A Medieval-styled WAD [UPDATED!], by GuildNavigator

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A Medieval-styled WAD [UPDATED!], by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:35 pm

Hello everybody!

My very first attempt to create a decent set of levels brought me to try publishing something of my recent work about it.

It's thought to be composed of 7 linear levels in a typical medieval style, that also includes many aspects of modern times. Unfortunately I didn't find a suitable title yet for it, but surely it's rapidly gettin' sharper and brighter in my mind.

It's for GZDoom, better the latest versions.

(go to the Updating section at the bottom of this post :D )

The plot

(The story itself is simple, most of all tought to justify the settings of the levels)

"Several centuries ago, some illuminati and power-hungry men gathered together to form the "Order of DarkLord", a secret society whose only purpose was to bring back to life an ancient deity from the depths of Hell, in order to control its powers and finally satisfy obscure aims. To do this was necessary to find first the Ancient Scriptures, a serie of powerful precepts and magical formulas thought to be lost and never recovered from his last possessor and also writer, the deity itself: Tuluum, the dark god son of Chaos. But one day a dark sorcerer called Hecarion found the writings, after a private and personal research using fraudulently the others' wizards powers and help; with these Hecarion, already head of the cult, soon put under his control the dark sorcerers and exploited their powers to perform the Rite, the only possible way to bring back Tuluum from Hellish depths. But something did go wrong: just before the completion of the mystical practice, a good wizard who played the role of the spy inside the cult, made Tuluum's resurrection impossible to happen. However, an evil pact between Hecarion and Tuluum had been already held. Hecarion did not totally died in the explosions, neverthless his soul survived due to the deity's influence, with the only purpose to regain power and restart the ritual.

Nowadays, wizardry and magic seem to be just the fruit of human imagination, something quite impossible to exist in reality; but the good wizard was sage and aware of the dangerous destiny that his descendants would have had to bear during generations. One day, Tuluum will resurrect, bringing chaos and death.

That day has come.

The more and more frequent cases of people's disappearing in the region nearby the ancient castle of the "Order of DarkLord", visible only by the few wizards remained, was an irrefutable and indicative matter of fact of the activities of Hecarion.

Our hero is ready to investigate, and decides to enter stealthily in the complex trought the sewerage system, armed with a rusty pistol and a stick supposed to be the old magic wand that in past just delayed the worst of disasters.. "

The Style

As mentioned in the plot, the adventure starts in a dungeon/sewerage systems, where narrow pathways and high ceilings will be the normal routine in the first levels. I already know I'll probably receive much criticism with the narrowness of the levels, but I must say it was a proper choiche because of the ambient I supposed in which the player moves; also, the rooms will be a little dark: it's beacuse I need to make some brightness adjustments yet.

Every level has a different "gameplay": in everyone more importance is given to a special aspect. For example, in the first level you must drain enough water from five smaller cistern in order to collect it in a central big room, enabling the player to reach a very high room, so puzzles and triggers are privileged in this one; instead in the third one the combative component is pre-eminent, where enemies are located on multiple levels of higness... you gotta check! :D
Next levels will have more large areas to explore and to fight in.

I made a large use of 3D floors, and you'll soon discover I'd like to invent new forms of triggers ;)

I also wanted to add some interactive elements: I mean, objects and keys to pick won't be the same as usual (blue/yellow/red/skull/keycard...) but you'll have to check more carefully. This, in my opinion, gives the game a more realistic touch.

IMPORTANT: the first level I posted is not FINISHED at all, so do not think this is the definitive version; many things must be done yet: many sounds must be replaced with more appropriate ones; there are also some graphical glitches on the grates, for example, in which you see the sky effect instead of darkness.

Many parts need the use of JUMP and CROUCH!

Screenshots

Well, you're probably willing to see something of all this stuff I talked about :), so I had taken some relevant screenies to show you the style of the WAD:

1st Level: A passage to the dungeons

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/856/exitdoor.jpg/ Two, sliding, metal doors.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/70 ... nroom.jpg/ The main room of the level, with a typical gothic architecture.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/806/grates.jpg/ A room with a well.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/room1s.jpg/ Corridors... there'll be plenty of!
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/40/bridgeeq.jpg/ The broken bridge: you must find another way to reach the other side..
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/51 ... igger.jpg/ The Mechanism.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/40 ... igger.jpg/ Another trigger.. you'll need two keys.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/685/panelb.jpg/ A control panel: this makes things easier to help you escape :)


Updated version 2/8/2012

New screenshots from level#4!

