PL2: Mordeth Award contender finally hits the streets

Creaphis said:

I don't blame the map 30 from being fairly traditional - it's hard to think of any Icon of Sin confrontation that hasn't already been done. (Not impossible, but I'm not about to spill my best ideas here.) The new Icon textures look great, very impressive.

The best Icon of Sin confrontation is.....not having one :V

I've realized that, while I often compliment wads, I never thank authors, and perhaps I should. So, for anyone in the P2 team, thank you for your work.

Agreed; I rarely play through megawads, but I've been really enjoying this one, so thanks to everybody who made it possible!

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esselfortium said:

The best Icon of Sin confrontation is.....not having one :V


Well... I like Icon of Sin battles for the closure they provide. The story in this wad is one of the more bland ones out there, and intermission stories are a particularly uninspired body of work to begin with, so it's up to the final level of the wad itself to give the player a sense of having defeated an evil power. Just another cyberdemon won't do, and, without dehacked patching, the Romero head is the best tool given to the mapper by the vanilla engine to build a final boss out of. I'd love to see a final boss that isn't an Icon of Sin, but that's hard to do, and I'd hate to see no boss at all.

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Creaphis said:
The story in this wad is one of the more bland ones out there, and intermission stories are a particularly uninspired body of work to begin with,

I'm curious about this, considering most classic megawads don't even have stories. Is it less inspired than the stories in DOOM II or Plutonia? Or DOOM itself, really. How so? If you can, please give a general idea of what you mean by an "inspired" story. Any examples in WADs? Make sure it's something that can be implemented in a vanilla WAD.

The objective was a story about as "bad" as its predecessors (sticking to the style) that gives a basic idea of why there's a "Plutonia 2", giving a preexisting set of maps* some cohesion, and some consistency between the intro, intertexts (which can't be any longer than they are) and level names.

To create a novelty story, you need to start from the beginning, affecting the levels according to the story, optimally using an engine that grants more freedom to mix the story with the gameplay.

I think Carmack's "games need stories like porn movies do" fits nowhere better than in a classic DOOM megawad. Predictability was more or less an objective; I did have some fun with more subtle touches, but if no one catches anything, though luck, the principal thing is blasting through the levels and not literary analysis :p

* With the standard skies and no particular previous thought to any relation between the levels. The first draft of this story (which is still on TV's webpage) was written Nov 19, where the levels were pretty much defined in place.

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Well, the essential point of my post was that the final map of a megawad has to provide the conclusion because a wad's story is about as important as a porn movie's plot, so our posts aren't especially at odds with eachother, but I'll be happy to magnify differences and argue what I can :)

I suppose what I'm really critiquing is the writing quality in Pl2's story. As these stories have to fit pre-constructed maps in a predictable way, calling them "uninspired" was a poor choice of words when there's little room for inspiration in the first place. But, the writers of these stories still have the chance to do their job better or worse, and, if the job is done worse, and the unlucky scenario arises where someone like me comes along and witnesses the aftermath and is prodded along by someone like Myk, then a rant is going to get written complaining about it.

As an example, compare the following snippets of post-victory text:

Alien Vendetta said:

YOU STUFF YOUR ROCKET LAUNCHER IN YOUR
BACKPACK AND START STROLLING AROUND THE
RUINS OF HELL. YOU WONDER IF YOU CAN
FIND A CAB OR SOMETHING, CAUSE AFTER
ALL THIS CARNAGE AND RUNNING AROUND,
YOU THINK YOU'VE EARNED YOURSELF A
GOOD REST, NOT TO MENTION SOME
EXTRAORDINARY REWARD. YOU STAND THERE,
LOOKING UPWARDS, TAPPING YOUR FOOT
PATIENTLY, WAITING...


Awesome! This is the Doomguy we know and love, right here. After struggling against all odds, and having to painfully pick himself back up for fight after fight after fight, he remains an utter badass to the end, shrugging off everything he's endured with some casual quips. Bonus points to the writer for a touch of compelling ambiguity - does the Doomguy actually have a path back home, or is imprisonment in Hell his grand reward?

