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Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:45 am
by Diode
I haven't had much time to give feedback to you on Patreon for the past few months, but most of the later levels have all been pretty solid.

I'm not surprised people are complaining about the first two levels, though, as I've felt they needed significant redesigning from pretty much the start. They don't have the same flow as everything from level 3 onwards does, and I had major navigational trouble the first time I played them, too. It's obvious that you learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work for your level design, because the problems that plague the first two levels never really show up again, or at least, nowhere near as often, and never as severe.

As painful as it must be to think about, I feel like at some point, the opening two levels, or at the very least the first, is going to need a redesign if you want to one day try and toss this game infront of a bigger audience than the doom modding scene.

I would urge everyone downloading this to stick it out through the first two levels. It gets a whole lot better.

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:07 pm
by Zan
The first two levels have a very specific purpose and role in Hedon's setup and buildup.
The first level teaches the player about the movement and its' limitations, as well as how the "puzzle" part generally works. The non-linear caves announce that there will be a need for a map, exploration and backtracking. The second segment becomes linear so it can focus on teaching about combat and conservation/proper use of inventory.
The second level expands again on exploration, reading clues and the like.
The reason why the next levels are lighter on the brain racking side is again tied to the pacing of the game. Map 3 has no puzzles and focuses on combat to break monotony, then Map 4 comes back with a surge of puzzle/exploration as well as a notable difficulty increase. Map 6 is a hard break and it's sole purpose is to refresh the player mid-game. And well, you get the point, each map has it's own role in the entire pacing, and I considered that the player has the most patience and energy when starting a game, hence I pushed the first two levels into that direction.

Anyway, redesign of the first two maps is out of question, but I am still looking to iron out any objectively unfair aspects.

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:03 am
by Solarn
I'm just on level 4 so far, but I really like what I'm seeing. I actually enjoyed the exploration and puzzle aspects of the first two levels, so the linearity of the third was kind of a letdown. I think if you want to break the monotony, it's much better to do so with combat sections within each level rather than just dedicating an entire level to combat.

Anyway, my big question is, will the player sprites ever be redrawn to be more consistent? It's especially noticeable from the front when transitioning from standing still to running or vice versa, but almost all of Zan's poses have different proportions from each other. The enemies seem okay, and so do the ally orcs (although I don't think I've ever seen them crouching), but Zan is just all over the place. Like, I'm pretty sure that in her half-profile crouching pose, one of her legs is half again as long as the other.

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:38 am
by Zan
Solarn wrote:I'm just on level 4 so far, but I really like what I'm seeing. I actually enjoyed the exploration and puzzle aspects of the first two levels, so the linearity of the third was kind of a letdown. I think if you want to break the monotony, it's much better to do so with combat sections within each level rather than just dedicating an entire level to combat.

There is a degree of that happening in each level, but again, doing so for each map would result in a monotonous pattern. Hedon's a fairly long game, and my end goal is around 30 maps in three chapters so there's plenty of space for gameplay variation.

Solarn wrote:Anyway, my big question is, will the player sprites ever be redrawn to be more consistent? It's especially noticeable from the front when transitioning from standing still to running or vice versa, but almost all of Zan's poses have different proportions from each other. The enemies seem okay, and so do the ally orcs (although I don't think I've ever seen them crouching), but Zan is just all over the place. Like, I'm pretty sure that in her half-profile crouching pose, one of her legs is half again as long as the other.

Hah, well, the reason why you think the orcs look better than Zan is because I tried to improve the animation with foreshortening. It looks good on the orcs because they tend to be further away when running so the perspective works in their favor and gives them a faked depth and angle, but Zan's still a 2D flat right in front of you, so the perspective effects I've given to the front/back animations contrast with the free camera and close range.

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:10 am
by ate0ate
After seeing many of the opinions on the first two levels, I felt obligated to share my thoughts on them as well. I am only just starting the fourth level so my experience is minimal I suppose. I find the first two levels pacing to be perfect for me and quite enjoyable overall. The slow introduction to combat was perfect for allowing the game's lore/puzzles and overall flow to settle in for me. I find the lighting to be appropriate for the setting and was able to clearly see the less obvious paths.

I enjoyed the structure of the first level and it reminded me of some older 90s level design from games other than Doom. While there were many similar looking areas there was just enough difference for me to associate something with an area and memorize the pathways that way. Like the room with the crates in it or the room with well of water you can jump down into, a fork in the road with different lighting at the end of either path, little identifiers like that made it just enough for me to not get turned around. It was the same with backtracking for me. I found the areas to be appropriately obvious ahead of time and near enough to something memorable so that backtracking to them later was not annoying in any way.

