Reticula megawad for Doom 2: Episode 1 Released!

This is my new project, I'm posting 10 levels for playtesting. My goal is to offer challenging maps without being extremely hardcore, but since I know my own maps and their traps it's a bit tricky for me to measure the difficulty.
However I think the ammo and health are ballanced but I'm not sure about the combat. The maps will have varied themes without a particular order and I'm composing all the music for this release too so tell me if you find some track annoying ;)

Last update (12/13/13): some co-op compatibilization and one misnamed texture messing up map04 fixed.

mediafire link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/ao9os1wy773ki72/reticue1.wad
idgames link:
http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/?id=17401

Map01: Dripping Dead
Map02: Nyctophobia
Map03: Chambers of Misery
Map04: Phobosick
Map05: Take the Pain with You
Map06: Etruria
Map07: Device of Distress
Map08: Acid Trauma
Map09: Halls of Tom
Map10: Ostranenie






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It would really help if you post some screenshots of your work, so those who play your levels will know what they're getting themselves into.

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Not a breath-taking work, but I'll definitely give it a try. Sky texture made me interested in it.

PROTIP: don't plan megaWADs for a while. It either will be bad or unfinished. Own experience, trust me.

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Katamori said:

Not a breath-taking work, but I'll definitely give it a try. Sky texture made me interested in it.

PROTIP: don't plan megaWADs for a while. It either will be bad or unfinished. Own experience, trust me.


haha, I'm not planning to take anyone's breath, just vanilla classic maps with their own style, I'm not interested in making overdetailed or overscripted stuff, I have a life too ;)
EDIT: about planning megawads, I know everything can happen during the process, that's why I'm going to release this in packs of 5 maps each.

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I'm usually bored-stiff while playing maps filled with predominantly low-tier monsters, but maybe if more of them were like this I could come around :)

Nice dickish traps, many of them are almost proto-slaughter in design, good stuff! Also it's throughly amusing you decided to make an entire map out of doortrak...

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Hey, I liked this a lot. I was very skeptical about the gameplay at first, I mean it's so "scripted": linear maps with one arena after another, and with traps everywhere. But somehow I found the wad very enjoyable. Each map has a unique visual style that feels fresh because of unusual texture usage. I particularly liked the design of map02: who would have thought that DOORTRAK could make such interesting areas?
The difficulty wasn't terribly high for me (I think I died only one or two times) but the levels certainly required some effort to survive and I could never fully relax. Ironically, I found the megasphere traps to be some of the easiest, maybe I was just lucky, I don't know. You can watch the demos of my playthrough recorded in prboom+ and see for yourself.

One thing I'm worried about is the multiplayer compatibility. You have a lot of places where the player gets blocked in a small area and he has to press some switch to open the way. This can lead to problems in multiplayer because what if that player dies? Then the others will not be able to progress further. So please think about it while designing levels if you care about multiplayer at all. Like, if some door closes behind the player, open a teleport nearby so that other players could enter the closed area too.

Oh, and the new midis... Umm, I'm not really good at commenting on music, I either like how something sounds or I don't and I can't really elaborate on that. :) And these tracks are pretty good in my opinion, 04 is my favorite I think.

I'll be looking forward to more levels, you've got something really cool going on here. :) Perhaps some variety wouldn't hurt though, you could try making less linear and less trap-oriented levels.

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Ribbiks said:

I'm usually bored-stiff while playing maps filled with predominantly low-tier monsters, but maybe if more of them were like this I could come around :)

Nice dickish traps, many of them are almost proto-slaughter in design, good stuff! Also it's throughly amusing you decided to make an entire map out of doortrak...


Thanks, my goal is to make efective traps in a way that the player got surrounded or attacked from at least two sides, without compromising the layout, avoiding orthogonal rooms.

Memfis said:

Hey, I liked this a lot. I was very skeptical about the gameplay at first, I mean it's so "scripted": linear maps with one arena after another, and with traps everywhere. But somehow I found the wad very enjoyable. Each map has a unique visual style that feels fresh because of unusual texture usage. I particularly liked the design of map02: who would have thought that DOORTRAK could make such interesting areas?
The difficulty wasn't terribly high for me (I think I died only one or two times) but the levels certainly required some effort to survive and I could never fully relax. Ironically, I found the megasphere traps to be some of the easiest, maybe I was just lucky, I don't know. You can watch the demos of my playthrough recorded in prboom+ and see for yourself.

One thing I'm worried about is the multiplayer compatibility. You have a lot of places where the player gets blocked in a small area and he has to press some switch to open the way. This can lead to problems in multiplayer because what if that player dies? Then the others will not be able to progress further. So please think about it while designing levels if you care about multiplayer at all. Like, if some door closes behind the player, open a teleport nearby so that other players could enter the closed area too.