At last I decided to show you some more about the progress of the leves; here are a few screenies of level#4 (settle inside the Castle), showing different locations; the main objectives is to open one of the lateral doors to gain access to the throne room, the greatest room inside the castle.
(Descriptions of the screenies won't be given: I want you to discover yourself how it works!)

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/641/1lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/580/2lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/513/3lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/109/4lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/820/5lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/37/6lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/838/7lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/810/8lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/11/9lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/845/10lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/818/11lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/828/12lev4.jpg/
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/442/13lev4.jpg/

If you want to leave a comment, I'd appreciate it and always motivates me to keep it on! :P


Downloads

As promised, I'd like to post the first level of the set. As my very first post, I don't know what could be the general impression about my work. Hope you like it! :D

Updated version 1/8/2012

I finally updated and adjusted something about the 1st level.

What's new:
- many bugs fixed;
- new monster added in the gameplay, based also on which skill level you're playing;
- now the level is fully completed: you can finish it starting from beginning to the end;
- SUPER-shortcut added, with a little surprise. Who said levels must be linear with no alternative paths? :P

To-do list:
- replacing monsters with some more appropriate: I just placed classical Doom monster because of giving a gameplay example. When I get deeper knowledge of DECORATE,
I'll surely move on this way;
- must specify that some walls block sound; so now if you shoot a single hit, every foe alert!
- general brightness adjustments. Probably rooms will get much darker, and you'll need a torch/lamp to explore..

Download link (updated!) ---> http://www.mediafire.com/?4eh3dulxslwoes3

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: I used "GOTHIC TEXTURE PACK" from http://realm667.com/index.php?option=co ... Itemid=189
I'm not able enough to release the wad with the textures already included, so please use DoomBuilder2 to test it! (or someone explain me to join the level and the textures in a single playable WAD)

Let me know what you think! I like criticism and find it constructive :)

And thanks for your patience reading all this!

GuildNavigator
Last edited by GuildNavigator on Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:40 am, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Ravick » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:28 pm

Looks beautiful, I'm downloading it.

Btw, join textures is pretty easy, just use an wad editor program (like XWE, SlupEd or Slade3 ;) ), if the mod is in the format .wad just copy and paste the textures between lumps called TX_START and TX_END. I never did a .pk3, but if its the case, I blieve you should paste them in a inner directory called "TEXUTRES",
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Enjay » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:34 pm

Wow, tricky. Some very cunning stuff here. The early area is a bit cramped and I kept getting stuck on those sticky-out bits on the walls. However, this was less of a problem later on. I think it could do with being a bit darker for more atmosphere.

However, other than that, it's jam packed full of cool puzzles and new ways to think about stuff. I've had to stop playing because its getting late but I reckon I still have quite a bit to do and I've been in the map over half an hour already.

[edit] Oh yeah: zipped your file is less than 1MB but unzipped it's over 5. Have a thought for us poor souls on slow connections. :P [/edit]
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:42 pm

Thank you Ravick, for your compliments :) I hope you like the style..

Well, I'll try in the next days this operation.

Now that I think of it, the level is not completable: I forgot to design a key to put in a hole, and many things are missing in the area of the 7th screenshot (anyway, using IDCLIP, you can take the two metal bars and and draining the water; you'll see in the panel that you've done that area)
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:53 pm

Enjay wrote:Wow, tricky. Some very cunning stuff here. The early area is a bit cramped and I kept getting stuck on those sticky-out bits on the walls. However, this was less of a problem later on. I think it could do with being a bit darker for more atmosphere.

However, other than that, it's jam packed full of cool puzzles and new ways to think about stuff. I've had to stop playing because its getting late but I reckon I still have quite a bit to do and I've been in the map over half an hour already.

[edit] Oh yeah: zipped your file is less than 1MB but unzipped it's over 5. Have a thought for us poor souls on slow connections. :P [/edit]


Uh, yeah! Didn't think of it :D I provide right now to make a zip of the whole file..

You're right, my next steps actually are going to tighten those columns-out-of-the-wall, as the ones later in the level.

So the level is tricky! Well, it was one of my original purposes... giving Doom a more explorative taste. But you're also right saying that probably it's due to the darkness of the level: well, originally the aim was creating darker areas, reflecting how they could really be in reality. But I NEED practicing in brigtness adjustments! ;)

And you've been a half an hour for a single level... WOW! But I'm afraid that when you'll understand my style fully... there will be no more tricky hours for you! Ahah!

