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dobu gabu maru

The DWmegawad Club plays: MAYhem 2012 (only 12 maps, so join!)

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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! We schedule our time so that we beat a level per day, and 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 if I fall behind?
No worries! If you’re behind a bit you can still post about the levels you've played as long as you’re trying to catch up. But try not to fall too far behind… we don’t want posts about map 5 popping up when everyone else is on map 30.

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.


The megawad we are playing through is MAYhem 2012


Started by TheMionicDonut, MAYhem 2012 was a project aimed at creating a map pack solely in the month of May! Of course things didn't proceed as planned and the mapset took longer to polish and release than expected, but it finally dropped in July, and here we are playing it in December! The maps and authors are as follows:


01 - Vigilance By Phobus
02 - The Golden Age By Walter C
03 - Derpman 3D - The Other Game By Walter C
04 - Eerie Canals By TheMionicDonut
05 - Iron Industries By Scypek2
06 - The Metal By Phobus
07 - Red like Jungle By Walter C
08 - Hell's Ravines By Scypek2
09 - The Grudge By Ribbiks
10 - Infiltration By Cannonball
11 - A cold day in Hell By Cannonnball
12 - Thematic Terror By Moti and Kongming

Since it is holiday time, don't worry too much about sticking to the schedule, as we don't really have anything planned immediately afterwards. Enjoy!

Community Chest 4
MAYhem 2012
Memento Mori
2002: A Doom Odyssey
Coffee Break & Fava Beans & Double Impact
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
Epic 2
Whitemare 2

Edited by dobu gabu maru

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Well.... I might as well start us off by doing a post-performance review of Vigilance.

I started this map with three main goals in mind:
1) To make a solid MAP01 experience (I've never made the MAP01 for a community project before)
2) To use clean texturing in a tasteful colour scheme paying close attention to material cutoffs
3) To have a non-linear layout linked with plenty of windows, allowing me to reuse space

As we were using Nick Baker's recolours texture set and had 4 themes to choose from (Abandoned Outpost, Rocky Laboratories, Metallic Hive and Hellish Descent) I figured a small base installation that could conceivably serve any purpose was the way to go and I started out with the player starting room, setting up a predominantly grey, brown and gold theme, with orange lights, and then a little red and blue for interest. It's a compact map with a reasonable amount of height variation and I put a bit of time into getting texture cutoffs (through sector height as well as line length) to work well, so I reckon I acheived #2 nicely. The map is basically all open to the player at the start and pretty much all visible too, with 3 objectives (shotgun, green armour and chainsaw) equally viable from the get-go and there's a couple of obvious routes from the key to the door, so I'll chalk #3 up as a victory too.

As for #1... Not sure if I was a bit too tactical with my enemy placement or not (hitscanners in one or two areas definitely have the advantageous position over the player), but it's a small map that flows quickly and doesn't offer too much resistance, so overall I'm pretty happy with it. Can't help but think I should have got some music for the map, but D_RUNNIN seemed appropriate for some reason!

All in all, I'm happy with this map - it's probably one of the better quality ones I've made, although not particularly impressive or in any way a stand out. On to Daimon's "The Golden Age" tomorrow!

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Map 1 - a nice little map, everything within arms reach and linked up with some nasty hitscanner suprises here and there. One thing I have to say about this map is that it was strangely brown. A kind of orangey brown that reminded me of visiting my gran with her 70s beige wallpaper. Something not quite right about that shade of brown, I can't put my finger on it...

But otherwise this was a solid map, I managed to avoid dying just about. I particularly liked the way the layout seemed complex despite it being such a small map.

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Map01 Vigilance by James "Phobus" Cresswell
Small map with a few tougher fights mainly consisting of turret hitscanners and a teleport trap in the start room. Took me a while to remember how to get all the secrets. It's a solid stater map.

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I'll be doing HMP, and continuous play rather than pistol starts.


I really liked it.

I agree that there seemed to be something slightly "off" about the look of the level, texture-wise, but in a good, creepy "can't put my finger on it" kind of way.

Architecture was solid, with good variation of heights, and use of openings and windows. I'm not a fan of the doors with non-unpegged side textures, but that's a personal thing.

Gameplay-wise, I liked the opening fight, where monsters spill out at you from all directions. Nicely frenetic without being unfair. Good distribution of monsters, too.

I also liked the get chainsaw --> release demons link, and the use of the computer map in one secret to point out another (I got 3/4. Which is good for me, as I'm bad at secrets).

