The DWmegawad Club plays: ConC.E.R.Ned & Draft Excluder



What is the DWmegawad Club?
This is a place where we settle down, have a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and take a month to play through a megawad on our own, together! Any keen observations, criticisms, or frustrated ranting about it goes here in the discussion. As long as you want to say something about what you've played, feel free to speak your mind.

Can I join?
Sure. The only rule is that you have to play at least some of the levels in our monthly megawad to contribute, but you're generally encouraged to finish the whole thing, even if you've played it before.

What levels am I allowed to post about?
We’ll be playing two maps on the first day, and then a map per day afterwards, going in standard episode order.

Do I have to post an entry every day?
Nope, not at all. This is only for our more enthusiastic members. As long as you play through it with us you’re part of the club.

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>>>DOWNLOAD CONC.E.R.N.ED<<<
>>>DOWNLOAD DRAFT EXCLUDER<<<

Matt “cannonball” Powell didn’t know in 2012 that his speedmapping exercise CBSPEED.WAD would eventually lead to entire Ultimate Doom replacement in 2013, but our community is all the better for it! Jump into ConC.E.R.N.ed and its noteworthy 2014 follow-up Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft Excluder, and keep that shotgun close at hand as there’s bound to be some nasty encounters!

Maplist for ConC.E.R.N.ed & Draft Excluder:

E1M1 - "Toxic Touchdown"
E1M2 - "Mutagenic Quarantine"
E1M3 - "The Cleanser”
E1M4 - "Withering Gardens"
E1M5 - "Administration"
E1M6 - "Laboratory"
E1M7 - "Reactor"
E1M8 - "Particle Accelerator"
E1M9 - "Atom Smasher"

E2M1 - "Collider Anomaly"
E2M2 - "Logistics"
E2M3 - "Hydrophonic Facility"
E2M4 - "Infirmary"
E2M5 - "Tactical Command"
E2M6 - "Haunted Cellars"
E2M7 - "The Core"
E2M8 - "Gates to Hell"
E2M9 - "Blackout"

E3M1 - "Passover"
E3M2 - "Fire Temple"
E3M3 - "Infernal Catacombs"
E3M4 - "Demonizer"
E3M5 - "Complex Trauma"
E3M6 - "Devil’s Crucible"
E3M7 - "Back to System Control"
E3M8 - "Fortress of Tyrants"
E3M9 - "Cyberslayer"

E4M1 - "The Lost Bastion"
E4M2 - "Putrefied Docks"
E4M3 - "Ravine of the Damned”
E4M4 - "Nuclear Jellocide"
E4M5 - "Life Support"
E4M6 - "Temple of the Forbidden Gods"
E4M7 - "Dungeons and Demons"
E4M8 - "Palace of Destruction"
E4M9 - "Thy Mappeth Faileth"


BONUS CONTENT
kmxexii’s review: ConC.E.R.N.ed | Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft-Excluder
Lingyan203's playthrough: ConC.E.R.N.ed | Thy Flesh Turned Into a Draft-Excluder
Suitepee plays: Draft Excluder 1 | 2 | ConC.E.R.N.ed 1 2 3a 3b
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OLD THREADS
BF_THUD!
Community Chest 4
Jenesis
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
Interception
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Hadephobia
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
HYMN
Stardate 20X6 & Monochrome Mapping Project
Realm of Chaos
Back to Saturn X E1 & Favillesco E1
Kama Sutra
Unholy Realms & Zone 300
Vile Flesh
Ultimate Doom
Whitemare & Sacrament
Scythe
Epic 2
Whitemare 2
Sunder & Countdown to Extinction
Doom 2 the Way id Did
MAYhem2048
Stomper
Back to Saturn X E2
Going Down
Rylayeh & Crimson Canyon & Azagthoth
Serenity & Eternity & Infinity
Resurgence
Requiem

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Guess I'll try my hand at this.

E1M1 - "Toxic Touchdown" - Kills: 100% - Secrets 0%

A short and simple E1M1 map. Some of the things I liked about the map is the custom sky texture that gives the impression that you start on some earth bases and placement of barrels that just shoot off to all directions off of the platform when you shoot them. The only thing I'm not sure about is the MIDI choice. It's a bit short for a first map. But otherwise, It's gonna be an interesting playtrough.

