[Heretic] Flame of the Sidhe: The Sewers (map d/l and screens)

Hello! Long time reader and Doom fan, I thought I'd introduce myself by way of a Heretic level I've been working on in the recent weeks. This map is an E1M1 replacement based on a concept of my first ever user wad, made back in 1995 or so. "Flame of the Sidhe: The Sewers" is my re-imagining of Heretic's "The Docks", heavily inspired by Hexen's "Effluvium".

Corvus the Elf awakens in a drainage ditch and must battle his way through the darkness, bringing vengeance to the minions of D'sparil.

Made with Doombuilder 2 and tested with ZDoom port.

screenshots: (album of 6 photos each 700x400)

s7.photobucket.com/user/scenery23/library/Flame of the Sidhe

download: (zip contains .wad and .txt)


EDIT: ROTFL at my status

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Welcome to the fray! I mean, forums.

First of all, please either use [url] tags, or tick the option "automatically parse URLs" below the text of your post when you're writing it.

I play mostly Doom, not much of Heretic, so keep that in mind when reading about my opinions about the wad.

I think it's great. Your leveldesign is on a very high level, I thoroughly enjoyed wandering the environment. To my own surprise, you also very well crafted out the combat pacing. I mean, it never took too much time to kill the monsters in my way, which is awesome and many mappers fail to achieve it! Thanks to these qualities, your piece of work impressed me more than Heretic itself and any other custom wad for Heretic I've ever played. Including HYMN, which is a relatively recent Heretic community project, which unfortunately also had tiresome problems with gameplay, for me.

Thumbs up for the progression, your level just flows well. I like the principle of rewarding search for ammo. I found 6/7 secrets, I think they're well done. Difficulty isn't the highest, but well, contrarily to Doom, Heretic isn't about providing challenges.

You might have done better if you had introduced yourself by a Doom level, I think you would have received more feedback and from the people who actually can provide a decent feedback. Most of us in this community are spending time mainly with Doom.

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Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it! Especially since it's not your main game. I can understand that, since it isn't hereticworld.com lol

To hear good things about the progression is awesome for me, I was worried it was too dark (it actually used to be darker).

I'll take what you've said into consideration, you can expect more from me in the future... whether that's with Heretic or Doom, or both, I don't know, I guess we'll see. I like both games equally and this map was mainly an exercise in quick mapping and atmosphere.

Thanks for playing!

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Looks great, I won't have time to play it for a few days though. Always love more Heretic maps.

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Pretty good if dark.

But until the last bit, a lot of it kind of felt like one long hallway with the same sort's of encounter repeated several times. It might have been better if some bits were removed and also if some bits looped back on themselves (i.e more cases where you can see an area you'll get to later, from an earlier point in the map or backtracking).

To have seen glimpses of the actual docks from the sewers for instance, rather than fake CTYSTUCx blocks.

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Vermil: I know what you mean, by the time I got to making the end part, I noticed that the level was quite linear. I tried to get a balance of dark but also not too confusing, I didn't want to throw a punch of ghost/projectile enemies at the player in a maze. Having played it again recently myself I see where you're coming from though, a little more variation in the enemies might've helped.

Originally the level was going to be longer but by the time I made the tomb area near the end, I figured the player might be tired of darkness.

Thanks for playing and comments!

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I didn't mean linearity as such.

Heretic E1M1 is linear, but one can see areas they will visit later in the map, from earlier points and the path the player travels through the map, crosses back on itself.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the above is easy to do when mapping, of course.

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It is if you plan ahead, if the vantage point is just for looks that's fine, or it can be something more important like revealing clues.

A level wrapping back on itself is a design concept I usually follow, it can make a space seem larger than it really is and help immersion and familiarity.

If I had sketched it out beforehand it might've been different, in the end I shortened the finale a bit because I didn't want the level to drag on too long, I suppose. Originally I planned to make the level a full loop, but I scrapped that idea in favor of finishing the map sooner.

Maybe I'll try making a new Doom map hehe

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Played this map, forgot to comment on it earlier.

I agree with Vermil's assessment that it's quite dark and fairly repetitive while in the sewers. I liked it, but it felt like that section needed something else to break it up. When you finally emerge I really like the outdoor area, and feel that it either should have come sooner, or there should have been something else in the sewers area to change things.

It's also really easy. I beat it on my first go without saves, and didn't use a single quartz flask. I think in general Heretic maps are OK if they're a bit easy, the game is more about exploring and adventuring than slaying hordes of monsters, but you definitely had room to challenge the player a lot more. I did like that you included lots of artifacts, even if a lot of them were quartz flasks that I didn't use, since that's part of what makes Heretic fun IMHO and a lot of map authors tend to skimp out on the artifacts when making Heretic/Hexen maps.

FDA in ZDoom 2.7.1, if you want it:

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Ah the perils of releasing a map without a beta-test hehe... Looking at the map again I noticed it is indeed item heavy, seems like I forgot to account for the inventory system. Since it's release I've taken some items out, especially healing near the end and around other big fights. If I was to work on the map again I'd add more variation/connectivity to the architecture.

Thanks for the comments and the FDA! I'll check it out :)

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