The Key Catacombs: It Sure is a Heretic Level!

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The Key Catacombs: It Sure is a Heretic Level!

Postby kinker31 » Fri May 07, 2021 3:10 am

catacombs screenie.png


Man, it's been a while, hasn't it? Haven't posted anything in over a year... I should probably fix that.

Thus, here's a (somewhat orthogonal) heretic level designed around the three keys and key colors of Heretic! It's not my cream of the crop, but it should hopefully be somewhat fun, if tough on Smitemeister.
It's also a little experimental, so that's also a thing! Oh, and it replaces E2M1, or the first level of Hell's Maw.
yes i mostly copied this from the doomworld forums

Please play and give feedback, demos are much appreciated, etc. etc.

Mash play on the Lonk below to give the level a play:
catacombs.zip
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kinker31
Englishman who Went Up a Hill and Came Down with All the Bananas
 
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Location: Does anyone actually put anything serious here?
Discord: kinker31#1062
Twitch ID: kinker31
Github ID: kinker31
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: Yes (Using Development/Testing Version)
Graphics Processor: ATI/AMD with Vulkan Support

Re: The Key Catacombs: It Sure is a Heretic Level!

Postby Vertigo » Fri May 07, 2021 11:28 pm

I played through the map on smitemeister and have uploaded a video of the playthrough:



- I generally enjoyed the map and appreciate new Heretic content coming out!

- The map is linear which makes balancing easier however there is not enough health and ammo on the map (at least in smitemeister). If you watch my video you see how often I run out of ammo and health despite finding secrets. On a related note, if I hadn't of found the secret ammo stash using flight I would have been fully boned. I ended up boned anyways however.

- Mandatory flight is needed for progression. If the player somehow wastes the flight they would get softlocked. Maybe make the powerup respawn or add a backup?

- The wind effect in the yellow key sector is annoying IMO. Doesn't serve to improve gameplay, just makes it tedious.

- The hub needs visual tweaking, the buildings look paper thin

- The map generally needs a bit more detailing (more texture variety/accent textures, more ceiling detailing/height variations etc)

- The lighting variation is good but could possibly be used a bit more. More areas with stark contrast, for example

- Pretty cramped map, not much room to maneuver resulting in you funnelling enemies through tight corridors/doors for most fights.

- Some fights are dynamic but most are fairly one dimensional, maybe adding monster closets that open from behind during a fight might cause the player to need to move more (though, the cramped interiors hamper this)

- The 4 undead warriors at the start are stuck and unable to attack unless the player attacks them

- I liked the fight with the disciples and the exploding barrels. Rather than have them funnel in from just the exit maybe you could add either a teleport trap or monster closets so the disciples are all over the maze? You could also add more explosive barrels in various locations to make blowing up the disciples easier.

If you addressed a fair few issues, tidied up the visuals, widened the map a bit and rebalanced combat this could be a pretty solid map. At the moment there is quite a bit of work to do IMO.
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Re: The Key Catacombs: It Sure is a Heretic Level!

Postby kinker31 » Sat May 08, 2021 9:34 pm

Thanks for playing! I know it's not a masterpiece, probably C+-material at best, but I'll do my best to address your criticisms!

Vertigo wrote:- The map is linear which makes balancing easier however there is not enough health and ammo on the map (at least in smitemeister). If you watch my video you see how often I run out of ammo and health despite finding secrets. On a related note, if I hadn't of found the secret ammo stash using flight I would have been fully boned. I ended up boned anyways however.

My intention was more to get the enemies to infight each other, weaken the big guys as they fight with each other, and finish off the stragglers, leaving barely enough ammo to do just that. I didn't communicate this very well, nor did I include enough health to ensure you aren't at critical condition after you do so.
Vertigo wrote:- Mandatory flight is needed for progression. If the player somehow wastes the flight they would get softlocked. Maybe make the powerup respawn or add a backup?

I only added two actual areas where the flight could apply, but I see where you're coming from. I didn't wanna underestimate the capability of the player, but maybe a second flight powerup could work. Could.
Vertigo wrote:- The wind effect in the yellow key sector is annoying IMO. Doesn't serve to improve gameplay, just makes it tedious.

It's a force of habit for me to add a scroll/wind sector regardless of how relevant it actually is to the map at hand, probably could've faced it a different direction, to be honest.
Vertigo wrote:- The hub needs visual tweaking, the buildings look paper thin.

I was operating on next-to-no refrences, which probably isn't an entirely good idea when making a level, the only real ones I had being the ones from the IWAD.
Vertigo wrote:- The map generally needs a bit more detailing (more texture variety/accent textures, more ceiling detailing/height variations etc).

I tried, I really did, but it's really heckin' hard to do so when you have less than a hundred textures to work with, a chunk of them for specialized purposes only. Also, I had next to no creative energy when I actually got to continuing the map, but I just desperately wanted to finish it into a state where it looked decent.
Vertigo wrote:- The lighting variation is good but could possibly be used a bit more. More areas with stark contrast, for example.

I'll be honest, the lighting was a bit of a afterthought for me, the majority of this map's life having been spent in map limbo. Good to know I've got some lighting skill, though!
Vertigo wrote:- Pretty cramped map, not much room to maneuver resulting in you funneling enemies through tight corridors/doors for most fights.

Like I said earlier, I intended for most of your opposition to be fighting with each other, hence why I thought I could get away with a smaller room, but I didn't communicate that very well.
Vertigo wrote:- Some fights are dynamic but most are fairly one dimensional, maybe adding monster closets that open from behind during a fight might cause the player to need to move more (though, the cramped interiors hamper this).

I'm surprised I was even able to fit a single dynamic fight in here at all, to be honest. Was it the green room, perchance?
Vertigo wrote:- The 4 undead warriors at the start are stuck and unable to attack unless the player attacks them.

The restricted movement purpose, I didn't want the player to get mobbed immediately when they started the level, so I figured keeping them on the lowest step was a good idea. The inability to attack, though, not so much. They do attack more often when a Golem's doing it, though.
Vertigo wrote:- I liked the fight with the disciples and the exploding barrels. Rather than have them funnel in from just the exit maybe you could add either a teleport trap or monster closets so the disciples are all over the maze? You could also add more explosive barrels in various locations to make blowing up the disciples easier. [...] At the moment there is quite a bit of work to do IMO.

This map was already made in a very low creative period of my life, I kinda completely ran out of ideas with this map when it came to the blue ice/lava room. I really did want this map to be better, but I'd probably have to redesign it from the ground-up with a fresher prespective and NOT when I wanted to continue something after having not touched UDB if I wanna make any worthwhile improvements to this.
User avatar
kinker31
Englishman who Went Up a Hill and Came Down with All the Bananas
 
Joined: 05 Feb 2018
Location: Does anyone actually put anything serious here?
Discord: kinker31#1062
Twitch ID: kinker31
Github ID: kinker31
Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/201x 64-bit
OS Test Version: Yes (Using Development/Testing Version)
Graphics Processor: ATI/AMD with Vulkan Support


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