Rdwpa speedmaps (19 Boom-format maps so far)

Individual maps:

1) http://www.mediafire.com/download/a7g723dam9u72s9/1a.wad (credit to scifista42 for pointing out a game-breaker, an inconsistent trap, and a stuck monster in "1.wad")

2) http://www.mediafire.com/download/p3ny27yfrhw1nh6/2.wad

3) http://www.mediafire.com/download/7ick5j0z8f8jr4r/3.wad

4) http://www.mediafire.com/download/splor435sl22o4v/4c.wad

5) http://www.mediafire.com/download/iqhsrd5ubet7f7s/5b.wad

6) http://www.mediafire.com/download/ume9o74obccxp1g/6.wad

7) http://www.mediafire.com/download/nwmugo1u5kkvv7t/7a.wad

8) http://www.mediafire.com/download/ya68c9y32gv39v1/8d.wad (has HMP and UV)

9) http://www.mediafire.com/download/7papmm9wdn1xdl7/9.wad (all difficulty settings are there, didn't get the chance to test HNTR/HMP that much, though)

10) http://www.mediafire.com/download/0dbm15tdphuevu0/10a_.wad (same comment as #9)

11) http://www.mediafire.com/download/fan7kxwvhgpb1x1/11.wad (HMP and UV)

12) http://www.mediafire.com/download/1h1ih3hltzw4jv7/12b.wad (HMP and UV)

13) http://www.mediafire.com/download/y5ii74uudn4ux1z/13.wad (all difficulty settings)

14) http://www.mediafire.com/download/34u1chuc0bs6cq6/JMBM.wad
(HMP and UV)

15) http://www.mediafire.com/download/ojjbr1mhdp5do24/15b.wad (has all skill levels)

16) http://www.mediafire.com/download/djic2tckr83k7zo/16b.wad (has all skill levels)

17) http://www.mediafire.com/download/767cd0d4mqqloeh/17.wad (has all skill levels)

18) http://www.mediafire.com/download/eb0ls9sxusksmvj/18.wad (has all skill levels)

19) http://www.mediafire.com/download/7353d459s96okfr/19b.wad (has all skill levels)

Maps 1-12 in a single zipped file:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/p6th5119d36hwq1/rsm.rar

--

Posted on 7/18/2015:

I'm trying to "get back into" mapping regularly. I put that in quotes because I'm a (pretty untalented) beginner who started in winter 2015, but -- as an inveterate sufferer of analysis paralysis -- ended up spending 30x more time studying maps and doing one-off exercises than attempting to make actual maps, and didn't get much completed.

So I'll try to consolidate what I've learned about layouts/gameplay in the form of speedmaps. Speed-creating usually loosens me up. I'll try for one a week, or one a month -- whatever I have time for.

Here's the first one in the "series", from today, a small but not-too-easy map.



Thoughts and FDAs always appreciated. :)

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this was very fun :D

here's an fda: https://www.mediafire.com/?nd6dhnqcmyae9jt

small-scale, tightly balanced, both very good. layout is basic (3 key scatter-gather is becoming rather old-hat for me), as are the encounters, but the monster usage was great. very few time-wasty trash mobs, just things that pose immediate threats to your liveliness, A+. two radsuits is the perfect amount, requires the player make decent tactical use of them.

only things that really stood out as improvable:
- too many green armors? there were like.. 4?
- cg platforms should probably be block-monstered

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Ribbiks said:

- too many green armors?

This is what I've noticed too and then forgot to mention in my PM, rdwpa. Some of them were even close to each other. You could rather avoid it. Other than that, as I've told you before, good speedmap.

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Ribbiks said:

basic ... encounters


Ribbiks, thanks a lot. Can you give examples of "non-basic encounters". Would the opposite of "basic" in this context be "strategically complex" or "something that isn't common/typical / something that hasn't really been done before"?

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New map! Same format. This one is harder than the last.

