New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

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New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby real_trisk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:18 pm

Hello all! It's about darn time I release my GZDoom only WAD "The Island," since it's been complete for almost a year! Yes, I seem to like doing that. ANYWAY, it's done and complete and finished all at once! Amazing graphics push GZDoom farther than ever! Serious Sam style gameplay! New music and sound! New weapons fire flashes that are photo-realistic to how guns really look! New animation frames for the imp, doubling frame count! (Just to see if I could and how it would look.) Secrets and action aplenty! Weird worlds of light to explore! Purple lightning!

Gasp! You want! You need! You need? Well you get! Just have a beefy system if you want it to run at full detail- at least a GeForce 9600, which is what it was developed on. There is also a low detail version for folks who lack the computer muscle, and both versions have variable detail settings to try and tweak the framerate.

Image

I also recorded a video of a run through the levels on Youtube. Watch that right here!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z48whKL_vo&feature=share&list=PLY6q7G6knU80bgc7fiknrzs2QeVpwa8EV

Get the full on, mega graphics version for epic win! Minimum Geforce 8600.
http://www.prodigal-game.com/doomstuff/Island/theisland_full.zip

Get the "I need a new computer" edition right here! No promises on minimum, but it should work on more modest systems with less VRAM. If anybody finds the minimum spec and lets me know, I'll give them a cookie.
http://www.prodigal-game.com/doomstuff/Island/theisland_lowtex.zip

Like the combat song? Here it is!
http://www.prodigal-game.com/music/Teeth.mp3

Enjoy it and let me know what you think!

Ben
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Nash » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:27 pm

Pros:

+ Great atmosphere with the sounds
+ For the most part, the outdoor levels look pretty
+ Those sprite-based Oblivion-style trees are insane

Cons:

- Zzz gameplay (basically felt like an outdoor version of Legacy of Suffering). I bound my "M" key to "kill monsters" and find myself tapping that key a lot because the waves felt super repetitive
- The dream maps... what?
- The grass sprites are way too tall. You can't see anything if you have full grass detail on.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby ibm5155 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:57 pm

found this before on your site lol
Well I have one thing to type, that wood stair laaaaaag...

Well The map looks badass with the hacky gl dll, I could run the third option in most of parts with no lag and some of then with lag :D (well it´s a intel hd 3000 )
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Ctrl+Alt+Destroy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:19 pm

You're the guy who did E2M4 redux, right? Exactly how many levels are there?
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby real_trisk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:29 pm

Yes, I did do E2M4 Redux. There are around 20 literal separate levels, but in order to get decent framerates, the actual levels were split into small chunks. Level count would actually be around 6 if they weren't split.

So, Nash, you skipped all the challenge by auto killing the monsters, then complain it is boring? That makes a lot of sense.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Project Dark Fox » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:37 pm

real_trisk wrote:So, Nash, you skipped all the challenge by auto killing the monsters, then complain it is boring? That makes a lot of sense.

From what I am understanding, it wasn't the "challenge". It was the wave-type combat that was prevalent in Legacy of Suffering.
Having not played this yet (but having played LOS), I am just guessing based on my experience with LOS. I will do up my own review when I get my own chance to play.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Ctrl+Alt+Destroy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:44 pm

I actually really enjoy it so far. I only played through about ten minutes of the first map, but I hope to get a chance to play through at least half of it sometime this week. Very nice atmosphere and environments. This looks like Cacoward material. Although I have yet to do a thorough play-through and give my own list of likes/dislikes.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby real_trisk » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:47 pm

Well, it is clearly identified as a Serious Sam style level pack, and should be played and enjoyed as such. If that kind of thing doesn't interest you, then it isn't for you. I happen to enjoy Serious Sam occasionally, and used to make maps for it... was the first person ever to release a map for it, in fact. Anyway, I had an itching to relive the glory days, so here it is.

What's fun about Sam, IMO, is figuring out the enemy rush patterns and learning how to control and defeat the waves efficiently. That is the major puzzle aspect of it, instead of key hunts or secret searches a la Doom. It's fun to change it up now and again!

Glad you like it so far, Ctrl-Alt-Destroy! Tons of surprises in store for you!

Ben
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Ctrl+Alt+Destroy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:56 pm

real_trisk wrote:Well, it is clearly identified as a Serious Sam style level pack, and should be played and enjoyed as such. If that kind of thing doesn't interest you, then it isn't for you. I happen to enjoy Serious Sam occasionally, and used to make maps for it... was the first person ever to release a map for it, in fact. Anyway, I had an itching to relive the glory days, so here it is.

What's fun about Sam, IMO, is figuring out the enemy rush patterns and learning how to control and defeat the waves efficiently. That is the major puzzle aspect of it, instead of key hunts or secret searches a la Doom. It's fun to change it up now and again!

Glad you like it so far, CTRL-ALT-Destroy!