Fun starter level. Thumbs up.

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Nice map, with good architecture and detail. I can't think about any downsides right now. Really liked RL secret. Teasingly exposed items FTW!

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Thought I'd join in (if that's okay).

Map 01: Vigilance
Difficulty: UV
Kills: 100%
Items: 100%
Secrets: 50%

First impressions: Pretty nice starting map I admire the architecture and slightly claustrophobic feel good texture usage throughout and quite nice and easy overall.

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I liked the look of level 1. There was solid architecture and the lighting was well done. I also liked the secrets. They were all based around understanding the layout, which is better than just misaligned textures or timed doors, etc.

I have a complaint about gameplay though which I have about a lot of custom maps I play. The difficulty progression of the map is rather skewed, starting out high and then rapidly declining. Many mappers can't resist the temptation to throw the player into a tight situation right off the bat. The player is unfamiliar with his surroundings, is armed with just a pistol, and has no armor. At the start of this level the player is being attacked on all sides under these conditions by quite a few monsters. After this initial confrontation the battles decrease in number of enemies. The player has gained a foothold and can take advantage of doorways and not worry about so many avenues of enemy attack. Like so many custom maps, I died at the start of this level but never past.

I believe maps should try to maintain a steady level of challenge throughout, if not increase in difficulty as the level progresses. I cannot claim not to have created maps that fall into this design trap as well, but it's something I try to avoid whenever possible. I would go so far as to say it's best to start a level out easy, giving the player a sense of empowerment, and then slowly chipping away at that feeling as a level progresses.

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Playing UV, will probably do continuous rather than pistol starts.


A tiny, darkened little tech map. I originally went west and got vaped trying to fight chaingunners and demons with a pistol; going east and grabbing the shotgun made things a lot easier. Fun map, as the monster types and amount aren't crazy, but still challenging due to the small amount of weapons/ammo and tight spaces. Hiding hitscan enemies (especially the chaingunner before the exit door) in little crevices was a bit annoying though... then again, the name of the map IS "vigilance."

Agree with Mouldy and Capellan that something seemed "off" texture-wise. I think the bronze parts (recolored silver textures) were still a bit too "bright" compared to the other textures.

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Heh, maybe I didn't succeed with the "tasteful texturing" bit afterall. I kind of like the golden SHAWN myself, when it's used in a dull environment :P

@NT: You may find my MAP06 similarly disappointing on a game play front then (I know I do...)

I'll be playing continuously too, because I know how much having a BFG can help later in the map set. Can't do my MAP02 playthrough/report yet, because I'm at work :(

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Oh dear.

This felt like a big step backward, to me. Visually, it's mishmash of themes, without any discernable thread to hold them together. There was no sense of place. I'm not one who looks for 'realism' in level design, but I do like to have a sense of a functional location (or if it's not functional, that that disfunction is the result of some clear process). This felt very 1994 to me, in the sense of being a bunch of corridors and rooms that were connected up without much rhyme or reason.

The architecture was also frustrating in its details: several sections that feel like mouse-look was expected, plus lots of 64-wide tunnels (ugh ugh ugh). Sometimes it was just plain ugly (the stairs down to the yellow door area). The damaged walls were a nice touch, and from a technical perspective it was all sound - I didn't notice any badly misaligned textures or anything like that - but it wasn't to my tastes.

Gameplay was mostly OK. Nothing exceptional, but nothing super cheap. I enjoyed the first demon swarm, but thought that motif did not work well in repetition (especially in the lava pit area, where it was trivially easy to chainsaw them to death, one at a time. Maybe that was the intention, but standing there holding down the fire button and moving only enough to not fall into the pit is kinda dull.

Not a terrible map, but not one I'll remember fondly.

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Map02 - The Golden Age by Walter C.
Okay map, surprising how two maps seem to link rather nicely in theme. Well there are some nice areas and not so nice areas, too many demons make the gameplay a little dull at times. Not much else to say really.

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Happy New Year everyone!
MAP01: i had no problems fighting first monsters with just the handgun, i'd say they are balanced.

I have mixed feelings about the Revenant, because first time he actually followed me to the chainsaw room and kill me with a hit (which was cool), but the second time he killed most of the monsters himself and then kept shooting his rockets into the upper border of the window.

I think the map would benefit from placing some of the niche monsters on moving platforms to allow player gather more ammo and to diversify his movement.

Almost all the time i had feeling that i'm on the edge of running out of ammo both for the shotgun and handgun, but it didn't happen. Nice.

