The DWmegawad Club plays: Ancient Aliens



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?
Whatever day of the month it is, is the upper limit for the map you can post on. So if it's the 6th, you may discuss up to MAP06.

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.

When do we vote on the next month’s megawad?
Voting begins on the 25th of the current month. Remember to add a “+++” before your vote to make it easier to count.

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>>>DOWNLOAD ANCIENT ALIENS (RC3b) HERE<<<
(RC3a here)

Our adventure through skillsaw’s ludography continues! Ancient Aliens is the newest megawad by the prolific author & friends, featuring some pretty neon textures and extraterrestrial shenanigans. And just a reminder that the Ancient Aliens is still in beta, so please note any bugs or compatibility issues you may experience.

Author & maplist for Ancient Aliens:

MAP01 - "The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp" by skillsaw
MAP02 - "Sanctum of the Wastes" by skillsaw
MAP03 - "Arachnotron Arrival" by skillsaw
MAP04 - "Bad Medicine Men" by skillsaw
MAP05 - "Last Refuge of the Anasazi" by skillsaw
MAP06 - "Sinkhole Showdown" by skillsaw
MAP07 - "Dare to Fly Where Eagles Soar" by skillsaw
MAP08 - "Ancient Aliens" by skillsaw
MAP09 - "The Nectar Flow" by Joshy
MAP10 - "Gift of Denial" by skillsaw
MAP11 - "On the Origin of Spacies" by skillsaw
MAP12 - "Magenta Heat" by skillsaw
MAP13 - "Polychromatic Terrace" by skillsaw
MAP14 - "Blazing Boulevard" by skillsaw
MAP15 - "Wormhole Junction" by skillsaw

MAP31 - "Grey Dwarf" by stewboy
MAP32 - "Ossuarium Exoterre" by skillsaw

MAP16 - "Leave Your Sol Behind" by skillsaw
MAP17 - "Daylight Under a Dark Sol" by skillsaw
MAP18 - "Illuminati Revealed" by skillsaw
MAP19 - "Crash Landing" by skillsaw
MAP20 - "Code" by AD_79
MAP21 - "Cyberbullying: Beyond Earth" by skillsaw
MAP22 - "Acerola-Orion" by esselfortium
MAP23 - "Trinary Temple" by Pinchy
MAP24 - "Culture Shock" by lupinx-Kassman (additional mapping by skillsaw)
MAP25 - "Xenoarboreum" by skillsaw
MAP26 - "Egyptian Metaphysics" by Tarnsman
MAP27 - "Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls" by skillsaw
MAP28 - "Floating Arena" by Joshy
MAP29 - "The Ones Behind It All" by skillsaw
MAP30 - "The End" by skillsaw

BONUS CONTENT
Suitepee plays: 1 2 3
Yugiboy85's playthrough
rehelekretep's playthrough
Lingyan203's playthrough
----------
OLD THREADS
2012

2013201420152016

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!!!!! IMPORTANT !!!!!
---------------------------
When voting occurs, please add +++ before your vote so I won't be able to miss the votes. Plus it makes it easier for me on the months I don't participate.

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Excited for this one. Might even try to join in, but I probably won't finish. History has a habit of repeating itself :x

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I've noticed HNTR was tweaked on early maps, that was all that put me off really, so I'm definitely joining in and then forgetting to keep playing after an indeterminate number of days!

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Aliens are going to KILL US ALL!

Not robots... ALIENS.

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I've been meaning to play through a megawad, Ancient Aliens seems pretty fun. Can I join this upcoming DWmegawad Club?

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Alright chums, let's do this! Playing in Zandronum 3.0 with sfx, ketchup, modded SmoothDoom, and HD item sprites. UV, pistol start and plenty of out of combat saving. I consider Valiant to be the best megawad experience I've had but my first run through AA came quite close. Let's see if RC3 ironed out the few minor problems.