Plutonia 2 said:

Maybe now that Hell is dead your fellows will
look up in wonder to free themselves from the
blood frenzied madness and destruction that
nearly spelled a final doom for our universe.


After taking a few runs at that sentence, I still don't like it. It should be taken out and shot. Sometimes less is more - a proverb ignored by H.P. Lovecraft, famous for his absurdly florid prose at his stories' climaxes, and the sentence up there sounds like it was written by Lovecraft's retarded cousin.

Edit: Oh fuck I didn't know you wrote it

I can assure you that any offensive passages above were written for entertainment value and that I harbour no ill will.

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Just that? I think I could improve that paragraph. What about the rest of the story?

Oh fuck you wrote it

I wrote both :p

Lucky me, anyway, I get more honest criticism not diminished by politeness.

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myk said:

I wrote both :p


Ha ha, well okay then.

The rest of the story? Well, looking through the dehacked patch, the rest of the intermission replacements seem fine upon reading them again. It's a bit odd to be told I've been dumped in a prison, and then find myself free and clear on map 12, but I suppose the end of map 11 forces you to write something along those lines. I don't need to nitpick.

My appraisal of "blandness" is due to the first impression I got of the plot while reading the story in the textfile. Maybe Doom doesn't have many themes left to explore, but I still imagine that going mano-a-mano against the forces of hell would be a harrowing, unwelcome experience, which is why it struck me as odd that when the Doomguy here chooses to pit himself against the entire invading army of hell he exhibits the same emotional level that I feel when it looks like my roommates haven't gotten around to washing the dishes, and I must step up to the task. We, the players of Doom have seen the forces of hell a thousand times, and know that our lives are not at risk, but, does the Doomguy? I don't think he does. We choose to kill demons for fun, but the Doomguy kills to clutch onto that one chance in Hell of survival. At least, that's how I see it, and a Doomguy that kills demons because, well, I guess it's his job, lacks a certain impact I appreciate. Of course, if you went the other way and wrote of a Doomguy just incredibly bored and blase with this demon-killing business, then I would appreciate that too for other reasons.

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Creaphis said:
e, the players of Doom have seen the forces of hell a thousand times, and know that our lives are not at risk, but, does the Doomguy? I don't think he does. We choose to kill demons for fun, but the Doomguy kills to clutch onto that one chance in Hell of survival. At least, that's how I see it, and a Doomguy that kills demons because, well, I guess it's his job, lacks a certain impact I appreciate.

According to PL2INFO, it's a gut thing ("you know you'll regret what will happen if you don't act now"). He sees he must act then or the world, including himself, is toast. This is the survival scenario you're talking about, but it has a more epic ring to it, as it does not just affect the marine because a demon is around the corner and his commander told him to kill stuff. He's even more alone than before ("The world has forgotten you") as people seem to have gone berserk on a large scale. The situation is worse than ever, but he's more experienced than in previous occasions.

Look at the DOOM, DOOM II and Plutonia intros. The involvement of the marine is about the same. They say "it's you against them" or "it's up to you". If anything, in the PL2 intro he seems more self-assured about kicking butt. After all, by now he knows he's capable of stopping 3 hellish invasions. A 4th, why not?

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myk said:

After all, by now he knows he's capable of stopping 3 hellish invasions. A 4th, why not?


I guess that's a valid assumption to make when you're a one-man army, but it still feels ridiculous to me. Perhaps my mistake is considering the Doomguy as human? As a being with even some slight vulnerability? Oh whatever. I commend you for chronicling this soldier's fourth single-handed victory for the human race without collapsing into self-parody as I surely would have.

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Creaphis said:
I guess that's a valid assumption to make when you're a one-man army, but it still feels ridiculous to me. Perhaps my mistake is considering the Doomguy as human? As a being with even some slight vulnerability? Oh whatever.

This surely depends on who's behind the keyboard and mouse!