The chaingunner at the end was definitely unnecessary. "Surprise" chaingunners at close range can melt player in a moment, without giving him any chance to fight back, thanks to their continuous fire. After player reloads, he can step up to the opening and easily shoot the fatso diagonally without taking a single hit. What a contrast.

This is the end of the map and the player is definitely not at full health after many fights, he can't take much damage. That chaingunner also breaks nice flow created by a sarge that player kills from the window and the deaf imp that waits him below the window.

Visually, it's mishmash of themes, without any discernable thread to hold them together. There was no sense of place.


I didn't notice any badly misaligned textures or anything like that

The scrolling BROWNWELL texture in the room with 4 tall red pillars doesn't fit entirely because the ceiling is too low. It's not that obviouse because you can't understand what the hell is that texture, two valves on a rusty plane?
Textures with elements that represent materials (like hexagons or segments on STARTAN) also aligned badly.

This map should have been called Chainsaw: The map, because half of the time it throws demons at you, and we all know what doomers to demons (not only in jail). In case you didn't finish the first map, you can receive chainsaw on this one, in a not-very-secret secret. The yellow key location is quite unnoticeable, the way to the exit is also unnecessary long. I had 0 fun on this one.

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Map 02 was your standard issue door, room, clear monsters, door, room, clear monsters type of level. I didn't mind the thematic transitions. They kept things visually interesting. Gameplay was could have benefited from a few more windows between areas. Also suffers from an overabundant use of the 'deaf' flag on monsters.

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The Golden Age (MAP02) starts out pretty golden, but has a fairly large green section and ends up grey. I feel short-changed :P

In all seriousness, the best looking part of the map was the outdoors view from the start room windows (unfortunately, it's just a backdrop) whilst a lot of the map takes place in 64-unit wide corridors and small rooms. Monster placement would have benefited from less homogenity (as in, a more than 1 type of enemy in any one encounter) and less demons specifically, as they just get bottle-necked and rarely cause any real threat. It does fit the "abandoned outpost" theme well, with the various damaged walls, vines and cave-like section, so that's something.

Considering it is a proper speed map, I think it's alright. Far from the best or the worst map out there.

Tomorrow, it's walter's second map of the three he submitted, "Derpman 3D: The Other Game"! I'll be playing it in the morning, as I don't have work but do have a busy evening and afternoon.

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Doing pistol start playthroughs this time.

MAP01: Phobus delivers a short but sharp level. It's a map with a great distinct color theme and a bunch of tricky, jagged passages filled with baddies. Only complaint I can think of is that it feels too dense--once the first shot is fired, monsters from everywhere converge on your position and it's hard to catch a break. I would've liked more breathing room, but it did lead to some intense firefights so I guess it it's a pretty subjective complaint. I think I enjoyed this map more than his three contributions to CC4; it's a good start to the megawad.

That little cubbyhole chaingunner at the end was a cute/mean twist.

MAP02: Probably my favorite Walter level so far. It still retains his certain quirkiness with a host of neat details strewn thoughout the level and not much of a cohesive level flow. It was still a fun, unpredictable level holding up the consistent gold theme. Exit felt like it came out of nowhere though.

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Yeah, definitely a let down. I think NaturalTVventy hit on the biggest flaw - it's pretty much just door-room-monsters-door-room-monsters. Very linear map design. The fact that the level literally starts off with a room of zombies followed by a room of shotgunners followed by a room of imps followed by a room of demons... not good. Overall it just felt very unfinished - there were some nice architectural details here and there, but needed some more tightening up on thematic design and a lot better gameplay. I don't think there was a single encounter with more than one monster type (maybe in the box room I think a shotgunner got next to the Baron). The exit definitely felt anti-climatic.


Uh...interesting title... wasn't really sure what to expect. It's not a good map. Not terrible... the textures and room design definitely evoked a Shores of Hell feel - but definitely a lack of cohesion. Not much else to say.

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Still got that 1994 feeling.

Another mish-mash level, with wildly different visual styles separated by ... well, nothing, really. It just goes from one to the next without much rhyme or reason. The level's gameplay is as all over the place as the textures, with trivial encounters interspersed with far more dangerous foes, and no hints as to what's coming next. That creates some unpredictability, but also a lot of 'meh' when it turns out that the next room's one of the 'nothing to see here' encounters.

The use of 4 keys seemed unnecessary, given the level's small size.

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Good morning gentledudes, i hope you are feeling all comfy.

