For the attention of Mr Spike & Mrs Vampirajay :-P

Ok, I've played through the Underworld wad and here's my opinion on it:

Levels are great in design and pretty fun to play imo. I like the balance of monsters and munitions - in Hurt me Plenty and Ultra Violence, the ammo begins to be scarce.
My opinion on the music varies, but I like most of it, but I think something more evil and scary would fit those dark levels more (The music track on level 04, "Lethe" I think it is called, is way too loud - I can barely hear the monsties).

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and While I like the first two maps a lot, the later maps (especially 04 and 05) are plagued with really dark areas where I can't see a damn thing (yes, I DID play it in JDoom). The overall use of lighting is pretty cool, but it gets a bit bothersome with all that impenetrable darkness in the end.

If there is one map I actually dislike (the others are mostly fine), it has to be map05 (Depths of Cocytus... or something). This roughly describes my mood when I was halfway through that map: "AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!"
This is primarily because of dark areas where you can't even see the floor and nasty cracks/holes which you fall into wounding up in a lava pit.

One more thing: You seem to be a bit too fond of harmful floors. Personally, I hate harmful floors if they're overused or placed just the wrong places (I got a bit irritated in map04 when I beat the crap out of the BoH's in the beginning without even suffering a scratch from them themselves, but instead, I constantly wound up on the harmful blood floor - bad, bad!).

So to sum up:
I love map01 (Portal of Hades) and map02 (Blood Keep), map03 is good too, map04 is decent (I love that "Spiderweb" secret room), but Map05 is such a nuisance that I'd prefer some changes done to it.

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Thanks for the criticism, DSM... ok - before i continue with map07, i intend to take your comments onboard and change the light levels on maps 04 and 05. Do you think that un-harmful floors in the baron temple room (map01) would be more appropriate?

As for Cocytus (map05), if the main problem is the light levels, then i'll be sure to brighten the place up - maybe adding some more sector light 'sources' (ie crude light fittings, etc).

These changes will be made to coincide with the full EpI release. Let me know if you've any other beefs with it.

Thanks again dudey!

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hey DSM, it's nice to get some honest opinions from someone! I have to admit that I also don't like the levels being so dark, or the harmful floors but theirs Spike's so :) hehehe, I am really pleased that you like the spider-room, it took us ages to build it! I didn't realise that the music was so loud, but at least now we can have a look at changing some of these complains. I am kinda surprised thought that you liked map 1 and 2 over all of them, they were our first maps built, kinda just test levels, oh well, glad you enjoyed what you've played and hopefully you will like the rest of the first episode :)

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Spike said:

Do you think that un-harmful floors in the baron temple room (map01) would be more appropriate?

If I remember correctly isn't that just a small part in the room? No matter, leave that part in. BTW, told ya maps # 1 and 2 were best :)

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thanks Doom2Guy for what you said about levels 1 and 2 but you have been talking to spike about it more than me. i am glad that you liked them two its just that i thought people wouldn't as they were our first attempts! oh well, are there any bits you didn't like? just so i know for future reference thanks

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You know what I didn't like? Those damned stone jumps in the beginning of level one. I think they're cool now, but they were a pain...

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DSM : Lethe's been revised, and we're doing Cocytus now. Should be sorted soon.

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Doom II Guy said:

You know what I didn't like? Those damned stone jumps in the beginning of level one. I think they're cool now, but they were a pain...

Oh yeah, forgot about them.
Now I don't have any experience in doing maps myself (actually I feel a bit bad about complaining when I probably can't do any better myself), but I know that people HATE jumping puzzles or jump-puzzle-related puzzles (dear God, this sentence sucks when I speak it out loud).
Why I like the first two maps: I suppose it's because the light levels aren't as annoying as in the later maps. I judged them by how much I was entertained by them, though now I think about it, some of the later maps are better in design.

Do you think that un-harmful floors in the baron temple room (map01) would be more appropriate?

Nah, it's fine as it is - it was more map04 and map05 that annoyed me in regards to harmful areas (perhaps also a little bit in map03 just outside that large, wooden building where you find the blue key, but I can live with that).
About the loud music: I don't think it's entirely your fault - my sound driver has just been updated (that caused a lot of problems) and I've only just realized that the midi in the game is louder than it used to be.
However, the map04 music is still a bit, errm, loud. While we're in the music department, I hope you design map 09 more with action in mind than scare factor - I've been playing a lot through map09 (The Pit - official id map) with the underworld wad's music since I tried your wad, simply because the music fits the action in that map so damn well.