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I played some of E1 back when it was just relased and also played all three episodes in ZDaemon TNS. Don't remember them too well but some cool areas stand out in my mind.

e1m1 - Hmm, well this midi choice is almost like cheating because it will make pretty much any Doom map likeable. :) How can you not get excited when you hear it? So yeah, I enjoyed these 90 seconds of classic E1 action, me finding both secrets and listening to some kickass music. Good stuff, feels sort of like modernised 2002ado? Yeah, this is what Paul should have went for instead of making that questionable rerelease.

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E1M1: Toxic Touchdown
100% kills, 2/2 secrets

Yeah, short and simple. Not much to say about it... though I also don't usually expect to have much to say about an E1M1. It looks good, and I like having barrels to shoot (yay barrels!) Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme as a background midi, though... not sure about that choice.

E1M2: Mutagenic Quarantine
100% kills, 5/5 secrets

All right, to be honest, after E1M1 I was expecting a fairly solid-but-benign E1 replacement, with nothing too challenging or special. This map completely reversed my expectations - jump from 37 to 183 monsters, and some really good level design. I really like the secrets, in particular, as many of them contain monsters or unleash entirely new areas. Lots of windows for the shotgunners to snipe through, and there's a surprisingly large amount of opposition. The yellow key fight was good, and the cacodemons at the end were certainly a surprise. I hope the rest of the WAD carries on from this.

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Since I heard we might be doing ConCERNed I gave it a try last night -- it's a lot of fun. Like Magnusblitz mentioned, after a breezy little M1, I was blown out of the water when the challenge and monster count racked up, and I got hitscanned into Swiss cheese by shotguns.

Love how classic the maps feel with their excellent use of vanilla textures. The broken acid container near the M1 exit spilling into the floor was a nice touch, I always appreciate aesthetic touches like that.

The Soulsphere secret in M2 took me entirely too long to figure out, but I refused to leave the map until I got it. I'm appreciating the layouts and the secrets, from the obvious to the tricky. I'm really looking forward to playing the rest of these levels, so far I think it's been a blast to play a Doom 1 megawad (I think this might actually be the first I've ever played one).

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Let's see if I can actually do this consistently for a month for the first time! Playing on Crispy Doom, HMP, continuous with saves (unless I decide to randomly pistol start a map for some reason).

E1M1-Toxic Touchdown

Interesting start. Power Rangers music was fairly silly, and also sounded really weak going through OPL emulation. Took a few too many stupid hits which left me at about 68% coming out of the level, but fairly easy otherwise, as a E1M1 should be.

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GZDoom, UV, continuous, frequent saving, gamepad.

E1M1 - Toxic Touchdown

Nice enough first level, felt pretty fast and loose. Particularly liked the way slime was used as a setpiece. I felt that the Power Rangers theme music choice was a bit odd.

E1M2 - Mutagenic Quarantine

Upon entering this level, I instantly felt like I'd been thrown into the deep end of the pool. Had to make several restarts after getting picked off by shotgunners in and around the first large open area and then again while going after the yellow key.

Was only able to get 3/5 of the secrets. Spent a fair amount of time trying to find my way out to the soulsphere, but it managed to elude me.

More interesting use of slime again in this level, perhaps this will be a trend?

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HMP, continuous, frequent saves. PrBoom+. No music. No mouselook. Infinitely tall actors are ON. I focus on finishing levels - not concerned about 100% secrets or kills.
I fully expect this wad to be a solid proof (if more was needed) that sergeants are the most dangerous non-boss monster in Doom.

e1m1
Nice little homage to e1m1 with the exterior nukage pool, but still retaining an identity of its own by swapping out the 'goodie' it provides.

I also liked the use of barrels – plenty of opportunity to splatter some goons, and that's something I like to see.

The yellow door is a waste, to my mind – I'd have eliminate the yellow key and put some kind of power-up in its place. "Sure, you can skip the northern nukage moat, but wouldn't that security armour be nice?" (plus of course the secret shotgun shells).

The other "meh" moment for me was the imp cubby holes in the south-western corridor. Putting them off the ground like that leaves the player free to ignore the trapped imps. Poor imps, forever left in their little cells, unable to follow me, getting laughed at by all the other demons.