Went over my four-hour limit on this one, most of it in the form of three+ hours (!) testing and trying to get the balance right. Oh well.

I could have shaved off about twenty minutes by just using like a dozen lines for the rock walls and another twenty on miscellaneous nonsense like why everything in the level was scrolling (accidentally zero-tagged a floor scroll action), so definite misallocation of time there. Still learning. Worked mostly consecutively -- need a shower now. Apologies in advance if a fatal break happened to elude me again. :D

http://www.mediafire.com/download/p3ny27yfrhw1nh6/2.wad

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FDA. I failed to finish it, but I really liked the map. The threat and punishment + the available space and resources = well balanced and fun challenge. You did a lot of improvement in gameplay-oriented mapping since your first released Doom maps. Good job, again!

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scifista42 said:

FDA. I failed to finish it, but I really liked the map. The threat and punishment + the available space and resources = well balanced and fun challenge. You did a lot of improvement in gameplay-oriented mapping since your first released Doom maps. Good job, again!


I finally maxed it today -- I think I improved quite a bit at fighting revs/archies just by testing it over and over.

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i actually like these maps quite a bit, and they're pretty tough. keep it up.

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yeah, these are very fun. getting better too!

02: I like the sort of "bitty" octagonal structure designs. This one felt tight up until the YK door, the fight after that felt sort of sloppy since the player can tele back to the center immediately, and the monsters seem to haphazardly do so as well. final fight is great, good use of an AV.

03: took some of the strongest bits of 02 and improved upon them. cool hectic sandboxy start, and neat set-pieces as well. the AV at the end is surprisingly challenging if you get caught by surprise, and the BK/crusher setup is pretty neat as well, albeit slightly cheesable if you take it slow. I imagine this map would be fun to quickly blast through.

oh, here's some demos: https://www.mediafire.com/?x24b84kg5kvf1xt https://www.mediafire.com/?fjxfk5175gdarjo

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3.wad FDA. In short, I liked it, the challenge and hectic-ness were just in the right amount to make me enjoy it AND reach exit alive. :) If this wasn't a speedmap, I would demand more threat coming later from the various monsters that I decided not to kill during the map (less easy possibilities to ignore and outrun them). Still, the way how the map kept me moving was good.

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Looking at the demos, I could have made the backtracking device in "3" a bit more obvious (less close to the exit). In case you guys ever want to try the "blast through" method:

Spoiler

There's a walkover trigger in the "exit rectangle" that builds a set of stairs leading back outside.

I'm also cracking up that I fed stimpacks to a wall. :D

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04: basically 2 fights, with some silliness in between that killed me because I panicked in the 2-manc room. I think these are very well put together, a good showcase of balancing immediate threats (cg) with positional control (av/rev perches) with carving out space to move (manc/arach/caco). Good possibilities for infighting too. The last room in this one is basically a perfect example of what I meant for more "complicated" encounters :D. The final AV seemed kinda superfluous, it was indeed not a bad spot for him, but if there was going to be some re-traversal of the starting room I was hoping for some of the room features to change, perhaps floors shifting, or enemies coming from some side closets, or something.

05: surprisingly easy map. very spacious opening where the only real threat are a few hitscanners. RK fight was surprisingly tame as well, though I was thankful there wasn't an AV packed in there somewhere :). final fight had a surplus of cells I think.

fda: 4 5

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Thanks. Kind of disappointed that 5 wasn't as challenging as I thought it'd be.

Ribbiks said:

05: surprisingly easy map. very spacious opening where the only real threat are a few hitscanners. RK fight was surprisingly tame as well, though I was thankful there wasn't an AV packed in there somewhere :). final fight had a surplus of cells I think.


This one killed me a bunch. It looks like I play too aggressively; I don't try to induce infighting enough. I need to test the "try to run past everything" (this doesn't seem to work in 5) and "try to make everything infight" strategies every time.