Map 01

A very original start with some really cool teleport effects. You enter a house, smoke a peace pipe and get thrown out right in front of a Cyberdemon and a few other monsters with nothing but your pistol. Now, ignoring slaughter wads, this is the first time I've seen a Cyber in a map 01 of a megawad. It's a fun map which always forces you to keep moving in the main area, although you can chill out a bit in the side area with some buildings and shotgunners. The biggest danger is getting trapped by weak teleporting monsters in one of the small alcoves and then eating a full serving or rocket splash damage. I completely missed the secret teleport when I first played the map and enjoyed a lengthy shotgunning session with the Cyberdemon. Don't do that, there's a better way. Overall, a short and fun arena-style encounter to kick off the wad.

Piper Maru said:

I've been meaning to play through a megawad, Ancient Aliens seems pretty fun. Can I join this upcoming DWmegawad Club?


This is a premium club and there's a waiting list for new members. Jokes aside, the 2nd point in the OP explains the rules, which basically amount to: Don't post your map 30 experience on the first day of the month.

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The first rule of the megawad club is you don't talk about the megawad club.

I'd love to join in, but I'll be AFK for the second half of the month. I'll spend what time I have trying to catch up Valiant instead...

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Playing with GZDoom, on Ultra-Violence, continuous play, keyboard+mouse, no freelook, no jumping etc.

Map 01: The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp

What a start! The ruins of an ancient native temple greets you as the dusk desert sky sets the tone. Entering the crumbling ruins you discover a ceremonial pipe which sends you on a vision quest. Soon you find yourself in what momentarily seems like something out of the obscure film from the 80's 'Altered States'. That all comes to a screeching halt, and soon you find yourself scrambling for cover as you are greeted by a Cyberdemon and a flock of baddies whom are more than happy to destroy you.

It was a real mad dash to find that blue key, it felt like a circus as I dodged and swerved around the monsters trying my very best to avoid the rockets from the circus ringmaster while taking potshots at him. However, it soon became apparent how to deal with him easily.

I love the design of the level, it flowed nicely and was a real joy to run through.

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I played through Valiant and that turned me into a giant chicken about attempting this one, but I did finish JPCP on Hurt Me Plenty, so I'm going to compromise and run:
Hey Not too Rough, ZDoom, no freelook/jump/etc.

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pr+, UV, pistol starts, etc.

map01

Humorous opener, not so much pressure when you know what to expect. The first time I played this I was like, "What?" skillsaw started subverting the usual map01-isms with Valiant, which introduced some of the mid-tiers a bit earlier than most megawads might, but this one takes it even further, obviously. Fun fact: this is one of those rare levels that can be comfortably UV-max'd pacifist (demo below). A few of the monsters are on conveyors so that the level can't be pacifist trolled during conventional play, but some aren't, so you actually do have to punch the air at some point. Megasphere means you can tank damage. It's a level that doesn't have much casual replayability, being above all an audacious concept -- but it seems well suited to many speedrunning formats.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/j4jhpqx5jm5pv5i/aaliensrc3a_01_rdwpa_demo.lmp

ETA: On HNTR, the secret will look quite strange when the central mancubus is killed prior to it being reached, which will happen often, so just for appearances (and for HNTR/continuous, I suppose) it feels right to add an item as well.

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ZDoom, UV and pistol starts for now.

MAP01: The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp
100% kills, 1/1 secret

Things start off with a bang here, both in terms of design (absolutely love those magentas, oranges, and purples, really a great color scheme) and gameplay (first enemy - cyberdemon!) The pipe/wolf warp sequence is definitely one of the most creative and awesome Doom opening sequence I've seen. The rest of the level is pretty bite-sized, but certainly makes for a palatable opener.

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Giving this a whirl (and I will finish up JPCP at some point too). ZDoom, continuous play, and my limited experience with both skillsaw's other maps and recent offerings from the community in a similar vein suggests I'll have a happier time tackling this on Hey, Not Too Rough.