I commend you for chronicling this soldier's fourth single-handed victory for the human race without collapsing into self-parody as I surely would have.

Nah, I think there's too much irony, parodic exaggeration and critical ambiguousness in what I wrote to have managed that :p

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Creaphis said:

I guess that's a valid assumption to make when you're a one-man army, but it still feels ridiculous to me. Perhaps my mistake is considering the Doomguy as human? As a being with even some slight vulnerability? Oh whatever. I commend you for chronicling this soldier's fourth single-handed victory for the human race without collapsing into self-parody as I surely would have.


1% Health FTW, you can't say you've been on that egde before where you know that the next thing that even grazes our fellow Doomguy will kill him while you search for something to help restore his health... And liberal usage of the F6/F9 keys on your keyboard.

Though, IMO, after three hell invasions, he's probably desensitized to all the hellish violence and near-death experiences to the point that he knows what he needs to do and how to survive. And if for whatever reason he winds up having an insane moment... well, he can always just find a huge group of demons to massacre with a BFG9000. =p

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All I can say is that Dario and Milo Casali definitely didn't make these maps.

The maps seem like they try too hard to be plutonia by restricting themselves to using only plutonia textures. The first map seemed like it had a little too much monster variety. PL2 is really really fun though.

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I'm now up to Map08 in my play through this wad. All I can say so far is: Wow. Truely awesome wad this looks to be, especially after the slaughterfest that is Map07. I'm sure there are more of these coming later on. Taking a quick look at the later maps, I see no signs of a drop in quality - so needlessly to say, I'm looking forward to continuing my playthrough of this wad. It has been a blast so far, to say the least - I don't think I have this much fun in a Doom wad more than once or twice a year, if that.

But I do have one small complaint. In the first seven maps, there's one map that I thought just wasn't up to par with the rest - and that is Map04. It's not a bad map in any means, but it seems rather weak and underdetailed/underscaled in it's architecture compared to the other maps, and there is nothing really special about the rest of the map, either. I found this to be especially dissapointing considering that it's maker is Fredrik - the maker of the incredible Vrack series - and after playing this one, I have a hard time believing that the same author who brought us thos incredible maps could come out with this mostly average one in a megawad. Was it maybe one of his earlier works?

Anyway, that's all I have to complain about thus far, and a minor complaint at that, considering that no WAD is perfection all the way through. I'm really glad this project came out unlike many other promising projects that never really see the light of day, and I appreciate all the work that undeniably went into it. If you are looking for a reason to say that Final Doom isn't a complete waste of money, here it is - Final Doom was never worth paying a cent for, in my opinion, but this masterpiece that runs on its base most certainly is. Next step: someone make a TNT: Evilution II - and do just as good of a job. Really, that would be one of my suggestions for anyone looking for ideas on a new Doom project. Then we'd all have the Final Doom that we had hoped for in the first place.

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I don't think Team TNT would be happy to see a non-TNT team make TNT Evilution 2 :D

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TNT: Evilution (2) would be good, as long as it's actually challenging compared to Plutonia (2) :p

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VinceDSS said:

I don't think Team TNT would be happy to see a non-TNT team make TNT Evilution 2 :D

I think so, too. However, I don't feel Team TNT will make TNT Evilution 2. TNT Evolution is huge and complex in IWADs. Eternal Doom inherited such spirit from TNT.

Because I recorded demos in spite of the fact I hardly have time to play Doom now, I have only just arrived at map 20... Also, I made a PL2's video, here.

I remember that the map which is named "Go 4 It" had already existed in 1997(according to the file's property). The wad was made by a Japanese doomer. I think no one know it, excluding Japanese doomers. Of course, this wad is NOT great and NOT exciting. This is only outrageously difficult.

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@tatsurd-cacocaco: Great run, nice work! I'm also thankful you used the switch exit, or else I never would have known it existed. Would have come in handy when I played it a couple days ago :P

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Graf Zahl said:

Gusta's maps are definitely the best in here

It's true, but they remind ksutra more than real Plutonia.