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Once again, solid map. Succinct, threatening. I always felt in danger, infighting greatly encouraged via low ammo. Felt very "flat" overall, but the gimmick of the expanding arena worked well anyhow. My only complaints are small personal pet peeves: pickups in damaging liquid, and that one medikit that's pretty much unavoidable.

6.lmp

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Pretty entertaining so far, played each map in the OP this evening and haven't gotten bored yet, so thus far you've got a better batting average with me than a number of the more popular speedmap packs have (of course this isn't technically a 'pack' yet, but nevermind!). Here are some FDAs for the six current maps. Very ugly play from me this round (and I had to pause map 02 briefly for another phonecall IIRC), but the maps are mostly 'tough but fair', letting you get away with some dumb stuff provided you don't choke during a clutch moment. Some brief per-map comments:

Map 01 -- Probably the runt of the litter, looks a little more abjectly speedmappy than most of the others in purely aesthetic terms, and it seems like the gameplay working out well is largely predicated on the player making certain ill-advised moves early on (or failing to make certain good ones, perhaps)---if s/he doesn't do so I suspect a lot of the encounters fall a bit flat, seems possible to methodically clear the map in stages without experiencing a lot of pressure if you've got an eye for that sort of approach. That being said, I myself am a big bumbling oaf, and so it worked out more or less how it was presumably supposed to for me, with arch-viles repeatedly compelling me to spend time in the ooze, making smart radsuit use and efficient handling of at least some of the encounters paramount. Soulsphere saved my ass from my own bad play, you could probably get away with simply not having that there on UV skill.

The red key gasbag warp-in probably should have come from more than one spot, and a little tic of mine is that I'd have liked for the sills on the windows in the blue key chamber to be slightly lower, always a nuisance when you can't shoot comfortably out of a vantage where it seems you ought to be allowed to because some piece of geometry sits in that weird little z-axis autoaim 'dead zone' that Doom's quirky vertical scale occasionally betokens.

Map 02 -- Sorry again for the 'Pause' screen here, use -skipsec 285 to skip it.

Quite an aesthetic improvement here, the map's a lot more thematically coherent than the first, with a traditional texture scheme and more of a unifying character to its architecture, which helps the overall impression a lot. Lighting contrast is still largely absent, which makes the whole appear a might flatter/shallower than it would otherwise be. This is probably my main overarching criticism of all six of these maps, incidentally. You clearly care about presentation--I reckon you wouldn't have taken the trouble to choose music replacements and such if you didn't!--so don't forget the lighting, it makes a disproportionately large impact on the way a map feels as a setting, especially for those of us who still prefer software rendering over the GL look. Even gameplay-focused speedmaps benefit from this type of TLC. Some folks like to largely divorce aesthetic/setting/visuals from a map's raw gameplay (e.g. thing placement and player movement within the context of pure traversible geometry) as though the two aspects have very little to do with one another, but I feel this isn't quite right, and that the two are informed by and feed back into one another in a variety of ways great and small--here you've got a burning lava cave (with some red ruins in it), a very comfortable setting for the Doom engine, and because it's a burning lava cave (with some red ruins in it), you're conveniently afforded the opportunity to play around more with the core gameplay ideas of fighting on limited/ sometimes precarious footing while monsters enjoy trolling you from their comfy elevated/distant positions. Or, perhaps, it's more the case that you wanted to play with the ideas of limited footing and pressure from a distance, and so the map took shape as a burning lava cave because that setting lends itself well to the challenge you wanted to set before the player--either way, if you see what I mean.

Anyway, all that rambling aside, this one makes a good followup to the first map because it plays with a similar concept (an environment dominated by damage-floor) but in a different way, where this time the idea is to stay up high and not be bullied around by incoming fire, as opposed to avoiding inconvenient situations by traveling the drink while under a finite amount of protection. Not a particularly tough map (certainly not as tough as my clumsiness makes it look, anyway), but it feels more pressuring than the first map even though there are probably fewer situations here where you're at risk of dying instantly--part of this is the burning red theme, like I said, and part of this is the fast start, where you have to move/act instantly when the map starts, rather than getting that quiet first moment to collect yourself/get a feel for your surroundings. I felt like the mass warp-in after passing the yellow barrier was the best part, good blend of opposition and area control there. Could probably have gotten away with having a third revenant at the RL trap.