Glad to see you like it! :D
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Enjay » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:32 pm

Well, there we go 1 hour 1 minute and 20 seconds. I certainly didn't expect that with only 19 enemies on the map. :shock: I *think* I noclipped at the right bit.

It's very puzzley. I wouldn't have said that it was the kind of thing that I would normally enjoy but for some reason I did enjoy it. Although many of the puzzles were quite cryptic, none were confusing to the point of me just standing there not having a clue what to do. I was always busy and always having to figure things out. It's certainly a different map and very interesting.

Were there any frustrations? Well, yes, but not huge ones. I already mentioned the walls that I kept getting stuck on. The only other recurring annoyance was that some of the levers were quite difficult for me to use. I spent a lot of time multi-using the levers just to make sure that I hadn't just missed the activation line. I *think* you made the actual stick of the lever the activation bit. That means the activation lines are only, what, 4 units wide or so in most cases? For most, maybe even all, of the lever switches, I don't see any reason why you couldn't just make the activation line the edge of the slot. That would be much easier to activate but not spoil any of the feel of the map IMO.
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:17 pm

Enjay wrote:Well, there we go 1 hour 1 minute and 20 seconds. I certainly didn't expect that with only 19 enemies on the map. :shock: I *think* I noclipped at the right bit.

It's very puzzley. I wouldn't have said that it was the kind of thing that I would normally enjoy but for some reason I did enjoy it. Although many of the puzzles were quite cryptic, none were confusing to the point of me just standing there not having a clue what to do. I was always busy and always having to figure things out. It's certainly a different map and very interesting.

Were there any frustrations? Well, yes, but not huge ones. I already mentioned the walls that I kept getting stuck on. The only other recurring annoyance was that some of the levers were quite difficult for me to use. I spent a lot of time multi-using the levers just to make sure that I hadn't just missed the activation line. I *think* you made the actual stick of the lever the activation bit. That means the activation lines are only, what, 4 units wide or so in most cases? For most, maybe even all, of the lever switches, I don't see any reason why you couldn't just make the activation line the edge of the slot. That would be much easier to activate but not spoil any of the feel of the map IMO.


Well, I surely wanted even before to make the wall-columns less wide; about the lever-switches, well, it's surely a good solution that I never thought before: I think I'll probabaly change the activation line with the longest of the lever-slot, in order to make player's work easier ;) thanks for the suggestion. But I must say that in certain cases the line of the slot is already taken for another script (for example: you press use and the palyer "insert" the lever-bar in the slot), so it's necessary to make the 4-units line of the lever the only one to activate the switch itself.. but there aren't many.

19 enemies? Yeah, I didn't even count them, because I have to place them correctly: the ones you killed where just some test-enemies to play the fairground! :)

Thnak you anyway for your sincere thoughts about the map: yeah sometimes could get very tricky (for example, th high room of the 4 mini-lifters), but intelligence moves and tactics are required to solve the puzzles.

Did you find the super short-cut that make you reach the end level without racking your brain? ;) That part gotta be finished too, but I think it's a nice novelty included in the gameplay!
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Enjay » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:29 pm

GuildNavigator wrote:Did you find the super short-cut that make you reach the end level without racking your brain? ;)

Wait! There's a shortcut? Now you tell me. ;)

Seriously, I'm like a blind man when it comes to spotting secrets so, no, I didn't find the shortcut. :lol:
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby rsl » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:37 pm

:shock:

I am amazed. No, seriously - I mean it! :D

I usually didn't find previous puzzle levels I tried in the past that much appealing. But this one really got me fascinated.
It's not easy to describe the quantity and variety of tricks you pulled off to make the place a mysterious, challenging dungeon... Every sort of machinery, levers, broken or recoverable mechanisms you have to discover the logic of, in order to escape the dungeon itself. I played (quite seamlessly, I think) up to the point where I entered the small poisoned labyrinth - I could find a lever, but could not make it back to the entrance... :)

I strongly encourage you to finish off the level - it deserves it! :D Also, a couple suggestions I'd feel to give you to emphasize the atmosphere/improve the gameplay:
- I'd make all areas generally less lit/bright - being a dungeon, that would make it more believable, and creepy!
- some areas - like the pit with the sloped wooden bridge at the beginning - block you with no possible recovery path, if you happen to fall where you aren't supposed to. In such cases, you might want to consider adding a small ladder, or simply make the floor of all too-deep-pits a damaging one.
- It's quite weird to find a single monster now and then, alone in certain rooms - aside from their appearance (which obviously is not medieval), I'd say that taking away these monsters completely would add to the sense of mistery that you get when first exploring most areas. While - on the opposite hand - I'd see as very appropriate to have a group of them in the larger rooms, i.e. the control panel hall... Just for a little fighting break! :wink:
- You probably did mention that already, but some looping atmosphere sounds would play great in the WAD. As a possible source of inspiration, I'd think about those used in the first "Alone In The Dark" game (not all of them would fit, though).

