At this point I feel the need to respond as, aside from taking a great deal of interest in BTSX in any case, I'm particuarly drawn to criticisms from those who feel that the maps blend together for their lack of distinction. Sufficed to say that I disagree with this criticism on the whole, but not because I think it necessarily incorrect.
To preface the point I want to make, I genuinely do think there's merit to the argument that Get Out of My Stations (and specifically that episode, as the subsequent two and particularly the last are deliciously varied from what I've heard) marches along to the same beat in design from start to finish without much call for change, and I would have loved to see more switchup in layouts in particular. It's simply that, for me at least, this is only a criticism that can really be made sweepingly on its surface, and without much regard for how BTSX plays not just as a Dooming experience but as a high quality project pieced together by many hands over a long period of time... and with an empassioned and meticulous approach.
those 4 screens capture perfectly the underlying reality of this whole project. A largely undifferentiated mass of levels that pass by in a homogenous blur from one to the next. A lot like those 4 screens do. And to think, you were trying to be funny.
Don't get me wrong, as I said, the textures are really very good, and the levels from episode 1 were also very good in and of themselves, but the project does, and will probably continue to suffer from, well, a kind of perfectionism that removes the individuality and uniqueness from the levels as a whole.
Now, I'm not exactly keeping my finger on the pulse of progress most of the time, but I still feel confident in saying that the majority of minds behind BTSX share similar ideas on the more broader and overarching points of design, namely in architecture and flow/layout.* It would be quite unfair to say that Essel's Toxic Map Dictatorship seeks to suck the personality out of the maps on these grounds -- they're more or less a likeminded bunch. The intricacies of their styles can be found when you decide to dig a little deeper, and while ordinarily I think it would be sensible to point out you can only really become better equipped to identify such intricacies through either experience of mapping or merely working closely with these folks on the same project for so long, BTSX is a megawad that gives you every incentive to find these differences. It's too cool! It wants to be big! And through sheer scope and ambition seeks to be regarded with as much interest for the process of creation than as a massive mapset in which to blast demons.
Thanks to playing the maps several times over and taking an interest in the project over the last year, I've arrived at the point where I can glance at the maps from whatever angle and find a wealth of difference between them, much as I can weed out Aro's maps from a pcorf mapset a little better now than I could before... I simply think that with enough time, many of those who hold this criticism of the megawad might come to look at it similarly as well.
So yeah, I recognise the argument that BTSX E1 feels very homogenous and repetitive, but I think that the nature of the project encourages a more invested interest in design with repeated playthroughs, shedding light on all the smaller differences and making the entire thing, in consequence, feel quite varied on the whole.
*Incidentally, there's no way I could look at a slice of Ed architecture and not know immediately whose map I was playing. He sticks out like a black dot on a white canvas... a canvas made of awesome.
Hm, fortunately for me I can't agree with this point no matter which way I tilt my head. If anything, I think the texture style compliments Doom's sprite artwork better than the stock material in places, heh.
I think they would be very good for a game with more advanced engine and more "serious" artwork, but for cartoony Doom they are too detailed/realistic or something like that. I can't quite put it in words but they just don't work for me most of the time. Maybe if all sprites were made from scratch as well specifically to match the visual style of btsx, it would look much better to me, but as of now the whole product is a bit of a mishmash in my opinion.
Last edited by Alfonzo on Apr 4 2013 at 17:59