MAP03: okay, i guess that little amount of theme that was present on The Golden Age exhausted Walter C completely and he decided to stop even trying.

Visually, it's mishmash of stuff, without any discernable thread to hold them together. There was no sense of place.

And i'm pretty sure you'll see me using this slightly modified quote again when i'll get to Walter's last map, MAP07 - Red like Jungle.

The red card or skullkey is located in a big dark silver box-room. This is soo ugly, i had to mention it.

Encounters and flow are better this time, but not without silly moments like a Mancubus between you and three Revenants. Poor Manc.

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I remember walter saying that MAP03 was designed in the "Metallic Hive" theme, but it is basically a Shores of Hell medley, with Doom 2 monsters. Same problem with homogenous monster placement (even when there's a manc in a room with Revenants, you can only fight one species at a time). Much like MAP02 it's definitely a speed map. Plays a little better, but still very average.

On to TheMionicDonut's "Eerie Canals" tomorrow evening - possibly my favourite map of the bunch.

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Map 03 - Deprman 3d by Walter C
Pretty average episode 2 styled map here. The gameplay I thought was less dull than the previous one, some nice fights and a couple of low key traps. Considering how short the map was I was surprised to get the feeling that the map dragged on a bit. Probably exiting after the archvile fight probably would have been a good move.
@Harmata, I think it was the blue keycard in there, the fact we can't recall it probably sums this map up to be honest, pretty forgettable.

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02 - The Golden Age By Walter C

This one flayed me alive at the start, all those gunners at close quarters - I was running around on 1% health after a couple of rooms. After that I managed to scrape some health together and explore. Its an intriguing kind of a map, the layout is fairly linear and yet quite unpredictable - weird little corridoors, a door half way up a wall accessed by a pile of crates, it seems quite random. I like that in a doom map, when you don't quite know where you are going or what the next room will look like. I also see the strange brown has returned, its like looking at the world through a glass of weak orange squash.

03 - Derpman 3D - The Other Game By Walter C

This was a weird one. It had quite a basic look in places, I can forgive that though seeing as these were all done in a month and walter did a few of them. I'm not sure I liked how it played, it seemed to lead you quite purposefully from one encounter to the next, mostly quite non-threatening fights - then comes an archvile with a load of pinkies that I ended up using all my ammo and punching to death. And then after the exit door the map just carries on going for several more rooms like it forgot to stop. Seemed a bit empty and flat in places.

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Map 02 - The Golden Age by Walter C
Difficulty - UV
Kills - 100%
Items - 100%
Secrets - 100%
Fairly decent map with a nice pinky trap, headless revenant on a crate and a nice music track. I think the later parts of the map aka the switch hunting got a little tedious but nonetheless a good map.

Map 03 - Derpman 3D: The Other Game by Walter C
Difficulty - UV
Kills 100%
Items - 80 something % (Can't remember I skipped intermission by accident).
Secrets - 100%
A secretless and fairly basic looking map but I did like the way that some areas looked similar to some parts of the original doom (I thought so anyway). I think it personally could've done with a few more monsters though as the game play side of things did feel like it lacked monsters to shoot but not a bad map by all means.

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I wanna get involved!

OK, housekeeping to start with. I'm going to playthrough on HMP in PRBoom+ and carry over weapons unless I die, in which case I will forego my arsenal.

Before getting into the maps themselves I would say I was a little disappointed that the wad has been 'packaged' without a replacement TITLEPIC or intermission level name graphics and no dehacked patch for the automap names, which in my opinion gives a mapset a little personality. I also noticed D_RUNNIN music in MAP01 but it seems music has been replaced in some of the maps.

01 - Vigilance By Phobus

Phobus kicks us off with a MAP01 that feels like a MAP01. Short, punchy, populated with entry level monsters and respective weaponry. It occasionaly growls but doesn't really show it's teeth. I have a soft spot for opening levels that force the player into some pistol time so although the gameplay begins sluggish as a result, I wouldn't deduct points for this. Getting the shotgun midway through feels like a liberating experience.

My main greivance is the texture usage, which looks frankly looks ugly. This is perhaps due to the garishly recoloured texture pack that the mappers in this project were encouraged to employ and Phobos perhaps felt obligated to oblige. Some of the detailing looked a little blocky but there was some decent architecture so I think I could live with it quite comfortably if the stock textures had been used.

The level really excels in the map flow, which has the player popping up into previously seen or explored areas from all sorts of angles and once you get firing there were no gameplay faux pas that I made note of. This helps both aesthetically and also for navagational purposes.