Everything looks good, as you'd expect. Solid starting map.


e1m2
Another IWAD reference with the darkened computer maze. I spotted this secret immediately and a fun time blasting through it. It also gives an excellent couple of vantage points for clearing out the central courtyard, as monsters obliging wander into view of the windows and let you gun them down in turn. I expect things are a bit more hairy if you blast straight out into the middle.

I liked the use of nukage in this level. It's frequently required that you go for a paddle but there are just enough rad suits to make it not a trial to do so. Salting away secrets in those areas creates an extra bit of pressure to searching for them, too. Nice. I found three of five by the way – including the rocket launcher, but not the soul sphere.

Sergeants are already staking a claim to being the most dangerous enemies – they were definitely responsible for the majority of the damage I took; perhaps as much as three quarters.

Props to cannonball for putting a direct link between the red door section and the yellow door section, so there was no need to backtrack through the courtyard.

Like the IWAD e1m2, this map is dripping in ammunition – I left with plenty of firepower for the next map.

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Playing in my usual style. I’ve played E1 and E2 of ConC.E.R.N.ed before Capellan ruined EVERYTHING and nominated this for the club, so I’ll be running back through the old episodes so I can give my thoughts. I’m reiterating that I don’t generally enjoy Ultimate Doom due to its reliance on hitscanners, and the lack of SSG/more interesting monsters from the bestiary.

E1M1: An innocuous yet bland E1M1. The map is dominated by doorway shooting and the YK trap is a joke. Definitely feels like a map made in Powell’s infancy.

E1M2: A much better introductory experience to ConC.E.R.N.ed in my opinion. There’s a lot of large open spaces here but the presence of hitscanners at least keeps the gameplay kinetic rather than campy, and you can see the glimmers of smart level design strewn throughout (like warping in two sergeants behind you at the final encounter). It’s still straightforward but at least it’s fun and gives the semblance of nonlinearity.

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It's been a while since I last managed to ruin EVERYTHING. Go me! :-)

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Eh, why not? GZDoom/UV/continuous/keyboard-only/frequent saves.

Quick question: are these able to be loaded together for the full four-episode experience? Or does Draft Excluder overwrite some of the custom content from ConCERNed?

E1M1: Toxic Touchdown
I'll be honest: I played this map not half an hour ago and I barely remember it. I remember the homages were cute, and at the end of it, I was like, "That was fun!" But that's about it. 100% everything, and barely took a hit.

E1M2: Mutagenic Quarantine
A step up here; nice and sprawling already. I had my first death due to the dangerous shotgunners: they whittled me down behind the red door (I started running around in a panic; never good) and then one snuck up behind me while I tried to take down the caco wave behind the yellow door in my weakened state. I eventually found all the secrets, but I missed a single item, and I was worried that I missed a bonus somewhere, so I figured that was good enough. (I lost the last item beneath a corpse once; it took so long to find, I vowed never to waste my time like that again.) Great map.

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So here we go, I am well and truly in the spotlight this month.
So we start off with Episode 1 which was originally made back in July 2012. I was bored after finishing my final exams at uni and waiting for graduation near the end of the month. This started out with me posting a single map (E1M1 to be exact), this got a positive response and the rest of the maps in this episode came out over the next week or so in a speed mapping session.
For concerned, the original maps for this episode were edited somewhat based on increased mapping experience, though I do feel that the maps feel quite weak now. For that I have challenged myself to go through the maps and see if I could load them up in doombuilder and see if I could improve the maps in terms of layout and flow. The results can be seen via youtube.

E1M1 - Toxic touchdown
This map is very short, and as such I don't think there are too many explicit problems in any department, though it is rather forgettable to be honest as a map. The map feels too segmented compared to maps I make today, that is a trend which continues throughout this wad as a whole. In a way it is rather strange looking back and seeing the difference between a couple of years ago and today.
On another note, the midi was very much for laughs to be honest. I though it would be fun to throw that midi in there. The rest of the music choice in this wad is pretty much run of the mill though I'm afraid :P.
Anyway here is the link to the edited E1M1

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Zandronum, UV, continuous play (for now):

E1M1 - "Toxic Touchdown"

Very generic and simple starter map with linear progression, but good looking and fun. I liked it.