I really like the variation in levels as well, especially if you plan on making this a 30 level adventure. I don't think it works well in many more classic doom wads, but for the play-style of this I feel it does. The stealthy little forest section was quite a nice change of pace early on. It was a breath of fresh air right as the cave crawling was just starting to feel a bit tedious. Also, I like the idea of having an entire level dedicated to combat after the more exploratory nature of the prior levels. It helps to keep things fresh, especially when you get stumped or frustrated with a part of the game. It's nice to be able to take a break from the gameplay that frustrated you and get to some cathartic combat before diving back in to the puzzle/exploration play loop again.

Overall I really enjoy this and look forward to seeing where you take it from here :D I thank you for your work here. Its always really amazing to me to see just how different a vision that others have for Doom compared to how it was playing back at its release. I never imagined Doom being anything like this then. It's very nice to see people still drawing inspiration from the old game to make something as remarkable as this all these years later. Brings a tear to an old man's eye. (sniff)

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:53 am
by Zan
ate0ate wrote:[...]a fork in the road with different lighting at the end of either path, little identifiers like that made it just enough for me to not get turned around[...]

Hehe, someone's finally noticed that (or at least mentioned it). But yes, what you said does reflect my intentions to put subtle clues but otherwise let the players handle themselves.

ate0ate wrote:Overall I really enjoy this and look forward to seeing where you take it from here :D I thank you for your work here. Its always really amazing to me to see just how different a vision that others have for Doom compared to how it was playing back at its release. I never imagined Doom being anything like this then. It's very nice to see people still drawing inspiration from the old game to make something as remarkable as this all these years later. Brings a tear to an old man's eye. (sniff)

Thanks! What I'm trying to do is work with some key oldschool concepts which are exploration, a mature attitude towards the player and variation of design, and create a game that has a strong feel/atmosphere above anything else. This is obviously sustained by gameplay and I'm going to be constantly seeking to vary the environments around combat and movement and hit that certain balance between gameplay and graphic value that seems to have ravaged the gaming industry post 2007.

Re: ☼ Hedon (ZDoom Beta Release!) ☼

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:47 pm
by Zan
I've updated the download again.
Also, ModDB has started the voting for the top 100 mods of 2018. I'd really appreciate your vote and it's quick to do it, just go here and you'll see the vote button on a big red banner https://www.moddb.com/mods/hedon/
Thanks :D

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:25 am
by Captain J
I forgot to play this mod and tell my thoughts, once again... Hahah. Anyway My goodness gracious, this mod is totally brilliant and fantastic! I honestly love the style and the overall design of this mod. Fantasy style at its finest, it's so mythical and shiny! And i really dig the Companions, Special effects and the Weapons, too. Pretty well made.

However i found some unfortunate moments during playing this mod. I'd like to give you some feedback of mine, but sadly the Discord Server linked on the First Page seems to be closed... Forever. Shoot.

But i still can message you, so why not! Just wait for my feedback and i'll looking forward to this mod!

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:02 am
by Zan
Right, I fixed the link so everyone who wants to join the Discord server feel free to. You can always post feedback here too :P

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:08 am
by Korell
Just gave this a try. Took me almost two hours just to get through the first two maps, what with searching for certain required items and going back and forth throughout the second map. Hope to get some more done soon.

Something I noticed, though. Your download has a gzdoom.wad file, which appears to be the Freedoom 2 IWAD (though comparing it (in SLADE) to the latest Freedoom 2 IWAD that I have there are a couple of minor changes on MAP01). Now as your mod is an IPK3, have you just forgotten to remove the Freedoom 2 IWAD? It doesn't seem to be needed as I was able to run Hedon.ipk3 on its own in my own GZDoom installation just fine.

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:24 pm
by Zan
Oh, you're right. That .wad must have come with the engine download, I don't recall ever adding it in myself.

Two hours seems to be the time most people need for the first two maps, so you're doing just fine. Let me know if you have any feedback :D

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:03 pm
by Korell
Zan wrote:Oh, you're right. That .wad must have come with the engine download, I don't recall ever adding it in myself.

Two hours seems to be the time most people need for the first two maps, so you're doing just fine. Let me know if you have any feedback :D


Most of the time was in the second map as I wasn't sure where to go to (and I spent quite some time looking for the third purple ingredient).

Anyway, so far, the feel of the mod is very nice. You get that fantasy feel, mixed with technology (guns, machines, etc.), and the soundtrack fits quite well. I like how there are a lot of written scrolls and papers that explain what is going on. I think I missed something in the first map, though, as I found some instructions telling me to do something before I left, but I didn't go back and do it. The enemies so far have been interesting (I'm playing on Not Too Rough at the moment) with melee and projectile attacks (I've not seen any hitscan enemies yet) and it's nice how the first map introduces the stealth element of being able to kill enemies without alerting others.