To sum it up, I honestly think it's a great piece of work. While retrying this one to see if in can progress more than I already did, I'm definitely looking forward to the final release! :D
Last edited by rsl on Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Gothic » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:57 pm

Gothic DM textures! downloading now...
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:26 pm

Enjay wrote:
GuildNavigator wrote:Did you find the super short-cut that make you reach the end level without racking your brain? ;)

Wait! There's a shortcut? Now you tell me. ;)

Seriously, I'm like a blind man when it comes to spotting secrets so, no, I didn't find the shortcut. :lol:


The same happens to me! Well... it's supposed to be a secret, but I can tell you :) LOOK NEARBY JUST AFTER THE VERY SECOND RAMP OF STAIRS But unfortunately you won't go directly to the exit, because this path has got to be finished.

rsl wrote::shock:

I am amazed. No, seriously - I mean it! :D


Well, many thanks for your appreciation! :D All your compliments just push me towards finishing this first level as soon as possible..


rsl wrote:I strongly encourage you to finish off the level - it deserves it! :D Also, a couple suggestions I'd feel to give you to emphasize the atmosphere/improve the gameplay:
- I'd make all areas generally less lit/bright - being a dungeon, that would make it more believable, and creepy!
- some areas - like the pit with the sloped wooden bridge at the beginning - block you with no possible recovery path, if you happen to fall where you aren't supposed to. In such cases, you might want to consider adding a small ladder, or simply make the floor of all too-deep-pits a damaging one.
- It's quite weird to find a single monster now and then, alone in certain rooms - aside from their appearance (which obviously is not medieval), I'd say that taking away these monsters completely would add to the sense of mistery that you get when first exploring most areas. While - on the opposite hand - I'd see as very appropriate to have a group of them in the larger rooms, i.e. the control panel hall... Just for a little fighting break! :wink:
- You probably did mention that already, but some looping atmosphere sounds would play great in the WAD. As a possible source of inspiration, I'd think about those used in the first "Alone In The Dark" game (not all of them would fit, though).


Precious tips you just gave me:
-that was my original idea, to make very dark room in order to create the right atmosphere (in my opinion the main setting that characterize every single WAD), but then I thought it could be object of hard criticism because of difficulty of movement; then associated with narrow passages, well, I can imagine the effect for the first players ;) But surely I could think about it ---> go to point 3;
-you're perfectly right: in certain pits you could not effectively get out, so I'll probably add dangerous sectors if walked on by player;
-THAT'S AN EFFECTIVE INNOVATION: imagine all these dark rooms and corridors, accompanied with a suitable background music, some misterious or also ambient simple sounds (like, for example, the Cave's sounds in the background of the very first level of the game Tomb Raider: they were creepy!); probably I would like to add some monsters suitable to the setting of the level, like some sort of sewerage monster which lives in the water... but also living beings like rats, in order to create that groove I talked about before;
-AloneInTheDark ones could not be bad, but I think some soundtracks of some recent horror games could do the trick as well... :twisted:


Surely I'll keep on the project!

Well: would you like to help searching some suitable sound for the ambient? I think you catched rightly the spirit of the game ;) I'd be honored to collaborate with you; let me know!
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby Captain Proof » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:03 am

Reminds me of eternal doom, which isn't a bad thing. Looks great though, keep it up :)
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD, by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:34 am

Captain Proof wrote:Reminds me of eternal doom, which isn't a bad thing. Looks great though, keep it up :)


Actually I took little inspiration from Eternal Doom levels.. Thanks for appreciation :)

Gothic wrote:Gothic DM textures! downloading now...


... I think GOTHIC texture pack has got so much potential!
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD [UPDATED!], by GuildNavigator

Postby GuildNavigator » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:42 am

Added some new screenshots about level#4! :)

If you want to leave a comment, I'll appreciate it much! :)
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Re: A Medieval-styled WAD [UPDATED!], by GuildNavigator

Postby rsl » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:24 am

Seeing how I liked the first demo level, these shots have great atmosphere potential...

..that is, admitted that you will adjust all light levels properly! :wink:

Also, this might benefit a lot from sparse light sources defined with the GLDEFS lump.
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