E1M2 - "Mutagenic Quarantine"

A complex map, not so linear this time, but still intuitive to navigate. Very nice looking again (I like these simplistic, Doom-realistic visuals), and with thoroughly good gameplay. Good use of mandatory nukage crossings, they were never too long and they forced the player to use Radsuits strategically, but with a reasonable, pleasant lenience. I liked the map a lot, too. I only wished there were less symmetrical rooms. And perhaps the computer maze with plain floor could have used more distinction from the "Nuclear Plant" one, I mean even more than it did.

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ZDoom, Hurt Me Plenty, continuous play.

E1M1: Toxic Touchdown

Is the name a callback to Alien Vendetta's MAP10, I wonder? Anyway, what we've got here is a petite techbase with various areas full of toxic waste. Mostly unremarkable, but the close quarters and relatively high monster count help to keep things "uptempo," a feeling which the choice of Go Go Power Rangers as music also adds to. Speaking of which...

cannonball said:
Anyway here is the link to the edited E1M1
(snip video)

Aww, man, that was a perfect opportunity to use the Power Rangers Zeo version of the theme song, lost. :(

But yeah, the level is short enough, and the population dense enough, that it keeps the blood pumping and hurries the player along nicely to...

E1M2: Mutagenic Quarantine

Now here's where the "Not yo' mamma's E1 replacement!" feeling really starts to kick in. We've got a nice callback to Nuclear Plant's darkened computer area which serves to give the player a great vantage point from which to blast down into the main hub of the map - one of the few opportunities the player has to really assert area control on this map, which is otherwise very good at giving the monsters multiple avenues of approach to the player and making bottlenecking difficult. The cacodemon also makes a surprisingly early appearance towards the end of this map. I liked the early placement of a single rocket as ammunition as a hint that the launcher was hidden somewhere in this map. Definitely a level that's not afraid to bare its teeth.

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I agree with Capellan about the e1m1 imps that can't even chase the player: that part is sort of silly.

cannonball, that's a very interesting video, cool to see the first map redone in a more spacious style. And wow, you made E1 in about a week? That's impressive, now I want to see a video of you mapping...

e1m2 - another good level, lots of action here. I didn't find the rocket launcher, so the final caco fight took some time but at least there were a few barrels to use. There was, however, one thing I found a bit silly. I see this a lot in Doom maps and don't quite "agree" with it. I'm talking about putting damaging floors in your maps and then rendering them completely pointless by giving the player lots of radiation suits. It's like, "okay, I'm going to put all these hazards in my level, but don't you worry, they won't actually do you any harm". So, what's the point then? I guess people hesitate to force any "mandatory damage", which some players often complain about, but I personally don't see any problem with it. Just fight well and you will have enough health to pass through these parts.

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It's a cold morning in New Jersey. Time for some more doom.

E1M2 - "Mutagenic Quarantine" Kills: 100% Secrets: 3/5 Deaths: 2
Well, This certainly was a bit of a difficulty tweak for an E1M2 level. I just started to notice how Cannonball leaves little hints for secrets, (I.E. Flashing lights, textures that stand out of the current environment, candles near computers, etc.) It's a nice touch. The level overall was just chaotic with a high monster count and looks like a good old slime refinery plants from the original doom games.

E1M3 - "The Cleanser" Kills: 100% Secrets: 4/5 Deaths: 0
A pretty nice sewer/waste processing plant themed level with good usage of secrets. This is where I began to actually look for secrets throughout each level in the wad. I also like the "secret area in a secret area" gimmick. It's a clever way of making the player think twice and look around the current area they're in to find any switches that reveal more secrets.

E1M9 - "Atom Smasher" Kills: 100% Secrets: 1/2 Deaths: 0
After finding the blue key in E1M3, which granted me access to the shuttle train that took me to the secret level, I appeared to be in a fun arena map, with a good MIDI choice (Which turns out to be a MIDI from Descent, since Descent's MIDI soundtrack has one of my favorite midi's), and great casual slaughter gameplay to amp up the challenge a bit. Cannonball sure does a good job when it comes to gameplay like this. The only thing I didn't like about this map was the exit door in the red key room, which appeared to be a door that you can manually use to open, but instead, you have to collect all three keys to get to the switch that opens the exit door (and teleports in some more monsters). It would have been better to make it look like you need to find a switch to open the door. Some red lights along the corners of the door and the switch would have been nice.

