SUBMISSION DETAILS:

MAP04 - Radar Base
purist
Download Link: https://www.box.net/shared/xg77evug1mxm8kddpx5x
Playable on: MAP04
DESCRIPTION:

A (in theory) finished McGee-style first episode nukage base level. It could fit anywhere from MAP02 - MAP05.

The level is designed to introduce the player to the SSG and chaingunner.

The player is forced into dark areas and environmnental hazards in line with Doom II's harsher difficulty curve.

***Latest Version uploaded 1st October 2012***

Comments:
purist wrote on 01-Oct-2012 (15:20)

Version 5 uploaded 1st October 2012. Biggest overhaul for a while based on feedback from Esselfortium.

  • Re-textured many areas to reduce Doom 1 look.
  • Evened out colour themes in line with McGee's minimalist style.
  • Reduced texture contrast and used more McGee-like texture breaks.
  • Reduced use of computer panels/light trims/SUPPORT2.
  • Moved the SSG.
  • Added a red key/door to slightly alter progression.
  • Added one new trap.

I'm hoping this is new the final upload as it's pretty much to spec according to the advice and feedback I've been given.

purist wrote on 23-Apr-2012 (19:29)

Thanks Xaser :)  And because no DTWiD is ever truly finished I've uploaded Version 4, which contains some very minor changes:

  • The imps guarding the switch to the SSG are now deaf but no longer blocked
  • The SSG trap now triggers more effectively
  • Added a 5th secret
  • Added a way out of the exit area so DM players can get back out
Xaser wrote on 10-Apr-2012 (04:57)

Seems all well n' good to me. I'd upvote it. ;)

Only slight concern now is that you can't leave the final exit chamber, which could be unfortunate in DM. Maybe have the 'window' leading into the lowering nukage pit be a lift? Minor either way. :P

purist wrote on 09-Apr-2012 (10:20)

Version 3 Changelog:

No major over hauls this time just a few tweaks to round off the rough edges:

  • Automap secret now triggered differently and extraneaous secret effect removed.
  • Rad signs have been re-worked to remove tutti-frutti in vanilla.
  • Some very minor texture changes.
  • Added damage effects to some previously missed nukage flats.
  • Added a little extra health.
  • Added a small step before the exit so you don't finish on a damaging floor.
  • Made some minor monster swaps.
  • Various amendments to DM things.

Hopefully this is now the final version. Though I'm still open to changes if I missed a bug or it's a deal breaker for inclusion.

purist wrote on 28-Mar-2012 (22:22)

Thanks Zodiac. I'm glad you like the changes for the most part. I'm concious not too add too much fat so I hoped the added areas would not seem superflous. Good spot on the E2M3 reference. I built the area without E2M3 in mind but once it was built a caco seemed the natural fit. Here's my thoughts on your points:

Slime: I've double checked in an editor and it already is 2/5% damage, everywhere. I would have been surprised if it wasn't as I always use min damage for green nukage. I did notice I'd missed a few sectors though so it was worth checking. I've dotted a few stimpacks around the last area and have put a little step before the exit switch so you no longer finish in the slime :-)

Secrets: I wasn't happy with either of the new secret triggers. The bezerk secret trigger I wasn't sure on as it's unintuitive to have to hit the switch on the way out of the area the secret is in. I'll leave it though, if you think it works. I'll try out your idea for the computer map secret and will remove that extraneaous sector secret effect near the blue armour.

Flow: I know where you're coming from about missing out the SSG/chaingunner and considered making that area compulsary myself in version 1, but I refrained because (a) keeping it leaves a small degree of non-linearity in the level and the player can get back if he chooses to explore further, (b) in my experience most players will instinctively clear out all nearby rooms before stepping into the uncertainty of the teleporter, (c) The player will have already have seen the SSG from the yellow key trap so is likely to want to get it before proceeding (d) The SSG in Doom II MAP02 could theoretically be missed in the same way. On balance I'm still reluctant to change this but will re-think it depending on other feedback if I get it.

In the same area I've removed the UV caco and replaced it with a chaingunner. That was an oversight. Spectres remain in the lower skills. I have come around to your earlier thought of saving the caco for the end of the map. I also have replaced the penultimate caco so the one(s) in the exit pen is/are now the only one(s).

Deathmatch: It's apparent you've already put more thought into DM on this level than I did when making the placements! I don't want to neglect it but I am not experienced enough in that area so follow only 2 principles: (i) Put the DM starts in different areas (ii) have a gun in fairly close proximity to each start.