One more thing: I'm looking forward to the final release of The Underworld levels :-)

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dsm said:

Now I don't have any experience in doing maps myself (actually I feel a bit bad about complaining when I probably can't do any better myself),

[/B]

Ah, don't worry - it took ME 6 months to get my head round it. That was back in 1995-6, and i only started again six months ago.


it was more map04 and map05 that annoyed me in regards to harmful areas (perhaps also a little bit in map03 just outside that large, wooden building where you find the blue key, but I can live with that).



I thought it would be cool to add a 'moat' of sorts around the fortress... if i'd had done that now, in fact, i would have joined it completely (i've been fiddling manually with sector references), but i threw it in as a decorative afterthought. It never really caused any problems when either of us playtested it...

However, the map04 music is still a bit, errm, loud.



We wanted a fast, tense track, so we found 'I, Zombie' by White Zombie cuz it was just that. I think you'll like the music for maps 07, 08 and 09. 07 (Ripe with Decay, NiN) is an atmospheric instrumental with really eerie rythms and a sense of forboding. 08 (A Warm Place, NiN) is another instrumental which is more haunting than anything else, and again gives an atmosphere of eerieness. As for map09, we chose 'Tier' by Rammstien, another fast, rythm-heavy midi track... however, it's not as constant and 'in your face' as the map04 midi, so you may very well prefer it. I guess we'll see eh?

Btw, the blood pools at the start of map04 have been replaced with non-harmful water, and the general light level around the map has been raised by about 30 - it's much brighter, but still atmospheric. Likewise, i've brightened map05 too, tho i couldn't really see any way of reducing the damaging lava without changing it to something else and, in essence, changing the feel of the level (it's supposed to be a mine, you know?).

Anyway, cheers once more for the criticism!

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Spike said:
We wanted a fast, tense track, so we found 'I, Zombie' by White Zombie cuz it was just that. I think you'll like the music for maps 07, 08 and 09. 07 (Ripe with Decay, NiN) is an atmospheric instrumental with really eerie rythms and a sense of forboding. 08 (A Warm Place, NiN) is another instrumental which is more haunting than anything else, and again gives an atmosphere of eerieness. As for map09, we chose 'Tier' by Rammstien, another fast, rythm-heavy midi track... however, it's not as constant and 'in your face' as the map04 midi, so you may very well prefer it. I guess we'll see eh?

I've already heard all the episode 1 music (after playing all the five levels, I continued through the "official" Doom 2 id maps with the replaced music). I really love the music in map07 and map09.

I think I already mentioned that I hope that map09 will be more focused on action than on scare factor, because the music in map09 fits heavy combat situations just about perfectly imo.

Anyway, cheers once more for the criticism! [/B]

My pleasure :-)

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Spike said:

'I, Zombie' by White Zombie

The weird thing for me is I was listening to that exact song when I read this thread, and I have downloaded your wad before. I downloaded a few days ago (actually it was more like 2 weeks) and have never got the chance to play it. I'll let you know what I think.

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Wakka! It's so gratifying to see more people picking up the WADs :)

Jay introduced me to White/Rob Zombie, as i'd only heard 'Dragula' up until 6 months ago. Heh, that guy's amazing! A shame that M. Manson has ripped off Rob's vocal style tho...

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Hmm, I haven't heard much Rob Zombie, but the my favorite among those of his tunes I've heard is "Superbeast" >:-]

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dsm said:

I really love the music in map07 and map09.


Heh, i'm glad :) HOWEVER, the map07 music has been replaced. What you heard was 'Falling away from me' by KoRn. That's been replaced with 'Ripe (With Decay)' by NiN. However, that KoRn track WILL be appearing in the next episode.

I think I already mentioned that I hope that map09 will be more focused on action than on scare factor, because the music in map09 fits heavy combat situations just about perfectly imo.


It is :) i guess you'll have to see for yourself in a few weeks, eh?

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I do have *one* minor complaint in the music department.