E1M4 - "Withering Gardens" Kills: 100% Secrets: 3/4 Deaths: 1
...And so we go outside for once. This was a slight and sudden change of tone for the entire episode. The music (that was used in requiem) in this level just seemed to fit the level's moody outdoor areas with the dead trees scattered here and there. Once again, Cannonball gives out little hints for secret areas to be opened, and I liked how the secret areas lead into other rooms to get to the keys in a short time. Overall, I liked the map because of its use of secret areas and as usual, its gameplay.

That's all I have for today. bye bye.

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E1M2-Mutagenic Quarentine

I didn't have as much trouble with the first room as other people did (probably because I read other peoples reviews of the level first, so I knew what to expect), but that didn't diminish the difficulty of that first room. That said, plentiful health kept me going through the rest of the level, despite a few road blocks (the yellow keycard encounter stood out as particularly hectic, especially because I pulled the switch to access the keycard without clearing the room first). Wish I had managed to find the rocket launcher before the caco fight, but I still managed to leave the level with about 78% health and plenty of shotgun shells (and no chaingun ammo, thanks to the aforementioned cacodemons).

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Breezeep said:

E1M4 - "Withering Gardens" Kills: 100% Secrets: 3/4 Deaths: 1


Not supposed to post e1m4 until tomorrow, man. Posting early means folks might skip your comments for fear of spoilers.


e1m3
The strong use of nukage areas continues, and helps grant things a strong theme so far. Be interesting to see if this continues for the whole episode or not. Also be interesting to see if the secret level changes it up at all: I managed to find the blue key without too much trouble and made it to e1m9 at the end of this.

cannonball continues to win points from me by providing you with other options than re-crossing old nukage to get to new doors. This helps the level flow and keeps the tempo high.

Difficulty-wise, I thought this was probably a little easier than e1m2. Not that there isn't plenty of action: there is. I particularly liked the opening area and the red key fight. But in general it seemed like it was a bit easier to control the angles of approach and mow enemies down. It also probably didn't hurt that I picked up both the blue armour and soulsphere secrets :-)

Good stuff. Looking forward to the secret level.

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Cool, I raced through concern.wad ages ago for a newstuff review, and while I recall enjoying it, I have virtually no memory of any of the maps. So for a change I'm gonnna try playing without saves and recording demos (which will be pretty much FDAs thanks to my terrible memory). I'll keep this up until cybers start appearing or the traps start getting too brutal.

E1M1 - "Toxic Touchdown"
http://www.mediafire.com/download/25m0ag44qttix1c/concern-e1m1-mouldy.lmp

A nice simple starter map. Nothing particluarly deadly, there were some surprise imps on shelves that didn't really do much, but what the hell. The setting feels a bit cramped maybe with fairly small rooms and corridors, and only a hint of outdoors through some windows, but it does the job of feeling like a real place, with some kind of nukage processing going on (and spilling on the floor). Onwards..

E1M2 - "Mutagenic Quarantine"
http://www.mediafire.com/download/9jjp2wai1gki1tt/concern-e1m2-mouldy.lmp

This one has a bit more bite, and more expansive surroundings. A lot more monsters too, though the layout allows some doorway and window abuse. I was pretty lucky finding the secrets on this one, though I didn't find the rocket launcher until everything was dead, could have used that on a wall of cacos I ended up chewing through with the peashooters. It is nice to see cacos this early in the wad, though the shotgun guys are still the deadliest foe, and probably will be my undoing before long. I accidently deleted my first demo so the link above is my second attempt, and a bit more reckless.

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E1M1: Toxic Touchdown

A very serviceable opening map. It doesn't challenge you much at all, especially compared to the levels that come right after it.

E1M2: Mutagenic Quarantine

Now we're talking. The beginning is quite chaotic, surrounding you with imps and shotgunners. You're forced to run around and pick them off, because standing still will let you be attacked from behind. It has a very nicely flowing techbase layout, and the monster placement really emphasizes how dangerous the shotgun guys can be.

