Way Too Many Dead Guys - Final Alpha

'Way Too Many Dead Guys' is a short episode for Doom II, comprising of seven maps.

Download:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/ivairacumdtdfon/WTMDGEA.wad


Screenshots:

MAP01


MAP04


MAP06



Compatible with limit removing ports, with non-infinite height actors recommended.

Tested on:

ZDoom
GZDoom
Eternity
Doomsday Engine
PrBoom-plus
Doom Retro

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to play and comment, it is most appreciated.

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hihi, played through the maps, here's a zd271 fda (if you're into that sort of thing): https://www.mediafire.com/?q1dmmr3dnan18ds


First off, gotta say I love your style. the layouts on the automap are beautifully precise, very geometric, very cool! The detailing was appealing to me as well in general: nice use of lighting/shadows, overhangs, and whatnot. I also liked the extreme verticality in some of the levels, map01 and map02 in particular felt like I was walking along the interior of the death-star at a few parts, very precarious and imposing.

The gameplay felt a tad basic overall, consisting mostly of corridor-style "shoot what's in front of you" setups, not usually my cup of tea. Though it seemed to become more diverse and interesting as the maps progressed, the big YK showdown or the cyb setup on map04 is a good example of areas that stood out to me.

here's some more misc thoughts:
- the maps don't seem to take advantage of any zdoomy features, have you considered testing on just limit-removing ports? (maybe retrodoom has this base covered, I'm not familiar with it). the only "zdoomisms" I noticed were infinity-tall annoyances, i.e. if I was playing with infinite height monsters some areas would've been a pain in the ass to drop down with mobs in the way. maybe there were some hanging corpses in the way too, iirc.
- I'll reiterate how impressively precise a lot of the room structures are, do you do them freehand, or perhaps with a good bit of curve-tool use?

So overall, very cool shapely design, a bit easy/simple gameplay for my tastes, but I'll be keeping an eye out. how many maps you plan on making?

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I've recorded these First Demo Attempts (FDAs) for you, in PrBoom-plus -complevel 2 (-complevel 2 is a limit-removing vanilla format). In case you don't know, you can play the demos back in PrBoom-plus or whatever properly compatible port (not in ZDoom or GZDoom), you need to launch the port from the command line with these parameters: "prboom-plus -file WTMDGXA.wad -playdemo thedemoname.lmp"

http://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1332310

I've been impressed by these maps and their architecture a lot! Your work with shapes and textures is unusually quality. This is indeed an appropriately good modern-day mapping. Even though the maps were big, the environment appealed to me and it was entertaining to explore it.

For most of the time, gameplay was easy and contained just basic front-angle battles (but there were many good moments). On the other hand, I really liked how it was balanced and how the monster/weapon/path/difficulty progression was done, specially in the latter maps. Again, these maps were enjoyable to play for me.

As you can see at the beginning of my MAP03 demo, or on the edge of a deep pit in MAP02, there were a few problems with infinitely tall actors when played in vanilla-compatible setting, but that's kind of my own problem that I've played in a different port than advised. However, I would advise you to make your maps vanilla or Boom compatible, because of demo compatibility - you will get more feedback from demoers and also will make your wads possible to speedrun (while recording a demo).

That's it for now. Really, good job on these maps! Keep up the good work!

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Thank you very much for the feedback, it is most appreciated. The FDA was particularly useful, and if anyone else wants to post one I'll definitely watch it.


I'm reasonably happy with the simple setups in MAP01, but I'll probably rework some encounters in the later maps, trim out a bit more fat and spice things up a little more, but I'd like to keep things simple early on, and give the player more freedom and complex setups to deal with as the maps progress.

At the moment, the maps should work on any port that removes limits, supports non-infinite-height-actors and allows vertical tiling of textures less than 128 in height. I know RetroDoom (and possibly Eternity) does all of the above, but I'm not sure about other ports.

Outdoor and organic sections were constructed freehand. MAP02 and MAP04 use a ratio of 4:7 to create 60.2 degree angles and 8.06 unit lengths. MAP01 was initially sketched orthogonally, and then rebuilt as curved sections using a lot of arcs with the Curve Tool.

MAP05 is built, but has various issues. I'm currently sketching MAP06 and MAP07. There may be a bonus MAP08, but I don't have any plans for it yet.

Thank you once again.

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Make sure to get PrBoom+.

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Interesting architecture, I sure won't mind if you make more maps like these. Difficulty is decidedly on the lower side (compared to other contemporary maps), but it makes the maps pleasing to play.

I'm only wondering if sector 127 in Map03 isn't supposed to be secret, since there is Computer Map in it? But I didn't find any way to get inside, apart from jumping...

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O_O

Wow! these maps look and play great!

I love the architecture and style. You've managed to do some amazing stuff. The layout of the maps is very original and, particularly the first two maps, felt like they really could be a part of some big industrial complex of some sort. It's amazing how you've managed to get something so fresh, stylish, new and good looking with only the original resources.

I'm glad that you didn't go overboard with enemies. The pace was good for allowing exploration and time to look at the beautiful architecture whilst still providing interesting fights with nice twists and turns in the style of combat.