Decent start overall.

EDIT: Straight onto MAP02...

02 - The Golden Age By Walter C

I am a little familiar with Walter's mapping for his work for Hadephobia and PCCP. A trademark of his was expansive areas married with small, sometimes odd, detailing. With this in mind I was a little suprised at the close quarters action on offer in this map.

The map starts with a nice view of the levels exterior that, alas, I would never set foot in. It hints at an epic scale but what we get instead is claustrophobic squeezes through tight corriders and mostly small rooms. Not automatically a bad thing but in this instance it certainly doesn't improve this set. Thankfully, the lack of space is not abused by higher tier monsters, the most common varient being the common or garden Demon. The close range skirmishes play into the hands of the melee only monster but simply backing off when they are released will usually give you ample room to manouvre.

The level uses similar custom textures as MAP01, which have not grown on me any, but this time it's mixed less consistently with contrasting hellish or gothic textures in Petersenesque way. Ineffective Boom-specific visual tricks such as scrolling flats and transparent textures add little. The map also doesn't benefit from Vigilance's attractive open style layout either.

Jury's still out. The bottom line is that there's nothing to offend or admire here.

EDIT II: Hell on MAP03...

03 - Derpman 3D - The Other Game By Walter C

Two Walter maps in a row and this is certainly an improvement on the last. While the quirky details and interchangeable themes remain they are handled in a much more palatable way, which gave off an E2 1993 vibe rather than The Golden Age's PWAD 1994 vibe. I consider this very much A Good Thing. More tasteful texture choices and interestingly shaped areas can be credited for this I think.

I had my first death on this map, having suffering lag at an unfortunate moment while hopping accross the stepping stones and finding myself in the lava. The start reminded my of Walter's MAP11 in Hadephobia, which employed a similar setup at it's start. It's not a difficult map in HMP however, with little pressure applied on the player and usually a medikit nearby when one's needed.

It's not perfect and dips in quality noticebly towards the (extranously extended) final third but it's a step up from MAP02.

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Lots to like, but a few flaws too.

Wasn't impressed by the first visual of the map, which looked a bit blocky and pedestrian, but the fight that ensued was a good bit of frantic running around. More detail started creeping in as soon aa I left the first chamber.

Solid use of textures. Maps with lots of grey can look very bland, but this level mixed in enough color and highlights that this wasn't a problem. Architecture wasn't anything too fancy, but had enough detail to look good and be easy to navigate.

Use of the smaller monster types was good, with the blue door courtyard being an especially fun encounter.

Use of the larger enemies was less impressive, with both the Mancubus fight and the final Baron being trivially easy to deal with.

The baron is neutered by another design element I disliked - the lift run to the exit. This wasn't a very difficult bit of maneuvering for the player (I got it about 1 time in 3); I'm just not a fan of such shenanigans in Doom. In this case, it hurt the monster more than me because the Baron has nowhere to go once you open the door, which means he's very very easy to pick off at a distance, without any risk to the player.

Overall, however, I enjoyed this map a lot.

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04 - Eerie Canals By TheMionicDonut

Scythe was famously described as cute but this one is positively Hello Kitty. For one thing Mionic seems to have picked a nursery rhyme for the music instead of the usual metal or trance inspired midis I'm used to. It seems a very odd choice to begin with but it actually suits the level quite well, which goes some way to illustrate the cuteness I refer to.

The strongest point for me is the theme. It goes to show what can be acheived in immersing the player just by picking a colour scheme and sticking to it, the result being a feeling of consistent familiarity. Mionic is clever enough to keep it from getting stale and has by some distance the best useage of the custom textures in the set so far. The lighting is another victory to claim as Eerie Canals is a good looking but predominantly bright map, which I find difficult to pull off well. No shadows to hide your misalignments in!

Gameplay is solid but unexciting. Enemy placement is tasteful, the layout interesting and there are fun little quirks such as being able to sneak up on the monsters in the blue key area through the windows. However, it feels as though Mionic played it a little safe with the enemy placement and spoilt me with an abundance of health and ammo that was much more than I needed despite finding no secrets. More than the other maps this one suffered somewhat from continuous play, at least in HMP. While the layout is good the level does verge on switch hunt territory at times. The area after the yellow key and the penultimate switch the raises the stepping stones, for instance. The fact that the map is not large and easy to get around negates this to some degree so this is a quibble rather than a quarrel.

Nice work Mionic, best of the episode so far.

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