Map 03 -- Now this is really speedmappy, pretty aesthetically directionless (the industrial 'cement' stuff looks surprisingly good against the compblue, though) and framed as a sort of a grab-bag of odds 'n ends--I actually was dead certain it was going to end before the last bit with the berserk pack, if that's any indication. Still liked it more than map 01 though, simply because some of those odds and/or ends are pretty cool, such as the vile/crusher setup (was that inspired by Valiant by any chance?) or the unfolding 'zerk-gladiatorial thingamajig, a classic setup with a spicier conclusion than usual. I didn't actually NEED to 'zerk there, it seems--lots of other ammo left--but I think while actually playing I was compelled to use it anyway, funny how you can influence player behavior by plopping down items that are effectively superfluous, that's the whole 'all that glitters' factor for you, I guess.

Also, the RNG in this FDA, unholy shit. THAT 1% health moment (the hell was I thinking? I suspect I didn't realize I was that close to death, must've sort of mentally glossed over getting stupidly hit by one of the revenants earlier), that chaingun guy surviving THAT rocket explosion, man.

Obviously doable without, but I think you wouldn't be remiss in borrowing one of those superfluous armor vests from map 01 and sticking it in here somewhere, perhaps on the hell knight's stylin' cement gazebo, or maybe in the secret.

Map 04 -- For my money this is probably the most dangerous map of these first six, even moreso than #6 itself--every encounter here except for the brief scuffle with the lone hell knight and perhaps the final one requires some considerable degree of maintained concentration in order to pass (and perhaps a spot of luck with what weapon you happen to be holding as far as the fatso duo trap is concerned), whereas map 06's threat is mainly from a couple of pivotal 'breakout' moments, that, if navigated safely, allow you a lot of leeway in how you handle the monsters afterwards (though granted if you fail these breakouts you're pretty much going to be killed instantly). The complicated area denial/crossfire/line of sight scenario after the teleport epitomizes this of course, the use of what I assume are voodoo dolls on conveyors to release the PE and cacos is the real kicker, keeps wise-ass players like myself (and Ribbiks, for that matter!) from metagaming/micromanaging most of the threat out of the scenario. I have no qualms with the final arch-vile, myself, sometimes it's fine if a level's climactic battle isn't actually the last one.

More aesthetically coherent than maps 01 and 03, incidentally, more or less uses that abstract Doom II Romeroan 'biosphere' look (think the guts of 'Tenements' or the YK building in 'Industrial Zone'), although the bits of red rock in the later area seem somewhat misplaced. And hey, lighting!

Map 05 -- I would agree that this is the easiest one of the bunch. Not so much a question of allowing a more passive approach per se, I think, but simply that there's so much more space to move than in most of the other maps. This applies not only to the initial encounters but also to the eventual showdown with the cyberdemon as well, every enemy attack involved in that fight can be evaded easily enough by simply running willy-nilly around the battleground, which of course will generally lead to infighting before too long. My main concern while playing was that I was going to unwittingly 'intercept' a cyberdemon rocket intended for someone else, actually. The most potentially threatening monster is probably the arch-vile near the boats outside, incidentally (movement space is not as powerful against viles as against many other monsters, of course) but a combination of distance and some generalized visual 'noise' from the pier cluttering his line of sight will stymie him if you're lucky, and in this case I was.

Map 06 -- There's a HOM in this one, it should be clearly visible onscreen for a few seconds in the demo at around 03:40 or so.