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E1M9

When I first saw how many Cacos were in the main room with the exit I groaned, but once I realized how much ammo was in this level I made the Doomguy weapon acquisition grin. There are a TON of rockets available on this map, which was a nice workaround for having this many high HP monsters in a Doom 1 level -- I basically used my rocket launcher like I would have used the SSG for the Cacos and the Barons. It was a breezy little secret level that gave me plenty of ammo to continue with (I'm not a pistol start guy). Obviously the design of this map is pretty simple, but it has a meaty scale to it. I had a blast running around the outer ring wrecking the imps and hitscanners, and the monster closets for the key rooms were well done.

Great job, Cannonball -- it's only March 1st and it looks like most of us have already played three or four maps. Like I said earlier, I'm loving playing a Doom 1 WAD, and you've captured the feel really well, with the level of difficulty we expect in these modern times. I play new stuff on HMP, and the level of challenge has been perfect so far.

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E1M3 - "The Cleanser”

Good, fun and well playable map, again. The amount of symmetry and copypaste was glaring in too many rooms. On the other hand, the simple yet stylish visuals + clean gameplay reminded me of Simplicity in a good way. I liked the map. Good secrets, I knew them from my previous playthrough (more than a year ago, I suppose), so that I've been able to access the secret level. The train was nice and appropriately detailed only as much as it needed to be, I liked that.

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I really only have free time during the weekends so I'll probably post my thoughts in bursts (Typically sunday afternoon)

E1M1
Simple starting map, not a huge fan of the ending for two reasons; 1.) Shotgunners on unreachable ledges bother me (I want that ammo!) and 2.) The damaging floor practically forces the player to camp outside the doorway, discouraging fast play. Other than that though it was pretty straightforward, liked the aesthetic.

E1M2
Woo, that was really fun. I liked the obvious secret at the beginning that made the wide open area much easier. I think that there are a lot of choke points (Especially in the aforementioned secret area, with the window looking out to the wide area) but I feel like they were still entertaining thanks to the abundance of hitscanners dispersed throughout. The later areas filled with monster closets and traps was really good, not many choke points so I found myself on my toes constantly. Major jump in difficulty but that's ok to me, was just right. Great map.

Looking at the starting point for E1M3, lots of nukeage. Hrm

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e1m9
Starting with sergeants looking at you is always an exciting – if sometimes brief – way to start a level! Requiem map03 got a lot of grief for this. I think cannonball won't cop the same flak because unlike Iikka, he remembers to put some health around.

The cacoswarm is fun – when is a cacoswarm not? - but other than that this was a pretty "meh" level for me. The layout is kind of plain and the action in the outer areas not all that interesting. The teleporting monsters when you open the exit are a complete waste – waaaay to easy to just run out of the room and leave them in your dust. Block monster lines mean all they can do is mill at the doorways, shaking their tiny, impotent monster fists at you (okay, and sometimes throwing fireballs, but their arc of fire is too narrow to be a threat).

I saved the blue armour and secret soulsphere for the end of the level and exited at 200/200. Yay me :)

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e1m3 - good good, already killed by the third map. Lost too much health while looking for a weapon and then met a persistent shotgunner. Another lovely music choice but silly lighting here (look at the ceiling). I found 4 secrets by looking at the automap (which is cheating since it seems like cannonball didn't use the "secret" linedef tag, so I won't do that again) but couldn't reach the secret exit. I've looked everywhere but just couldn't locate the blue key. I think I'll play e1m9 anyway because I remember it being nice.

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@Memfis Looking up the automap without IDDT on isn't cheating. It's a feature to use if you're ever lost in the map and can't figure out which way to go.

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I'm talking about how walls that have something on the other side have a different color on the automap unless the author gives them a "secret" flag. So in levels that don't use that flag you can usually find most secrets with no effort at all. Just find a white line on the automap and probably you can open it directly or via some nearby switch. To me it feels like cheating in the sense that that's obviously not what the author expects people to do (instead he expects them to notice a differently colored texture or something). So that's why I don't want to use the automap to find secrets in this wad.

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Memfis said:

To me it feels like cheating in the sense that that's obviously not what the author expects people to do (instead he expects them to notice a differently colored texture or something).

Many mappers deliberately (I suppose?) leave both options possible. It's not really cheating to take advantage of that. Searching for suspicious 2-sided lines on a large automap can be a decent challenge itself.

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