More suitable name for this pwad is Kamatonia or Plutosutra.

Also Gusta's maps have tons of unaligment textures (exactly like in kamasutra) and I am pretty sure it's a side effect of (imo bad) editor choice (Wadauthor)

Also Gusta's maps are bad with JDoom. There are too many HOMs. Of course, it is a problem of JDoom, but real Plutonia has no bugs in JDoom. Most effects could be implemented in more compatible way especially because it's not so hard.

Quality of this PWAD could be much better. Currently it's even lower than TNT/Requiem quality and needs additional work (alignment and better implementation of tricks) I am really surprised how such big team can release pwad with so many bugs. Monsters under floor and stuck monsters speak about very lame testing.

But in any case I agree, Gusta's maps are the best as always. And I do not use JDoom at all :P

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entryway said:

Also Gusta's maps have tons of unaligment textures (exactly like in kamasutra) and I am pretty sure it's a side effect of (imo bad) editor choice (Wadauthor)


Maybe he doesn't know the workaround for WA's lack of support for auto-aligning custom textures...change the first line's texture to an iwad texture of the same length, do the auto-align and change the first line's texture back again.

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In some ways, Icarus is TNT Evilution 2, remember what was the project's name in the beginning.

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Indeed it is, and it has yet another continuation in Daedalus.

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Was Icarus originally going to be called something like "Evilution2" then?

If so, did ID copyright the name or something so it couldn't be used.

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Finally, I played through Plutonia 2. My favorite level is map 17. Now, let’s play it in coop :-P !

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Most of maps (especially Gusta's ones) looks too dark for me in vanilla renderer. They looks far darker then PLUTONIA and even darker then AV... It's seriously disapponted me, because I hate playing doom in overbrightened mode. :(

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That depends on people's monitors. To me, the original levels are mostly too bright, especially DOOM's. The DOOM II levels tend to have darker areas in places. You'll probably appreciate the darker levels more if you get a brighter monitor (as many LCDs are).

I've come to appreciate brighter monitors because if not a lot of the darker lighting levels are more or less indistinguishable from each other.

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myk said:

You'll probably appreciate the darker levels more if you get a brighter monitor (as many LCDs are).

VGA on LCD? No thanks.

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Hitherto said:
VGA on LCD? No thanks.

To each his own, though all I can think of in regard to CTRs nowadays is that they make good catapult missiles. DOOM scales nicely on my LCD and the color looks really fresh. I made the change and never regretted it.

I wonder, however; it might be viable to make brighter and darker versions of a WAD, since the brightness of monitors is of a relatively predictable difference. I remember my older monitor's gamma 3 in Doom was slightly darker than 0 on this one. If there's the demand...

I'm thinking about this because of a level set I'm making. Obviously I'll use lighting to suit my monitor, but might consider a brighter version for those who use darker ones.

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myk said:

DOOM scales nicely on my LCD


?
8:5 on 5:4 for common matrices

myk said:

I'm thinking about this because of a level set I'm making. Obviously I'll use lighting to suit my monitor, but might consider a brighter version for those who use darker ones.

I think if you are trying to make "true vanilla" map, then you should just follow the classic examples.

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Hitherto said:
8:5 on 5:4 for common matrices

Other than maybe having two monitors before you with different ratios to compare, any height stretch (presumably 6.66%) is not noticeable or relevant.

I think if you are trying to make "true vanilla" map, then you should just follow the classic examples.

In that case I'd be making a WAD for other people (not myself), as it would look too bright on my system. I used to usually use gamma 3 on my CRT anyway, as I got used to it speedrunning and deathmatching. A darker view puts one at a disadvantage to most other players, even though it might improve aesthetics a bit. If you use darker visuals, then kudos to you, as you play very well with that factor in mind, given the demos you've produced.

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myk said:

I'm thinking about this because of a level set I'm making.


You map? An idgames author search for "Myk" doesn't turn up much.

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