MAP01: The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp

This one definitely sets out to shake up the usual MAP01 expectations, with a high-tier monster taking pride of place and acting as a turret and hazard for the player but also helping out by thinning the crowds of imps and demons with stray shots (in contrast to the cyberdemon that appears on HMP and higher, on HNTR this role is played by a mancubus). The level's solitary secret allows the turret monster to be telefragged if the player hasn't already taken care of it. Otherwise this level is mostly about introducing the WAD's aesthetics - natural stone sections contrasting with heavily saturaed oranges and purples that lend a suitably trippy feel to the proceedings - and setting the player up to properly appreciate its offerings.

The WAD is already doing some very interesting things with colour choices, largely eschewing the classic red/blue/yellow trifecta so far in favour of green, magenta, orange, and purple details. What it reminds me of to some extent is a contrast filter of the sort used to make image detail more discernible to people with colour blindness, trying out different contrasts until you find one that works. It communicates a sense of artificiality, of filtered perception, of the underlying truth being different to what the player sees - very suitable for a WAD that kicks off with the player entering a drug-fuelled trance state or hallucination.

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zdoom 2.7.1, UV, pistol start

MAP01 - 100% secrets
I'd say this map's considerably harder than most megawad "MAP01" styled maps. I'd have gone deathless, but as I went for the exit door, I died to the cyberdemon rocket splash. Loving the visuals so far, truly inspiring indeed.

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This muthafucker right here is so muthafucking fun. The last time I played the lower settings were balanced so perfectly right. Either that or I'm way better at playing than before. It's like a sentence that doesn't make sense.

MAP01 The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp

Those warp sequences are so nice, as is the thrust to scramble around in this map getting things. The berserk takes precedence, then the shotgun, and the whole time there's a cyberdemon in the center that functions as a turret. Although I noticed now there's a mancubus there on ITYTD, I don't remember that. Exciting as it stands, also Ancient Aliens > Valiant. Let the madness begin.

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No telling how long I'll last . . .

GZDoom, keyboard only, not sure if I'll be doing UV or pistol starts all the way. No recording of stats or the super-high death counts I'll rack up. ;)

Okay, here at The Navajo Wolf Warp we have an opening reminiscent of E3M1 of Concerned, complete with a turreted Cyb you have to telefrag.

Didn't care for this one much, since it involved racing into alcoves and grottoes with rockets flying up your ass, so it struck me as a contrived death-count creator -- there was nothing remotely natural-seeming about it. Players with the patience to plan crowd-control will like this better than I did. BTW, my best guess for death-count in this map is 7.

The look was pretty good with nicely-wrought architecture, and I liked the new textures for the most part, the purple ones especially. You always get bonus points from me for purple. :)

The wolf-warp itself was pretty cool, though it did stir up unpleasant memories of Daedalus:Alien Defense.

Here's hoping that future maps will open up a bit more and put those textures to good use.

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Zandronum, UV, continuous.

Cool TITLEPIC.

MAP01 - "The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp" by skillsaw

I was surprised there wasn't a secret behind the first waterfall, or behind any other waterfall in the map. The Cyberdemon encounter with mandatory visits to corners of the room seemed like a silly exercise to me, especially due to the (seemingly) mandatory item pickups. Much of the running around and cutting through Shotgunguys and Imps also seemed oddly trivial, as the Cyberdemon's presence already put me to hardcore playing mode. However, the Hell Knight encounter was fun and justified the Megasphere and Berserk (though I still wish they were given to the player another way than they were). Custom textures and visual polish looked great, but the layout was a bit too simple and 2-dimensional. I rate this map 3/5.

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I played a few levels of this before Doom 4 hit. I'll join in where I left off at MAP08 on UV, with saves, and from a carryover. I think I'll finish Valiant in the mean time. I've got 6 levels left on that.

Short opinion on the first seven levels: Skillsaw must really like getting cacowards. This is a surefire winner.

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Zdoom, mouselook to see the pretty sights, continuous, HMP, oversized mug of hot coffee

MAP01 - The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp

My problem of wanting to stop and look at the pretty textures (with such wonderful contrast) instead of running and gunning begins in this level. I'm pretty poor with beserk, so I struggled at first. Skillsaw does enough with varying the alcoves you dive into to keep things interesting tactically, and although I'm not the biggest fan of cybie turrets, this usage won me over. As the wad continues, I think there's a cost in ramping up the difficulty so quickly, but that's a subject for another day.