I did notice that the standing still sprite for Zan seems to be a little larger than when she's walking, and it doesn't quite look right to me. If the standing still sprite was a little smaller, more in line with the walking sprites, then I think it would look better. For the inventory system, I'm sure it's possible for the names of the items to be different to their descriptions that you get when you query them. This way you could turn on the nametags for items and not have to keep querying them. Also, I'm sure I picked up a pickaxe at some point which allowed me to break those cracked walls, but I don't recall getting any feedback when picking up the pickaxe so it was only by chance that I pressed the use key on a cracked wall. I also saw one spelling mistake, "ammulet".

I'm sure I'll have more feedback once I've played the other levels. I take it that those first two levels are more of an introduction to the playstyle. Oh, will that first beta testmap hub room be getting removed? Only you can pick up all the weapons and items for a bonus when you start a level. You could make it so that the game removes the items when starting the first level of the game, but if the testmap room will be getting removed in a future update then this is unimportant. At the moment I'm just not using a weapon/item until I've picked one up in the main levels.

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:59 pm
by TDRR
Looks awesome! Shame i haven't been able to download with that terrible file host.

Mind uploading to MEGA or something?

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:57 am
by Zan
TDRR wrote:Looks awesome! Shame i haven't been able to download with that terrible file host.

Mind uploading to MEGA or something?

You mean Wetransfer doesn't work at all? Or is the file not available? Try this I guess https://ufile.io/i8ayc






Korell wrote:Most of the time was in the second map as I wasn't sure where to go to (and I spent quite some time looking for the third purple ingredient).

Which one was the 3rd? Any reason in particular why you missed it?

Korell wrote:The enemies so far have been interesting (I'm playing on Not Too Rough at the moment) with melee and projectile attacks (I've not seen any hitscan enemies yet) and it's nice how the first map introduces the stealth element of being able to kill enemies without alerting others.

Glad to know the enemies work out to you. The spike throwing cultists were intended as the hitscan type of enemy (high threat, low hp), but it's still projectile based.

Korell wrote:I did notice that the standing still sprite for Zan seems to be a little larger than when she's walking, and it doesn't quite look right to me.

Holy cow, wait, you people are right. I somehow messed up her back sprite size, no idea how I haven't noticed by now. In any case, I've fixed this issue, thanks!

Korell wrote:For the inventory system, I'm sure it's possible for the names of the items to be different to their descriptions that you get when you query them.

Meh, is it really that big of a deal? I don't want to overcomplicate things with prints and stuff. If it's built in, why not use it? I know it doesn't stay up too long but at least it reminds the player that the console is a useful thing. Also, you can adjust how long it stays on screen from options afaik

Korell wrote:but I don't recall getting any feedback when picking up the pickaxe so it was only by chance that I pressed the use key on a cracked wall.

I actually changed the side on which the stone door is hinged, and hopefully players will notice the Pickaxe as soon as they open it now instead? Let's see if that works.

Korell wrote:I also saw one spelling mistake, "ammulet".

Good spot, fixed!

Korell wrote:Oh, will that first beta testmap hub room be getting removed?

I'll keep the room for historical purposes but it will only be reachable via noclip and obviously the items and scripts will be gone.

Korell wrote:I'm sure I'll have more feedback once I've played the other levels.

Well thanks a lot, keep 'em coming!

Re: ☼ Hedon (Your Vote Needed!) ☼

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:17 pm
by Korell
Just to clarify on the below points:

Zan wrote:
Korell wrote:Most of the time was in the second map as I wasn't sure where to go to (and I spent quite some time looking for the third purple ingredient).

Which one was the 3rd? Any reason in particular why you missed it?

Korell wrote:For the inventory system, I'm sure it's possible for the names of the items to be different to their descriptions that you get when you query them.

Meh, is it really that big of a deal? I don't want to overcomplicate things with prints and stuff. If it's built in, why not use it? I know it doesn't stay up too long but at least it reminds the player that the console is a useful thing. Also, you can adjust how long it stays on screen from options afaik

Korell wrote:but I don't recall getting any feedback when picking up the pickaxe so it was only by chance that I pressed the use key on a cracked wall.

I actually changed the side on which the stone door is hinged, and hopefully players will notice the Pickaxe as soon as they open it now instead? Let's see if that works.


The third purple ingredient I found was in some backroom of a building that I'd completely missed. I believe the building had a vine key door.

For the inventory system, what I mean is that there's an option you can use that displays the names of weapons, items or both as and when you select them (in HUD Options -> Display Nametags). The name appears quite low on screen and centred. Just testing it with Heretic, though, it appears that it is in fact the same description, just that the query item button also adds the number of the item you are carrying to the end of the description whilst the HUD nametag one doesn't. So yeah, probably not worth looking into.

And for the last point, what I meant by feedback is that I didn't realise that by picking up the pickaxe that I would be able to use the cracked walls. Neither the weapons nor items showed the pickaxe and it was only by chance that I decided to press the use key on a cracked wall, at which point instead of giving me the message about a tool it just crumbled open. Maybe some message that pops into the centre of the screen when you pick up the pickaxe would help here, hinting to you to use the cracked walls.