Year 23 -The Belly of the Beast- (v1.1 RELEASED!)

So finally, I have released Year 23, the sequel to Year 22 -A Rock and a Hard Place-. You will need a Boom-compatible port that supports increased SEGS limits; I recommend PrBoom+ 2.5.0.8 -complevel 9 or Eternity.

Anyway, this particular level runs on MAP03, and is intended to be quite tough on UV, especially for an unskilled player. And I really mean it, this time, too. Hopefully, it'll give my fellow speedrunners here at least some semblance of a challenge.

A screenshot can be found here. You may download the level by clicking here, or check it out on idgames/ here. Enjoy!

(NOTE: Posts between this and my third post in this thread refer to the public beta I originally released.)

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recommended to fans of tough survival challenges where you always seem to be low on ammo or health. i look forward to many great /idgames reviews calling this wad shit, because it kicked some bratty noob's ass on UV. :)

also worth mentioning, minor spoiler: zero archviles and still tough. good job.

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^What dew said.

Also, fans of D-D's maps would love this one. :)

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Here's an FDA, recorded without sound (took damage and ultimately died because of that).

From what I've seen, I've enjoyed the map. However, it didn't seem hard at all (although I only had 180/570 killed, so one third of the way ; maybe it gets harder?). The start was rather tough, but then as soon as you pick up the SSG, the enemies don't get stronger to compensate ; you still fight more or less the same amount of enemies used in more or less the same way. Ammo and health seemed plentiful, the real danger coming from lacking armor - but even then, all the fights I've seen past the SSG give you plenty of room to maneuver and involve only one kind of monster in one direction.

Still, I liked it and will definitely give it another go tomorrow. It doesn't have to be hard to be fun, and it is fun.

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My 2 15/30 minute f/sdas. It seems to me the right path is insanely easier to start than the left because of the imps + shotgunners + demons teleporting behind you + revenants if you run back out too early because there's too much crap in there. That brings me to the second complaint - why have 2 completely linear paths that you must take with one much harder to start on when one will do fine? Personally I'd nerf the left side just a little bit at the start and completely delete the right path so the player doesn't have to deal with the less interesting (imo) side. Things get a bit more interesting past that, but I died to some pretty lame teleporting hell knights after I finally saw some non-secret armor 30+ minutes in. Meh. Think I'll save/reload it.

So now that I tore a hole in your gameplay, I'd like to say I like the 'visual atmosphere', some really nice hellish vibes. The music adds to that, making it pretty cool. Really liked the red key formation. Some early parts on the right side are a bit blank though, mostly bare redrock. Fixing that up (and changing the gameplay on that side too) could make the first 5 minutes a lot more interesting.

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dew said:

survival challenges where you always seem to be low on ammo or health.


I'm surprised you said that because I tended to have a pretty good abundance of health and ammo most of the time which apparently left a lot of room for carelessness. Some bullshit traps here and there that made me laugh and can be tricky without preknowledge or any improvisational skills but I found this map to be really enjoyable. Nice job!

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Second try. As I knew there were ample health and ammo in the parts I played I took more risks. Ended up dead at 411/570 because a hellknight made a beeline for the teleporter and blocked my retreat.

I agree with AB in that having two linear paths seemed ultimately pointless. What was fun yesterday turned out to be boring when twice longer. Using the SSG for that long, with every fight looking the same... Even the massive architectural changes (pretty neat, btw) couldn't keep me from asking myself "so, are we there yet?", "there" being either a RL/PG or the exit line.

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I also enjoyed playing this. :)

I noticed these however ...

1. Voodoo doll crossing lines 4189 and 6741 had no effect on sectors 2226 and 3157. Doesn't seem to affect gameplay though.

2. Sector brightness not applied to sector 3159.

3. 5 of the 7 secrets are sector effect 9. The other 2 are Generalised effect sectors. I cannot confirm whether these work. Can you tell us where these other 2 are ?

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Didn't like it much. Very SSG centric and time consuming in a boring way, with no real possibilities for infighting. Not exactly hard either, just filled with in your face instant teleports. Sector 1488 HK surround was the only fun trap since after running past them you could go for some infights with the revs and cacos. The caco surround before the exit made me laugh.

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hawkwind said:

1. Voodoo doll crossing lines 4189 and 6741 had no effect on sectors 2226 and 3157. Doesn't seem to affect gameplay though.