Oh, and the new midis... Umm, I'm not really good at commenting on music, I either like how something sounds or I don't and I can't really elaborate on that. :) And these tracks are pretty good in my opinion, 04 is my favorite I think.

I'll be looking forward to more levels, you've got something really cool going on here. :) Perhaps some variety wouldn't hurt though, you could try making less linear and less trap-oriented levels.


hehe, it seems doortrak worked, honestly I was prepared for comments like, "it's too dark, bad choice, fap fap fap". BTW I'm taking your advices, the levels are noticeable linear, I'll try to make them less linear onwards, because I like non-linearity too. About multiplayer stuff I care but I'm a newbie on that, I mean I think I'll have to move the starts to free some players, I've never played multiplayer with doom, I don't even know if the keys are needed (this goes to the confessional thread). About variety, you'll see, every level will have it's own feel. I laughed watching your map05 demo, when you were fighting the hell knights in the yellow key area and suddenly those demons started biting your butt and then you desperately tried to escape avoiding the hells knight fireballs backards, that's the only way to do it.

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Coop multiplayer (where players work together to finish the map, as opposed to deathmatch, etc) isn't complicated at all, it works pretty much like single player except weapons and keys don't disappear so that everyone can pick them up (this doesn't include weapons dropped by monsters so if the player is supposed to get a shotgun/chaingun from a zombie, better put a multiplayer-only weapon near the start so that everyone can get it). Really you just need to avoid situations like described in this post by myk.
If you have time, you can try some coop by yourself, it's fun :) :
http://zdaemon.org/
http://zandronum.com/

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Memfis said:

Coop multiplayer (where players work together to finish the map, as opposed to deathmatch, etc) isn't complicated at all, it works pretty much like single player except weapons and keys don't disappear so that everyone can pick them up (this doesn't include weapons dropped by monsters so if the player is supposed to get a shotgun/chaingun from a zombie, better put a multiplayer-only weapon near the start so that everyone can get it). Really you just need to avoid situations like described in this post by myk.
If you have time, you can try some coop by yourself, it's fun :) :
http://zdaemon.org/
http://zandronum.com/


I got it, so the technique is to reach the exit room and then to find out if another player is capable of reaching it too. If you see the exit room of map01 of this reticula, the floor rises blocking its entrance, but if you come from outside there is a switch on the wall for lowering that room's floor again, I'll extend the concept to every map. You know there's a lot of things you have to test and set on your maps, ammo and health balance, difficulty on every monster, lighting levels and its actions, etc. When I test my maps I even try to open key-requiring doors without them just in case I forgot to set the action lines properly. The bigger your maps are, everything become more complex, and when the maps are non linear the variables of gameplay grow exponentially. At least we have experienced playtesters around here :)

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Can you re-upload? I'm getting a message that says "this account has not been verified."

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Magnusblitz said:

Can you re-upload? I'm getting a message that says "this account has not been verified."

I´ve verified the account, the link should work now.

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map06: etruscan civilization theme.







map09: doom alpha theme.






I'm going to upload this to idgames when I have the first 10 maps completed but it would be fair to rely on some playtesting feedback before that so we all can have some quality levels, tell me what you'd like to see on the next levels!
I'm working on map08 right now, screens soon!
map07 and 10 will be themed on hell, I have to learn to make hell maps :P

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Hehe, I just found my old comment - I forgot to check your answer. Also, I didn't know back in the day that you are the author of Favillesco series, which was deinfitely great!

Anyway, the new shots are absolutely promising! I'm interested in the final stuff.

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You should have it titled episode 1 since it replaces the bulk of the first part of Doom 2.

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Katamori said:

Hehe, I just found my old comment - I forgot to check your answer. Also, I didn't know back in the day that you are the author of Favillesco series, which was deinfitely great!

Anyway, the new shots are absolutely promising! I'm interested in the final stuff.


Thanks, this takes time since I cannot map all day, 2 more maps and I have finished the first chapter.

Mr. Chris said:

You should have it titled episode 1 since it replaces the bulk of the first part of Doom 2.


Yeah, Reticula Episode I, that should work.

pics of map 08:




next step: maps 07 and 10, themed in hell.

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That Etruscan map looks very interesting, looking forward to playing it. ROCK# textures are a bit tricky to use from my experience but looks like you are doing well.

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Memfis said:

That Etruscan map looks very interesting, looking forward to playing it. ROCK# textures are a bit tricky to use from my experience but looks like you are doing well.

Thanks, I hate rock textues XD, but I'm trying to use them. btw these maps are very minimalistic in style, just few textures conforming a single pattern per map (maybe I'll make some exceptions for maps combining tech/hell themes which are cool too).
I have 9 finished maps and 8 midis, I'll get back on mapping after my university's f*cking finals and then I'll release a beta with the first episode containing 10 maps for playtesting before uploading it to idgames, so there is only one map left :)

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Pure Hellspawn said:

these screenshots look very nice! i can't wait to play this!