The momentum is great for a devilish MAP01, with the coyote tunnel shooting you out like a gun.

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ZDoom 2.8.1, HNTR continuous, keyboard only for now though I don't intend on playing the entire set like this.

MAP01: The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp
Time: 02:26 | Deaths: 0

Difficulty balancing makes all the difference. My inital impressions of Ancient Aliens were pretty poor due to it being batshit insane difficulty from the start, which is completely out of line with my own preferences... which at the risk of sounding like a broken record, is why I don't play on UV :P So to see that on "easy" difficulty with that cybie turret that seemed to always shoot when I was somewhere it couldn't be dodged...yeah.

Somewhere down the line it's been replaced on HNTR with a mancubus (and I saw someone complain about even that, rofl), which still can't be dealt with initially since you still only have the pistol. Due to the spread of the fireballs, it's harder to dodge the mancubus than the cyber, but the lower damage makes it a lot more forgiving, which is nice. Overall the map is very easy now, beating it with little trouble even without a mouse, as I'd expect - and want, for that matter - from a MAP01. I'm finding the berserk a lot more fun to use now that there is fewer monsters around.

The opening shot is enough to tell you that this wad will be full of stunning visuals, and it doesn't waste time in exhibiting its more humourous side with the pipe on the table and the trippy wolf tunnel that follows it. Got to say I laughed loudly when I first saw that. In ZDoom, there's no music to begin with, just the pleasant sound of a seahore, and the MIDI only starts to play during the tunnel, but what I really like about this is that the warp almost seems to be timed with the music, with the strings building up underneath the wolf's howl, and the main song starting as you come out the other side. Of course it's quite easy to break this, but I like it all the same. The music itself is great, but of course, we expect nothing less from stewboy. There's some really fantastic MIDIs to be found in this project.

When I first inspected RC3 I noticed the archviles on MAP04 are gone on HNTR, as is the cyberdemon in MAP05. I've got a feeling I'm going to enjoy this playthrough. The opening map certainly supports that.

8/10

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Map 01: Much shorter and a lot more forgiving than I expected from Valiant. A good omen or a false sense of security? There is a good gimmick here of placing a manc in a central area and not giving the player enough ammo to take it out and so relying on monster infighting and the eventual rocket launcher to finish the job. Also, since I probably won't comment on it later, the recoloring of many sprites to give a sort of muted effect to the blues is very well done, subtle but noticeable. The change in the sound effects is also an interesting choice.

Also, as a side note, I considered switching up to HMP because I saw people talking about how it was a telefrag cyberdemon here not a mancubus. So I warped to level 28ish and made an attempt at it on HMP... yup... I'm happy right here on HNTR.

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Hopefully I will begin playing this for the Club on Friday night. I'm expecting great things!

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MAP01

Dang already pretty unique with the wolf howl hallway, then a cyberdemon right in your face! We already are heating up fast with tons of enemies surrounding in the main big area, luckily the cyber took care of most of them. This is pretty straight forward though as when you clear most of the enemies, you telefrag the cyber then leave. Quite a big start.

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im playing this on UV, pistol starts, making FDAs or youtube vids until i cant any more, then ill switch to saving and just writing up my thoughts.
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MAP01 - "The Ancient Navajo Wolf Warp" by skillsaw



doesnt disappoint! very interesting start and bam - cyberdemon! certainly one of the more memorable megawad map01s !

+ im going to include the visuals here, but i think thats going to be taken-as-written for the rest of the wad tbh
+ music
+ novel map01

- maybe im dense but the BK alcove could be better signposted - unless its skillsaw's intention to make the player avoid the cyberdemon rockets for longer...?
no other negatives here - very enjoyable!

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Video works for me, but is there a content ID claim on your video? It's not unusual for the system to misidentify music.

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