Those linedefs, which lower a barrier (sector 2226) and close a co-op teleporter since it's no longer needed (sector 3157,) work as intended in PrBoom+ 2.5.0.8 -complevel 9, Eternity 3.39.20, ZDoom 2.5.0, and GZDoom 1.5.3. The linedefs that do the opposite (linedefs 17167 and 17168) work properly in those ports as well. If they don't work in your source port, that's likely a bug in that port and not the level.

hawkwind said:

2. Sector brightness not applied to sector 3159.

Fixed. Thank you!

hawkwind said:

3. 5 of the 7 secrets are sector effect 9. The other 2 are Generalised effect sectors. I cannot confirm whether these work. Can you tell us where these other 2 are ?

Spoiler

In the northwest part of Section III, there's a a switch hiding out behind a lavafall pillar. Shoot it, and a secret passage opens behind the lavafall to the east. The first of those two secrets is the part of the lava just before the first platform in that passage (sector 1429.) In that tunnel, there's another switch. Activate it, and another secret passage will open through the lavafall behind the red key. The other one of those two secrets is the section of the lavafall in that spot with the superarmor on it (sector 2384.) Both of these secrets are sector type 192, which is a Boom generalized sector type resulting in a 10%-damage floor that counts as secret. Both of them work as intended in all of the source ports I mentioned.

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And so, Year 23 has been released at last. Its title is Year 23 -The Belly of the Beast-. You can download the final version here. It has been uploaded to idgames as well. Thank you all for the criticism! Hope you enjoy the final product!

Merry Christmas! :)

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dew said:

zero archviles and still tough. good job.


Heh. I'll take the odd archvile over revenant spam any day.

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I've just released a hotfix for this WAD which fixes some broken effects and a switch that didn't animate. It will be uploaded to idgames/ shortly, and it is available at the same link as before.

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A HK, thing 1004-1007 (dunno which one) refused to teleport in my max demo here: demo. Have a look, TGH. :)

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Congratulations: you managed to break something that never got broken the entire time this was being tested. By me or anyone else. I'm too tempted to make another hotfix to fix this, but then your demo would desync. Too bad, really.

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Visually this stands out as one of the best maps I've played in recent memory, and possibly one of the top ten or twenty of all time. Well used redrock, lava, gray marble and metal combined with perfect, crisp hellish architecture get two thumbs up, way up, from me.

Until about halfway through I thought I was going to be able to say the same thing about the gameplay. Then the one green armor I'd found ran out and the supply of medikits seemed to run out as well, while the monsters just kept coming. I ended up reloading more than I'd like to. I realize this was supposed to be a survival slog, but I think it should be a bit more forgiving on HNTR, which is where I started out playing it (deliberately so after reading the comments about difficulty in this thread).

I also feel like the traps sometimes edged too far over into the not-fun zone. Traps in Doom are one thing, but when many of the traps seem constructed so that you'll probably take several demon bites/mancubus fireballs before you recover unless you've already reloaded a few times, and you don't have enough health to soak those inevitable hits... not so much.

I'm also going to disagree with ArmoredBlood that the path to the right should be removed. Sure the left path feels like the 'main' part of the level but I feel like the sojourn to the right earns its keep in terms of both architecture and gameplay (except for that fucking mancubus trap, for which see the previous paragraph).

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Qaatar told me the day I made my last post that he's okay with my updating the level to fix that bug, as his demo was a first exit he admitted could use much improvement. Pending any future bugs discovered by players, the ETA for the update is tomorrow. When I release it, I'll send Andy Olivera, the DSDA webmaster, copies of both this new version and the current one so the demo can be played back. See you soon!

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Sounds excellent! I'll just consider my first demo to be my contribution to the 'beta testing' phase, as I admittedly only made a half-assed effort to test this wad during the actual beta testing.

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I have uploaded the v1.1 release of Year 23 to my upload space. On top of the bug fix, this version also adds a little more health on Hurt Me Plenty and (especially) Hey, Not Too Rough, mostly in the tougher parts of the level. Ultra-Violence, however, remains unchanged; after all, it is the "Hard" setting. You can download the new version here, using the same link as before. (The files inside should have a timestamp of February 15, 2011.) It will be uploaded to idgames/ shortly.

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