I don't think the tune playing during the scrolling text screens fits too well - would fit much better as a level track. You need a more "quiet" and "calm" music tune for the scrolling text screens.

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Hmmm... maybe if we switch the 'mission complete' music (alien theme) with the text interlude music ('Oddity by Coal Chamber')... would that be more to your tastes?

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Spike said:

Hmmm... maybe if we switch the 'mission complete' music (alien theme) with the text interlude music ('Oddity by Coal Chamber')... would that be more to your tastes?

Interlude music? Are you talking about the intermission screen music?
I don't like to switch the intermission music, because that one fits perfectly imo. I'd rather hear the 'mission complete' music in a level.
It's not that I don't like the track itself (Hell, it's a great track), but imho it doesn't fit the "story-telling" aspect. If you can't find something more like Doom 1's "Victory" track, then leave it as it is - it's not a big, serious thing.
'mission complete' music = Alien theme?
I don't think that's the case in the five level "demo" wad I've got, that one has a track which sounds like it has an el guitar in it or something (bah, I'm not good at explaining music).

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The track for the 'mission complete' screen was called 'Alien' - someone said it was off the Alien movies, but i can't see the resemblance. I picked it cuz it was good without being too heavy.

The 'text interlude' screen i meant was the scrolling story-text after map01 and map05. That's 'Oddity' by Coal Chamber, which will probably make it into episode II or III.

Oh yeah, we've got the full level names and a few midi tracks sorted out for epII :

EPISODE 2 - Hades' Legacy
11 - Mount Olympus - (Falling away from me, KoRn) (S)
12 - Athens General - (Pilgrimage - NiN) (S)
13 - Toxicity (V)
14 - The Docklands (S)
15 - Anarchy in the U.K. (V)
16 - London Military Base - (We're In This Together - NiN) (S)
17 - Temple of Druids (V)
18 - Communications Facility (S)
19 - City of York (V)
20 - Carfax Abbey (V)

V = Jay, S = me

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The music is great...they are all bands I love...music really sets the mood.

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Heh - NiN are my favourite band, tho Jay has been getting me into White/Rob Zombie, Pantera, Cradle of Filth and Type-O Negative.

We've got another two Pantera midi's appearing on the later maps, plus some Faith No More, Cradle, Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson... a treat for rock fans ;)

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Hey Spike, it's been a while eh? I've had a lot of schoolwork but thankfully everything will be done with on Wednesday. Just thought you might want an explanation of my absense! Plenty of free time for Doom :P

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HOORAY!

Yep, that's right, Episode I is virtually complete. All that remains is to :
a)add some extra weapons (for deathmatches)
b)add a 'mission complete' graphic
c)add a few finishing touches to map08
d)bundle everything together in the WAD

Should be finished and uploaded in the next 48 hours :) I'll upload it to /newstuff, too.

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Spike said:

Should be finished and uploaded in the next 48 hours :) I'll upload it to /newstuff, too.

YAY!!! Sorry I kend of died off at the end. I hope everything is all set.

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Spike said:

b)add a 'mission complete' graphic

I was going to offer my skills to your service, but then I remembered that you own me when it comes to art - I think you can do some good stuff without strangers fucking it up for ya :-)

Anyway, yay, Underworld e1 complete - I just downloaded it, and when I've gathered myself after my very recently completed exams (we're talking a little less than two hours ago) I'm going to check it out.

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I think Spike is still out partying celebrating his newly finished levels :)

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dsm said:

I was going to offer my skills to your service, but then I remembered that you own me when it comes to art - I think you can do some good stuff without strangers fucking it up for ya :-)


Unfortunatly, i no longer have access to a scanner - nor a decent paint program. I've instead made do with my favourite texture from Ultimate Doom (skintek). A final, 32-map version will, hopefully, include grayscale artwork :)

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Doom II Guy said:

I think Spike is still out partying celebrating his newly finished levels :)


Kinda :) me and Jay went out on the piss (getting drunk, in case you were wondering) with a bunch of friends to a few pubs and ended up gabbing to a bunch of america NiN fans. It got really surreal after the tequila...

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There's a pair of things you could do to level 6.

When you do it at a fresh start you get no weapons until much later. Is this intenional?

There's also a hell knight that is stuck in a wall. That's an obvious bug.

The rest is kool. You done a green level too (map09) :)

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