HE Mars & my other projects

Hi everybody,

i'm currently working (on and off) on a Zdoom project, currently called HE Mars for lack of a better name. I haven't released any maps yet publicly, but i have been mapping sporadically over the last ~11 years, with breaks of several years in between.

i want the project to have 3-6 maps, with a transition from mars to warped base / hell over the course of the wad. although the project is in UCS UDMF format, i don't plan on going overboard with the zdoom effects at all. i like my maps conservative in that regard, the only things i will abuse are slopes, colored lighting and some minor scripting (oh, and some very basic 3d floors for see-through grates and stuff).


MAP01: UAC Mars Base (placeholder name)
right now, i am still working on the first map, which is unfinished. The theme is a dusty mars base (which came about by accident, actually, like so many things in my mapping). this map is finished, item and monster placement is subject to change though.
0.6c Screenshots



MAP0X: untitled
this is supposed to be a huge medieval / hell castle map, somewhat inspired (from memory) from two doom64 maps that have castles (no idea about the map numbers, the first one has arachnotrons and purple water, the second one is a nice hell castle). i'll use jen tai's theme from weaponlord as the music, either mp3 with low quality or a ghetto midi conversion from the .spc (doesn't sound to good).
new shots (20130704):


MAP0Y: High-Tech Hate
the map is inspired by the stone spinneret and stardate 20x6, both of which i consider to have outstanding industrial / high tech themes. i have no idea yet how i will lay it out, but it's probably going to have rather big rooms (i hope). I will use the KI fulgore theme from killer cuts (96 kbps for the sake of the file size), it's a perfect fit for a map like this.


MAP31: The End Complete
this is my attempt at an auto-scrolling bonus / hidden map. the "scrolling" works so far, but i'm not sure how the full layout will be. oh, and it's totally gonna use a midi version i found of this.
- the "scrolling" wall.

Download
Download v0.6c, contains MAP01. (Note: please use regular ZDoom for now, GZDoom makes some problems, see the post below on this page).


Changelist

0.6c
- one more teleporting monster trap in the outdoor area
- slight ammo rebalance
- coop and DM starting spots (untested)

0.6b
- teleporters improved, minor cosmetic changes, minor ammo changes

0.6a
- hotfix for one of the monster teleporters

0.6
- MAP01 geometry done
- needs balance feedback

0.4
- added a proof-of-concept version of map31, currently accessed via cheating or the console
- placeholder level exit eastern corridor (yellow key required), might become a larger area
- large outdoor area to the northwest not finished yet (getting there, though!)
- blue key area done
- no DM / coop starting spots yet


i don't have much time lately, so i can't guarantee how many updates i'll be able to provide, but this is what i'm working on in my free time. i'm grateful for all kinds of feedback. the balance might still change significantly since so much of the map is not done yet.


Other Maps
[Url='https://www.dropbox.com/s/vs56b2i47zm6vgh/Vision%20Conquest.wad']Vision Conquest[/url], a small slaughter map i speed-mapped in 2-3 hours. Boom-compatible.

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Those are some really nice looking screen shots. I love the dust effect. If I'm given permission from my family to download the files, I'll gladly playtest them for you.

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first post edited with a link to v0.2.
- added music
- some minor retexturing including textures from cc4
- changed some monster placement

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I would really like to see this released one day. The atmosphere is really good, and you have done a very good job of convincing me that that is a Mars base.

I am a sucker for visuals and atmosphere, and so far it seems that your wad excels at both (and all with a kind of 'conservative' objective in mind).

Well done!

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updated with 0.2b.
- new fonts / a new title pic & title music. the file size blew up because of the graphics for every character in the hud, i'm sure there's a more elegant way to paint the letters differently, but i don't know.

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Could you upload this somewhere else like MediaFire or Dropbox? I don't like the fact that that site is trying to download 50 MB of God knows what on my hard disk.

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i'll switch to dropbox from now on, makes a lot more sense. see first post.

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updated with 0.3
- contains a proof-of-concept version of map31 (a pseudo auto-scroll map), currently accessed via the map01 exit switch or via console.

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uploaded a quick playthrough on YT for those that don't want to bother downloading a WiP wad: v0.3

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i tested map01 with gzdoom today for the first time, and i encountered some weird bugs i can't put a finger on. i guess the fog stuff might not be fixable? i'll stick to regular zdoom for now.


bottom of the masked texture freaking out
fog is very different in gzdoom, i guess that can't be avoided?

a bug with the fog:

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updated first post with v.04.
MAP01:
- worked on the outdoor area, still not finished yet
- blue key room finished
- exit room & item / monster placement not finalized yet.