Maybe not quite as persistently dangerous as map 04, but I do think this one is the best of the current crop, it is paced quite well and feels more unified in concept than any of the others, save perhaps for map 02. Like I said before, this one is all about slipping away in those first few crucial moments when the traps surround you with powerful monsters on all sides, with perhaps a spot of smart weapon usage required, e.g. you pretty much need to use the RL against the imp swarm, and it's very helpful not to squander your limited cell ammo on the wrong targets, which can be easier said than done since the final trap could be somewhat panic-inducing. Again, infighting is powerful here, but it's meaningless unless you live long enough for it to take effect, and so unlike in map 05 it's less of a go-to gamewinner in its own right. Plenty of supplies here for you to do the heavy lifting yourself, fortunately....if anything, I'd say there might actually be a tad too much healing in the later stages of this--since you either die instantly or win, what's there is more like a lot of 'mistake forgiveness' than a required survival tool (most of the healing I used was actually to recover from yet another weapon-switch blooper against one of the first couple of chaingunners), although I can see where a bit of excess might be parsed as damage-floor insurance. Incidentally, in terms of generalities I don't necessarily share Ribbiks' dislike for placing beneficial items on top of damage-floor, although the way you did it here didn't seem like it had any purpose other than to be a mild nuisance, purely for spite.

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You guys are so much better at me than Doom. (lol, I'll leave that there as evidence of my tiredness.) All of these comments and FDAs are great -- I'm learning a bunch.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nwmugo1u5kkvv7t/7a.wad

Here's a six-hour job*, using my "rounded horizon" template and having conceived of the primary ideas and some of the specifics while idly thinking away from the comp.


*Not including the time it took me to read up on implementing custom skies.




(Hmm, blur. I think I should have held my Doom camera still.)

Ports other than (pr)Boom(+) might have trouble; the scrolling floor for voodoo dolls was acting really odd.

--

Demon of the Well said:

the vile/crusher setup (was that inspired by Valiant by any chance?)


Indeed. The last set piece, with its video-gamey "discrete intensifying waves of enemies" approach and the complementary use of toy-like Modwall blocks, was inspired by skillsaw as well.

Demon of the Well said:

the use of what I assume are voodoo dolls on conveyors to release the PE and cacos is the real kicker, keeps wise-ass players like myself (and Ribbiks, for that matter!) from metagaming/micromanaging most of the threat out of the scenario.


Good catch -- when I added that, I was consciously imagining you guys doing that "look around, think, and try to wake one monster up and get it to infight something else" dance (not that that type of micromanaging would work here otherwise, but still).

Demon of the Well said:

although the way you did it here didn't seem like it had any purpose other than to be a mild nuisance, purely for spite.


The idea was that the player sometimes ends up needing that extra ammo to finish off lost souls (if desired), and I didn't want the player to already have it, e.g. if he or she found himself low on health and in the starting room. The stimpack was there to allow a grab in "peace time" with a slight net gain in health and wouldn't have existed otherwise.

Yeah, I'll have to learn how to use light variation.

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http://www.mediafire.com/download/3gz4x4ag8z51nbf/7a_difflevels.wad

This is 7a with no changes but a somewhat quick implementation of difficulty settings. HNTR is, well, HNTR; and HMP is probably comparable to maps 1-6 on skills 2-4, maybe to the easier half of the six if anything.

I think HMP actually plays better than UV, which can get unfair and whose first fight doesn't match the pace of the rest of the map.

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Do you plan on splitting this into episodes? Im holding off since you keep on adding maps.

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I don't have any long-term plans for a collection or an official release at this point. I started the thread intending it to be an ongoing learning exercise and an outlet for low-commitment maps people can enjoy one at a time. So jump in wherever you want. (Probably not #7, unless you're Ribbiks/DotW good or it's on HMP in the version with difficult levels -- UV still kicks my ass.) If enough of the maps have (even slight) thematic resonance with one another, I might collect them.