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I can't really speak about the technical aspects, but I can say the maps where beautifully made, and the number of monsters and thier placement in the maps was just right for me.. It wasn't overwhelming but still challenging and fun, which admittedly probably means it may seem a bit on the easy side for more skilled players. Only issue I had was on map02 where I basically got lost and confused for a bit, but that's probably just me anyway. =/

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No, I can see from the FDAs that I'm not establishing the language of the level strongly enough in MAP02 yet, I need to be a bit more consistent with doors. Something to add to my To-Do-List.

The computer maps are sort of unofficial secrets, I put them in places where it turned out you could jump, but I didn't want someone playing more strictly to feel cheated by an unobtainable secret.

I'll probably keep non-infinite-actors, it just feels more intuitive to be able to leap over, or duck under enemies and things.

Thank you again, both for your time and praise. :)

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Quite impressive architecture, how long did it take to make this? I guess you use copy-paste masterfully?

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I keep telling myself Romero managed to build E4M2 in six hours, but somehow it takes me over a month to build a map. Still, each map is getting a bit faster.

MAP04 made heavy use of prefabs to create the hexagonal layout. I tend to start with very symmetrical builds, and then look for ways to break the symmetry.

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I like how you use the textures and architecture.

In map04 I unintentionally skipped the whole Cyberdemon part. Is that supposed to happen?

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boris said:

I like how you use the textures and architecture.

In map04 I unintentionally skipped the whole Cyberdemon part. Is that supposed to happen?

I didn't bother killing him either, I got the plasma after getting the red keycard, as the plasma is optional from the blue door.

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Yeah, the Blue Key is entirely optional. Stealing the key from the Cyberdemon is also fine, so long as it wasn't too easy. He should come to one of two positions where he can open fire into the Blue Key room, when you try to steal the key. If he's getting caught on geometry, or if he's getting delayed by monster infighting, then I need to fix that.

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I loved this map set! You nailed the way NERVE looked and felt to play: clean detailing, large chunky volumes, and satisfyingly chewy encounters. Great use of space throughout and the automaps were works of art - you managed to construct real, distinctive spaces out of very formal geometric layouts.

A bunch of random thoughts by level:

MAP01
- The GRAY+TEKGREEN combo fits together really well, and I haven't seen this used before in other wads.
- The GRAY also gives the outdoor 'canyons' a nice airy feel. I kinda wonder if the those could do with more graded lighting to bring out the volumes, but that might be too much detail.

MAP02
- This reminded me of the best bits of Dark Forces: immense gloomy industrial spaces with alarmingly poor workplace safety.
- The use of SPCDOOR4 as a regular wall texture threw me off a little, which I guess was what you were noting before with the FDAs.
- It would be nice to have a little more to see and do in the water areas at the bottom of the map, given that you're bound to fall in there a few times.

Spoiler

- I loved the descending elevator encounter at the end (and wish I'd thought of it.)

MAP03
- The difficulty spiked for me with this one and I found it significantly harder than MAP04. (Not a problem, just saying.) It might be simply because I wasted all my rockets in the early going and had nothing left for the yellow and blue-key sections.
- I love what you did with the fleshy hell bits where you contoured the sectors to follow the curls of intestine.
Spoiler

- Blocking off the megasphere secret if you go the 'wrong' way is pretty arbitrary: it's unexplained action-at-a-distance that the player never gets to see or hear happen. (I'm against secrets you can lock yourself out of in general, but the player should at least get to see that they screwed up and know what caused it). Nor does it seem to make sense to punish the player for taking that route; the 'wrong' way even ends up being harder than just diving straight into the archvile encounter, because by the time you've taken the long way round all the monsters are alerted.

MAP04
- You pulled off the BROWN1 look really well, and the cyberdemon area especially was excitingly chunky.
- The network of hexagon corridors got pretty samey though: I kept losing my way and ended up navigating mostly by automap. More characterisation of each hexagon (e.g. different wall textures, or different corridor floors) could help the player keep better track of where they are in the level.
Spoiler

- I didn't pick up the plasma gun until after the yellow-key encounter (and after the cyberdemon, obviously) so I didn't get much value out of it, or the loads of ammunition for it. I was expecting an encounter to trigger by picking it up, or perhaps a more difficult encounter in the red key area.

You could let first-time players know that they can pick up the plasma gun in time for the yellow key encounter by placing some cell ammo in that outdoor area.

- The ending room was a great use of grates and SKINMET.
- There were several mismatched floor textures in the outdoor yellow key area, and a couple in the cave area leading to the cyberdemon. Those were the only texture mistakes I saw in the entire wad.

Overall this alpha is a great first impression and I'm really looking forward to seeing the levels to come.

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Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. It's given me new considerations to think upon, highlighted a few misgivings I already had, and pointed out a few bugs I hadn't realised had crept in.

Sadly I cannot take credit for some of your praise.

Spoiler

The lift descent in MAP02 is borrowed from Dark Forces, which inspired much of MAP02.

And while I try to align geometry and textures as much as possible, the fleshy detailing was directly inspired by Espi's Back To Basics, though perhaps others used the technique before him.