Thanks! you actually can playtest the first 5 levels, I'll resume my mapping tasks tomorrow :)
EDIT: it's finished already, you can play ten XD

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Hehe, so you just silently updated the first post with 5 new cool maps and didn't say anything? Unsurprisingly, noone noticed. :)

Just played map06, it was quite an adventure, very nice and atmospheric map, you did really good job on the theme and the music. Here is a FDA. Somehow managed to get through all these evil traps without deaths!

As you requested, I've also looked briefly at the old maps regarding coop stuff and it looks good so far: I don't see any ways to get stuck. I think I'll run it on a server at some point for more thorough testing, should be fun: such crowded maps work quite well in multiplayer.

-------

Played maps 07 and 08. 07 was veeeery impressive, such an ominous looking castle in the dark. Good thing you finally tried to make some hellish maps! :) Just one silly moment: the revenant fight on a lowering floor is super easy because their missiles are just flying above your head. Actually the same problem occurs again when that floor rises back, but there you also spawn some arch-viles so it isn't as easy.

08 was cool too, I'm surprised I've never seen a map like this before. I mean the "all sectors are damaging" idea of course. BUT please get rid of the 20% damaging sectors! Didn't you know that they can damage you sometimes even if you're wearing a suit? Happened to me at least two times and was really annoying hehe.

FDAs for these two maps, gonna try the remaining levels soon.

-------

Played through maps01-09 in coop, found two problems:
- map07 needs some way to open the bars tagged 29 from the outside
- map09 needs some way to lower the bridge tagged 2 from the red key side

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Memfis said:

Hehe, so you just silently updated the first post with 5 new cool maps and didn't say anything? Unsurprisingly, noone noticed. :)

Just played map06, it was quite an adventure, very nice and atmospheric map, you did really good job on the theme and the music. Here is a FDA. Somehow managed to get through all these evil traps without deaths!

As you requested, I've also looked briefly at the old maps regarding coop stuff and it looks good so far: I don't see any ways to get stuck. I think I'll run it on a server at some point for more thorough testing, should be fun: such crowded maps work quite well in multiplayer.

-------

Played maps 07 and 08. 07 was veeeery impressive, such an ominous looking castle in the dark. Good thing you finally tried to make some hellish maps! :) Just one silly moment: the revenant fight on a lowering floor is super easy because their missiles are just flying above your head. Actually the same problem occurs again when that floor rises back, but there you also spawn some arch-viles so it isn't as easy.

08 was cool too, I'm surprised I've never seen a map like this before. I mean the "all sectors are damaging" idea of course. BUT please get rid of the 20% damaging sectors! Didn't you know that they can damage you sometimes even if you're wearing a suit? Happened to me at least two times and was really annoying hehe.

FDAs for these two maps, gonna try the remaining levels soon.

-------

Played through maps01-09 in coop, found two problems:
- map07 needs some way to open the bars tagged 29 from the outside
- map09 needs some way to lower the bridge tagged 2 from the red key side

Great, I'll make those changes, thank you so much for the advices, I'm using these coop concepts for my newer maps as well, about map08, yeah, the name "acid trauma" tells the story. I watched your FDAs, you are such a good player or my levels are easier than I thought, I think the former statement carry benefits for both of us XD. You performed well against the revenants and archviles in map06 but you've got some chaigunner punishment as well hehe, finally map07 and map08 gave you some trouble, you almost succeded in map08, dying at the very end.

EDIT: One switch on the back of the bars for map07 and one WR linedef for map09, fortunately It was very easy to fix that coop issues without compromissing the layout at all.

EDIT: The file is now on idgames, I sent it before your suggestions, however I'll upload this again with the fixes, but before that It would be nice to know if you find something wrong in the last level.

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Here's a complete playthrough video list, sadly the music isn't featured in this one and a gameplay configuration of the port makes the player get stuck in map07. regardless what's said above the video shows a great gameplay and nice visuals.

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I also got stuck on map07. :( I think tag667 worked like three times because after me killing all spiders the arch-viles would resurrect some. I didn't think of this, so I activated the tag several times as a result. I guess it's risky to put arch-viles in tag 666\667 levels.

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Memfis said:

I guess it's risky to put arch-viles in tag 666\667 levels.

You're right about that, I've never thought about that scenario because I always killed the archviles quickly as they were teleporting when testing the map so I was able to get out without trouble, it reminds me of doom2 map 7 on nightmare, the steps rising to the sky, I'll patch this when I upload my next work, not sure when it'll be released, but a couple of new maps are ready, I'm taking it easy :p.

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