[RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

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[RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby Zero X. Diamond » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:38 am

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Half a year ago now, popular video game streamer Joel Jarvisson of the Vinesauce streaming group announced the beginning of his second Doom mapping contest. I was currently elbow deep in a project that I'd already delayed the release of by several months, so I hadn't initially intended to participate, but I couldn't help myself and in the end threw together a short, goofy map. After a huge wait, Joel finally played it in its entirety yesterday, and much to my surprise not only did he love it but most of his chat had nothing but good things to say as well! A bunch of people asked if I was going to release it, so hey, why not?

FEATURES
  • Play as Joel with custom sprites and a DukeTalk-esque dynamic taunt system!
  • Interactive environment! Break glass, smash office chairs, HAVE FUN!
  • Cutscenes! Exposition galore!
  • Multiple endings!
  • Jokes you won't get if you don't watch Joel's streams!

CHANGES FROM STREAMED VERSION
  • Can no longer get trapped next to machine outside first window
  • Fixed missing door track in warehouse
  • Boss doesn't activate until you actually step into his area
  • Adjusted some textures in the super secret room to look a little nicer
  • Added more ammo to the two lowest difficulty levels (for those who, like Joel, spray and pray and then can't find more)
  • The most important feature: you can flush the toilets and urinals (and the locked doors in the ending now play a sound)

KNOWN BUGS
  • The swinging door in the first room with the zombies can pin you against the wall momentarily if you're not careful. The only fix would be to alter how the door opens and I don't want to do that!!

SCREENSHOTS

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DOWNLOAD

Joel vs. the Army of Darkness
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Re: [RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby Jimmy » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:05 am

Very enjoyable quick map - played it through twice on UV. The taunt system took me surprisingly little time to get used to, and it gave a good chuckle a couple of times. "Ow my asshole" - such a typical Joel reaction to getting shot. Congrats on sourcing all that dialogue from him for his own voice clips. Must've been a little weird for him to hear his own voice in-game. :P

The map itself is very nicely and attentively detailed, and designed with custom textures and actors being applied liberally but tastefully. The coffee mugs, sandwiches and candy bars quite literally littered throughout the map are a really nice touch. As are the new tree sprites. Visually, it all looks very "luscious" and "quasi-realistic", which is very much my kind of thing when it comes to ZDoom mapping.

There is a lot of very cool design featured in the outer areas of the map which aren't even reachable, like the parking lot - and this is commendable attention to detail, but a little puzzling. Can you even get to the area with the car immediately behind the entrance door in the first room? That's something that deserves to be seen at the very start of the map, if you ask me. I particularly liked the flooded room with all the floating corpses in nukage, although I completely missed it on my first playthrough. Cool bathrooms as well, probably amongst the most well-designed bathrooms I've seen in Doom. And I've seen a few. :P Interactive too! Points there.

The gameplay is fairly standard and didn't really surprise me or keep me on my toes, perhaps apart from the fight in the gore-filled room. I managed to find both the normal ending and the secret ending, much to my own amazement. The ending sequence is hilariously done (unless you come from Norway I suppose), although the secret ending was a little underwhelming, probably because it's kind of random and in-jokey. Are there further endings? I'm not sure I believe I found everything, heh - very unlike me to be that perceptive.

Now, one thing I wasn't so sure on was the cutscene(s). I think I was expecting something much more story-driven, possibly? But the story amounts to basically one exchange in that radio control room. The banter between Ian and Joel is fun and well voice-acted, but it just goes on for a bit too long, for what essentially amounts to "here's the key for the door in the immediate next room".

Allow me to pull two old adages out of my butt here and say: brevity is the soul of wit, and the best way to write dialogue is don't. Joel talks in quick bursts, while Ian talks at length, and very slowly, about how the base operates and what the possessed soldiers have done to lock it down - and there's no way to skip it, so it's a mandatory wait to get the key off of him (unless you ]thaw and ]give bluecard). A hassle during repeat playthroughs, especially. The entire exchange probably could be cut after the introduction of Ian as a character, as that part of the conversation is actually kinda funny, and then after Joel says "no you're not [sorry]", Ian tells Joel to shut up, take the key and get on the rocket so he can nuke the demons from space. Punchy! A map like this that's short and has basically one objective (get on the rocket) doesn't need exposition.

Similarly: when Ian talks again during the cyberdemon battle, he's kind of drowned out by both the music and the sounds of the player fighting the cyber. Perhaps this dialogue could've been briefer, and happened a scant few seconds before the cyber even appears, just to hit a few more potential humor points. I'm not trying to say your cutscene writing was especially bad, but I think there's a very fine way to do dialogue/cutscenes in a ZDoom map and I think this map nearly does it. The sprites for Ian and Joel are very well done and surprisingly full of life. The scene in the control room might just need a "skip" button so you can have the key added to your inventory and from there head straight to the cyber fight.

Overall though, very cool stuff. Good luck with the contest! Certainly beats my entry in terms of how much new content is offered. :)

Some more minor points of critique: I found a texture misalignment here and I noticed this door has its left-hand track not lower-unpegged. There's also a number of bubble actors in the nukage room that don't seem to ever die which can be seen through IDDT x2. Dunno if this could possibly lead to slowdown.

EDIT: You can fix the polyobject door bug quite easily by providing a little extra space behind it, and maybe to that room in general. Might involve you dragging most of the architecture in that start room down by 64 or so mapunits so you can make room, but it's doable.
Last edited by Jimmy on Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby comet1337 » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:23 am

i can't give as thorough feedback as jimmy
so i'll keep it short
it was silly, got a chuckle out of me without being a joke itself, suprisingly complex and advanced
only real negative is that the layout was corridor->ambush->corridor->ambush->ambush
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Re: [RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby YukesVonFaust » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:24 am

words cannot express how action-packed-silly (at the same time) this is.
a must-play for every vinesauce fan.
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Re: [RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby FishyClockwork » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:13 pm

In hindsight I should have posted here first. So I'm gonna copypaste what I said on Discord here, in case you missed it.

A fun little map. I liked the attention to detail, the little dialogue, and the overall vibe of it. I think one of the door tracks is not lower unpegged but that's about the only complaint I have.
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Re: [RELEASE] Joel vs. the Army of Darkness

Postby Beetow Brode » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:04 pm

Oh, nice
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