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well this map was great. there are a lot of things I really like about it, as well as find incredibly frustrating :D I'm assuming the idea is to get the 3 keys fast enough before the AV cages are lowered? I'm still not sure what's going on with the RL corner

Pro:
- love the cute mini-replica of the main area in the starting room.
- love the gimmicky infighting setups (no surprises there :p)
- I'm pro-inescapable-pit in general. conveys a nice idgaf attitude
- atmosphere in general was strong in this one. good music choice. wonky, sort of surreal environment, quirky setups (dropping super far into mobs, timed AV rape-puzzle)
- I like the nonchalant RL placement
- recycling the revs in the first room is clever

Con:
- hrrrrrrrng please move the return teleporters to somewhere where you're less likely to accidentally run into them. I swear I did that like a dozen times. Maybe make them raised until you grab the associated key, or something?
- the monsters being awake as you fall into their area feels rough. makes you focus on the infinite-tall meta-gamey stuff, blah.
- even though I put it in the pro section, some of the death-pits here were pretty poorly placed. I lol'd as I jumped into an area and immediately landed in one of them.

I played on HMP, beat it. played again on UV but died in frustrating ways a couple times so I stopped. I'll leave it to dotw to get you a winning fda :p

demos: https://www.mediafire.com/?cgbbiv4bxbes0yb

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some other notes after I clipped around a bit:

- some strange texturing: 1 2
- I'm guessing these barrels weren't supposed to stay alive?
- the crushers take wayyy too long to kill the viles imo. you can accelerate them by either lowering the ceiling, making them out of multiple sectors, or making them slow-damaging.
- the main structure overall looks very cool, especially from a distance. whenever I spend a lot of time on big "macro" structures, I like to put accessible areas that let the player see them from a cool angle. So in this map for example it would've been neat if maybe the starting fights were contained in a tower in the distance that you could see the main structure from... or something... idk, just things to think about.

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Ribbiks said:

I'm assuming the idea is to get the 3 keys fast enough before the AV cages are lowered? I'm still not sure what's going on with the RL corner

Spoiler

Yep. The empty corner has those big key-sign barriers that lower when their respective key is collected, and when you have all three you can hit a switch that crushes the viles. It's not exactly hard to get the keys fast enough, but I wanted it to impose psychological pressure and punish really passive strategies instead of forcing a one-dimensional approach of "rush and run past the monsters". That's also why there are four PEs (on UV). Although I think slow strategies in the yellow/red key areas rely on lots of infighting luck in the blue area, a lucky jump straight at the blue key, or great technique when it's time to get rid of the door guarding the switch while five+ revs are hurling fireballs at you. :D

Ribbiks said:

some other notes after I clipped around a bit:

- some strange texturing: 1 2
- I'm guessing these barrels weren't supposed to stay alive?
- the crushers take wayyy too long to kill the viles imo. you can accelerate them by either lowering the ceiling, making them out of multiple sectors, or making them slow-damaging.
- the main structure overall looks very cool, especially from a distance. whenever I spend a lot of time on big "macro" structures, I like to put accessible areas that let the player see them from a cool angle. So in this map for example it would've been neat if maybe the starting fights were contained in a tower in the distance that you could see the main structure from... or something... idk, just things to think about.


Jeeze, how did I miss that doorstop. Good tips. Yeah the ceiling was lowering as the floor did, but I guess I could have optimized the setup even more.

Re barrels: The barrel setup actually killed me a couple of times when testing in -nomo. :D

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here's some demos I recorded yesterday, but didn't get around to posting (plays with 8.wad): 1 2

^^ first demo I unwittingly stumble into the final fight and cheese my way to victory. second demo I try to play as intended a couple times, concluding with a rather amusing pacifist attempt.

neat map, + this midi :). A rather well executed timed arena setup, a bit disorienting at first but straightforward to understand. Basically the "carrot on a stick" for completing the main area is a bfg? I feel like it would've also been nice to give the player another powerup of some sort as a reward for sticking it out instead of immediately gunning it to the exit (which, was an interesting choice to let the player leave whenever they wanted btw).

I'm running out of good things to say, I've liked pretty much all of these so far. I'm very happy to see new maps that align with my interests :D I wonder how many more there'll be?

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