but I feel that the outdoors city style is demanding for a new mapper, and I think that your big problem is trying to juggle too many themes and ideas and different textures. I feel you might be better served by starting anew on a less ambitious map with fewer monsters and fewer themes. Even if you don't submit it to the project, making a simple little base map would probably help you with the fundamentals of detailing, texturing and layouts a lot more than a map of this sort would. Then once you've improved you can come back and improve this map, if you like. Your call.

I suggest you take a look at some small, simple but polished maps like the first several maps of megawads like Hell Revealed, Vile Flesh, Speed of Doom, Alien Vendetta, etc, to see how they use textures and detailing and take some pointers from them.

Anyway, I know I've had many criticisms, but this is still quite a lot better than your first map. If you keep improving and keep learning, you'll be making polished maps fairly soon. I apologise for the huge walls of text, and hope my feedback hasn't been entirely worthless (also hope it hasn't been too insulting).

Old Post Aug 1 2010 01:21 #
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you made him drop the map from the project >.<

Old Post Aug 2 2010 06:49 #
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For new mappers, open projects like CC4 are a great opportunity to improve their skills, with the help of more experienced mappers and beta testers.
A good beta tester is supposed to tell you if the map's not ok, and give you some ideas on how to improve your map, according of course to their own perception of the map. That's part of quality control somehow.
There's no "minimum level of quality" for CC4, or so I think, but if testers feel that the level is subpar to a stock Doom II map, they have to say it, even if it includes hurting the mapper's ego in the process...

I don't think justanotherfool was rude, he just did what he had to do as a beta tester.
A few months ago I sent valkiriforce the same kind of feedback regarding his other map.
Now valkiriforce can still make other maps or rework the ones he made, and benefit from people's feedback. He just needs to improve, and showed that he's capable of doing so. When he feels like it, he can sign up here again I guess :)

Last edited by WH-Wilou84 on Aug 2 2010 at 10:27

Old Post Aug 2 2010 10:13 #
WH-Wilou84 is offline || Blog || PM || Post History || Add Buddy IP || Edit || Quote
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Twinzen said:
you made him drop the map from the project >.<

So it would seem :(

I'm hoping that my criticism will benefit valkiriforce in the long run, however.

It's hard to strike the delicate balance between tact and criticism online, and looking back some parts of my report do come across as too blunt (thinking mainly the comments on a few screenshots), but that's hard to avoid when you're writing screeds of text like I am. I shall try to proofread more carefully next time.

Anyway, though I don't like to think I hectored somebody out of what is, after all, meant to be a community project, I think it's probably best for valkiriforce to work on solo projects for the time being, where there's no need to worry about deadlines and you can focus on learning the craft at a leisurely pace.

There will probably be room for more maps later on if valkiriforce wants to be part of the project once more.

Thanks for the words of support, by the way, [WH]-Wilou84 :)

Old Post Aug 2 2010 12:24 #
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No no, you guys it's OK. I've been mapping since November of last year, and I've only submitted these two maps around mid March/May. The struggle I've been having usually was that I had no one to tell me what was right/wrong with these maps. Now I feel that I have a much better perspective on what makes a good map. Especially since lately I've been looking at a lot of highly favored wads/megawads like Speed of Doom, Alien Vendetta, or the likes of the old-school efforts like Requiem and others. I've improved a lot over so little time, so it's been great; but I feel the need to keep a better eye on what I've decided to release. Plus lately I've been much too focused on my own project which soon enough I hope to reveal at some point.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and we'll see what happens with these newer maps I've been making.

Old Post Aug 2 2010 19:37 #
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