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Cool stuff. I don't care much for the heavy prefab tech interiors, even then there were some great sights. Loving the amount of optional rooms and fights. You nailed the Nerve vibe with those outdoor areas in map04. It feels like you're ordering these maps chronogically, as each level is more interesting and developed than the previous one. Looking forward to the full episode. :)

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Wanted to try it, but the download link doesn't seem to work anymore. :(

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Gez said:

Wanted to try it, but the download link doesn't seem to work anymore. :(


Same, i've got to see what you've done to warrant such positive feedback. Let me know if you get the link working!

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Just got to map03, absoultely excellent structural style and concepts here. Problem is, the combat feels too light and sparse to really match up with the quality and complexity of the layouts. It could stand to be a fair bit more intense in that regard, I was wondering when the cacos and PEs were going to start hounding me in map02 on those walkways. That said, I do like the monsterless buildup in map01, although even there it could use more monsters when stuff starts to happen.

Really looking forward to more maps in this style. Mad props for your use of CEMENT as well :P

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Urthar, very nice work. I'm not sure i've seen many DooM maps with the architectural quality that you've created here. High marks for just about everything. The only cons I can find, and mind you i'm a brand new mapper so my mind is basically blown.

I love the height that you've used. I feel like you've got experience with true 3d, am I right? This could easily be a source or udk level.

A) Alittle sparse on the combat
B) There seems to be alot of the same style, which would make sense, but it makes it somewhat difficult to identify one area from the next.

I had to reach hard for those, tbh.

I will play the 2nd and 3rd map tomorrow and edit this to reflect that.

I will also be following your work from here on out, as you've demonstrated much talent.

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Thank you for taking the time to play and comment on the maps. All feedback is appreciated, especially critical feedback on where I am going wrong.

I've probably got room to maneuver to tone things down slightly on MAP03 and increase the content on MAP01 and MAP02 to create a smoother progression.

I did indeed work as a game artist back in the 90s, doing more environment stuff, rather than level design. I really wanted to try building Quake levels back then but never really had time.

Moving on, here's the alpha of MAP05, a sadist grueling bastard of a map which I don't know whether I love or hate, though I imagine hardened Doomworld veterans will dispatch it without breaking a sweat.

For the moment this is only strictly compatible with ZDoom, GZDoom, Eternity or Doomsday Engine. In other source ports there's any amount of 'tutti-fruity' and a rather nasty staircase HOM.

You will also need to use either 'MAP MAP05' in ZDoom/GZDoom/Eternity or 'WARP 5' in Doomsday to skip to it, or load it together with WTMDGXA.WAD for the whole progression.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/99665bupu5y6c4y/WTMDGM5A.wad

If you feel inclined to record a FDA, then just note which version of ZDoom or otherwise you're using.

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Just finished playing through all four maps. I'll echo the praises for the architecture, very visually-interesting geometry with a nice attention to detail without going overboard. Secrets are clever (I liked the one in MAP02 where you fall on ledges and follow them to reveal switches). But speaking of them, I've noticed in MAP03 and MAP04 there are computer maps that seem impossible to reach without jumping. I've later looked in a map editor to confirm.

I agree with Viggles about blocking out the megasphere in MAP03.

Also I'd like to suggest maybe experimenting a bit with outdoor lighting, maybe casting shadows from structures or the like. The big arena for the keycard fight in MAP04 felt like it lacked a bit of contrast, visually.

Anyway, this was very cool. I played with GZDoom and Jimmy's jukebox so as to get a custom soundtrack. Got a "time sucks" in MAP04 while looking for the secrets I missed, heh.

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I very like your architecture. MAP01 is a masterpiece. Beautiful, big, epic arenas looks like best slaughter maps... But gameplay always "corridor". Narrow corridor, narrow bridge, narrow corridor, narrow bridge... :(

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Ezepov, yes MAP01 is very guilty of that, which does bother me. It probably bothers me more on MAP02 though which has an awful lot of catwalks around big drops.

Gez, yeah I'll probably be rebuilding the back door to the red key to make the risk vs reward choice it involves more explicit. I built that section to enable the player to clear the 2nd chamber which makes the fight in the 1st chamber easier. What didn't occur to me was that the player might skip the side rooms that over look the 2nd chamber, and end up with a much tougher fight.

Regarding the computer maps, the levels certainly don't require you to jump at any point to complete, but the levels are built to take jumping into account, in much the same way as 'No Rest For The Living'. On MAP03 it turned out there was a place you could jump into and get trapped, so I added a switch and a lift to get you out again. And at that point it felt natural to hide something in there. If it really bothers people, it's very easy just to remove them, but I kinda like them.

Shadow casting sectors would certainly look great and add depth in some of the out door areas. Unfortunately, while Doomsday is a very pretty source port, it's not the fastest, and I already had to strip down and simplify the yellow key area on MAP04 several times to keep the frame-rate at an acceptable level. In software especially that area can look very flat, so I may experiment with relighting the level to reflect dusk rather than midday, but I can't really add more sectors.

Thank you everyone for the feedback, it is most appreciated, and when I get around to doing the beta pass there will be various changes.

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