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updated first post with 0.6

- the geometry is done.
- needs balance feedback / tweaking on all traps.
- needs co-op / DM

since the map is practically done now, if anybody cares to test it, i'd love some feedback on the enemy placement, if anybody cares to test it. i've only haphazardly included the difficulties below UV, so those would need some testing as well.

- are the traps engaging enough / too hard / too boring?
- is the enemy selection for the traps OK (looking at you, lost soul trap)

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updated with 0.6a hotfix for one of the monster teleporters.

edit: updated with 0.6b. some more teleporter fixes & cosmetic changes.

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another update, first post edited with a link to v0.6c.

- one more teleporting monster trap in the outdoor area
- slight ammo rebalance
- coop and DM starting spots (untested)

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updated first post with some more shots of map 0X, a theme begins to develop (at least for the moat, don't know what to do yet for the rest of the fortress).

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updated with a concept shot for MAP0Y - yeah, the letters look silly, but i don't know yet where those maps will go.
the map is inspired by the stone spinneret and stardate 20x6, both of which i consider to have outstanding industrial / high tech themes. i have no idea yet how i will lay it out, but it's probably going to have rather big rooms (i hope).

edit: gonna use the KI fulgore theme from killer cuts (96 kbps for the sake of the file size), it's a perfect fit for a map like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09UAzg3Ualc
edit2: ninja edit with newer screenshot.

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I enjoyed trips to outdoor areas in doom3, nice to see something very similiar in doom2.
Also that MAP0X have some good looking floors of skulls and blood.

I subsribed to the thread, gonna wait for final version.

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This is a great map i was happy with the enemy placement and the layout, very fun and challenging this is 5/5 work.

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thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated.

edit: updated the first post a bit with information on the concepts for the maps.

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no new version this time, but some information on how the development is going.

i'm working on MAP0Y right now and intend to finish MAP0X later (or switch back and forth if i feel like it). So far only one room is finished and I am just trying to find clever ways to connect other rooms to it right now, with the actual layout of the map coming from on-the-fly decisions. I realized that with the level of detail I am trying to achieve, enemy placement will sooner or later become a problem, because there often is simply not enough space for monster closets or just clever traps. I guess I could circumvent this by finishing the layout first, then the enemy placement, with detail work being the last step of creating the map, but this just doesn't work for me, I always feel that i have to make the most out of an area once i start drawing it just to see if the atmosphere works.
Coming back to enemy placement, I played around a bit with the few rooms i have so far:

the first, big room in the middle has some arachnotrons (roaming) and revenants (stationary at the eastern wall). The ammo in the main room is barely enough to kill them all, and the hell knights and revenants to the west eventually aggro and slowly move towards the big room. This keeps the player moving, and the fight is quite dynamic because you can't really predict when and where you will have to make a stand. I like the way this works, but I'm not sure that this is something that I will incorporate into other parts of the map as well, simply because it is not that easy to stage fights like this without blocking the player's retreat, something i'm careful not to do too much.

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a little update on my project:

i'll hand in my final paper on tuesday, after which i will finally be able to continue mapping without feeling bad about it, so expect more updates starting from next week. i might prepare a very early version of high-tech hate by the end of next week, but the layout will most likely not be finished by that time.

new screenshots:

unfinished room i'm working on (maze of torment, maze of death *growl*)

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Obsidian said:

I don't suppose there's a boss fight, is there? ;-)


nothing specific planned yet :) i actually didn't even think about including a cybie into the labyrinth yet, but now that you mention it, it sounds like a good idea, heh. some of the pillars will lower, revealing some enemies, i just don't know yet when i will trigger this - on your first time going through it or on your way back from whatever will come after this room. right now there's just a few mancubi in the corridors, and inside the pillars a few revs/shotgunners/1 archvile. playing a "little cat and mouse" (pun intended) with a cybie before they lower sounds like it could be fun though.

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Heh, that reminds me of something I played a while ago: there's a tricky maze bit near the end with a teleporting Cyberdemon that took me about a dozen tries. That aside, it's one of the best maps I've ever played: check it out when you can. I was personally thinking along the lines of a final boss: whether it be an Icon or just some kickass monster, it's always interesting going up against a boss, and it's usually what draws me to a wad.

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I can't believe I didn't bother to look at this sooner, judging by the shots it looks pretty nice.

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didn't feel like studying today and speed-mapped a small, Boom-compatible semi-slaughtermap. If anybody cares to download it, let me know what you think - i'm somewhat new to slaughter maps, and this probably doesn't even qualify as one for some people. this is not part of the HE-Mars project by the way. edit: took me about 2-3 hours plus another one to see if the map can be beat. i usually take days or weeks for maps, so this is a first.
[Url='https://www.dropbox.com/s/vs56b2i47zm6vgh/Vision%20Conquest.wad']download Vision Conquest[/url]

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