Ben

I support the idea and concept behind this. I loved the first few minutes. I enjoy Serious Sam as well. In fact, I'm waiting for a copy of Serious Sam 3 to come in through the mail. I tend to enjoy mindless fun. But it often depends on the execution. And I really like this execution so far. Really nice stuff here. If I didn't enjoy Serious Sam, then I don't see how it would be possible for me to enjoy Doom. I've already considered nominating this for the Cacowards, but thought it best to wait until I have time to sit down and play. Looks nice nonetheless!
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby esselfortium » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:41 pm

Just looking at the screenshot, so far, two things stand out to me that make the scene feel less than believable and that I think could use some reworking:

- The level is clearly going for realism, but I've never seen a real sky that looked anything like that blur effect. (And it wouldn't be a static image backdrop, if it were... I don't think GZDoom can really do the sort of foreground flare effect it'd call for, or at least not without some major hacks and compromises.) A more realistic sky would help the scene in front of it feel more realistic in turn, I think.

- The color and contrast of the backdrop don't match the color and contrast of the foreground, so the whole scene with the very green foliage looks rather artificial and cartoonish to my eyes in spite of the detailed models and such. Desaturating the graphics ever so slightly and applying a rather subtle tint to the map sectors, using a color pulled from the sky, might help the foreground and background feel more cohesive together.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby FireHusky » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:07 pm

The ending was intense.

Bugged Ending? [spoiler]
Spoiler:
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Xaser » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:10 am

Hmm, I had a go at this, and I have to say that the gameplay isn't really there. The trouble isn't the fact that it's wave-based, but that the waves themselves pose no real threat and are often-times filled with large groups of single monsters, meaning no interesting enemy dynamics exist. That and several of the monsters chosen appear to be poor fits for the arena itself, leading to a lot of cases where the opposition is either too sparse (vulgars underground) or too thick (cacodemons at the stairway). It seemed as if things were going to pick up by the start of the valley segment (with the first appearance of the suicide bombers), but the fight ended up being a one-trick pony, spawning bombers in front of the player repeatedly with nothing else coming from the sides. I felt as if I could have just stood still and held the fire button and still get through well over half the fights.

The most troublesome areas are the large places that spawn suicide zombies and demons in a group (e.g. the pagoda fight). There's not really any synergy with this combination, since the demons are no threat at all in such a large space and the bombers are easily picked off at a distance partially because of their relative lack of speed but also because there were no other threatening monsters to distract the player. I've got fond memories of trying to dodge Werebulls in Sam only to have a rogue bomber sneak up behind me -- now that's good enemy placement. Hell, even a pack of nothing but Werebulls worked just fine because those guys are really dangerous by themselves in big open spaces. The same can't be said for most monster types used here -- it's just mindless cannon fodder, especially considering how easy it is to dodge everything.

It may be worth playing through some monster-heavy mapsets like Deus Vult (2) or Combat Shock 2 to get an idea of how to effectively use hordes of enemies in Doom, if that's the intended approach. The closest to the mark thus far, I think, was the use of Fallen in the dreamworld arena. Though that particular arena dragged on too long, IMO, the Fallen themselves proved to be a nice creature in such a setting since they produce a lot of fireballs for the player to dodge. I'd actually say that replacing all instances of Cacodemons with Fallen would be a good step in the right direction, since it makes things less meatshield-y (which caused things like the stairway fight to drag on for ages) and more dodge-y. Though not an end-all solution to everything, of course, it's a start.

Regarding the visuals, it's pretty but not my cup of tea (personal preference mostly; I'm a pixel addict). I do think the lack of lighting contrast is very pronounced in some areas, though, particularly the valley segment after the caves. The Pagoda surroundings are lit completely uniformly, for instance, which takes away from the hill-y look that's intended. The maps are also highly linear and the swamp dragged on for too long (mostly because i'm not a fan of the speed decrease), but the former at least is fine so long as the battles themselves are tightened up.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby Enjay » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:56 am

I enjoyed the visuals. The caves and swamp area are my favourites. both are quite atmospheric and the "natural" slopes of the caves were nice. I also liked how you managed to get the level architecture and the horizon to meet well (particularly in the first and last area). The only place that I had noticeable lag was by the wooden staircase and even then the game remained very playable. I found a couple of places where it was possible to simply run over a hill and fall into a place where, I assume, the player is not meant to go and got stuck (no clipped back).

The wave arena gameplay is not my cup of Earl Grey. I didn't enjoy it in Serious Sam FE, and hated it in serious Sam SE (especially the final approach to Mental's... whatever that place at the end was). However, you stated up front what the gameplay was like and that means I went into it with my eyes open knowing that, chances are, there would be some big scripted wave battles and I wouldn't enjoy them much. So I'm not going to say any more on that.
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby darkhaven3 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:19 am

I'm frankly surprised to see my 660 Ti overclocked lagging down to 20FPS on a GZDoom mod, but that said it's graphically impressive in a few areas as far as Doom goes, and the architecture is pretty cool. The gameplay was shoddy at best and even in the best case scenarios ZDoom's bowling-ball slope physics made the mod virtually unenjoyable for me
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Re: New GZDoom level pack "The Island" released!

Postby grouchbag » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:22 am

Very beautiful and enjoyable!You've done great.
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