In my defence I did have Doom II MAP01 in mind, which (perhaps along with MAP07) is considered the pinacle and in that map the DM starts are vastly biased in terms of weapon proximity. Still, I'll put your suggestions in place as they sound well thought out and you've guided me true thus far :-)

I'm going to hold off uploading V3 for now in the hope I get some more feedback in the coming week or so.

zodiac wrote on 28-Mar-2012 (03:21)

Hot damn, this is a hell of an upgrade!  The new areas really flesh out the level and add to that DOOM-ish feel.  The chaingunner reveal works, and the computer room behind makes it feel more impressive.  The exit also feels more expansive, it reminds me of E2M3's start in a good way.

On the other hand, playing again and reviewing the map solidified a few things for me:

+ The final slime corridor is too damaging.  I know there's a radsuit right there, but this is 3 out of three that it's ran out while I was fighting and/or checking for secrets  I would scatter a stimpack or two around, but even then I think 2/5 is better than 5/10, for one reason: Deathmatch.  You have a near-perfect room, Dark, lots of columns, and two exits, making for a great game of hide and seek.  5/10 damage pretty much forces you to beeline for the Berserk/Plasma/Suit secret or you'll get slimed.

+ The switch to reveal the berserk/radsuit is perfect.  You can see it from below with careful observation, which leads the player to both the way out of the slime and the secret reveal.  It really made me appreciate the interconnection of the level, which is one of the gold standards for secrets.

+ Now that I was familiar with the level, I realized you can totally skip the chaingunner reveal.  Sure, you miss the SSG, but it's a very real flow problem.  A first-time player could easily take the warp (after all, the others had good stuff), then end up in the exit area and not notice the way back.  I think the McGee-style fix for this would be to raise the teleporter, and have a switch in the chaingunner room lower it.  Since they lower to ambush you, it has a nice sort of karmic feel to it.

I would like a bit of ground right before the exit switch, just a little hexagon-step up from the slime.  I agree with Xaser, it doesn't feel 'id' to just leave it in slime - you feel relief just getting to the step after all that slime trekking, it's important!

+ Not a fan of the SSG-guards split.  All Caco or all Gunner, don't split.  With the way the reveal works now I think 2x Caco is better in hard.  The caco/demon split in difficulty is good, both of them give you something big to shoot full blast.

+ Deathmatch has all the weapons, but 5-7 have no ammo!  Even wht the 5x boost on in the server options that's a bit low for rockets.

+ Let's talk abot deathmatch some more. Thing 222 (closest to the BFG) is too much of an advantage right now.  No one can stop them from going BFG first, so the start is a huge advantage.  Perhaps moving it into the exit to the slime would work better.  This allows Guy 223 to try to ledge-jump up and beat him to the BFG, but at the expense of the guaranteed win reaching the chaingun.  If 222 gambles that 223 wants the BFG, he might get the chaingun first and make a break for it.

+ I'd move Thing 224 up or down.  As it is, one the SSG is revealed you're facing AWAY from the murder hole.  Guy 222 (yeah, the asshole with the BFG) can shoot you from *behind* on respawn, not cool.

+ Thing 225 is a great starting location, but needs some green armor.  A shotgun vs. a rocket and/or SSG is not fair, and a BFG is no better.

+ The reason why Thing 225 is so good is because the warp puts you in a race against Thing 207 for the plasma/berserk.  For this reason I suggest moving the plasma to the other corner, since 207 always wins with equal timing.  I'm picturing a great scene where Guy 207 goes radsuit + plasma, but Guy 225 is in hot pursuit with armor & pistol, and branches off for berserk.  With the dark corners you actually have a fighting chance to win an ambush with berserk fist plus armor vs. plasma with pistol wounds (not great odds but better than basic shotgun vs. rockets if 224 spawned as well.  This would take some serious playtesting to get right, but I think it's worth it, you have a classic DM setup.

+Alternately, put the rockets in the BFG position.  Rocket vs. Chaingun in that somewhat-open area is actually fair.  You may need another armor for the chaingun start to match the one near the current BFG start.

+ I don't like the automap secret as is, but I see a great opportunity there.  I've PMed you on the forums.

+ The overhang to the secret MegaArmor is marked as a 5th secret sector, totally my bad! XD

purist wrote on 26-Mar-2012 (21:35)

Xaser, zodiac thank you for your feeback so far. Version 2 is now uploaded.

Changelog:

  • Added passage to allow the player to get from the last area back to the rest of the map for DM purposes.
  • The chaingunner "reveal" room has been changed to introduce them slightly more dramatically.
  • A small new area near to this room has been added.
  • A few monster swaps - the main one being a caco replacing the HK.
  • A clue to the blue armour secret has been added (thanks zodiac)
  • A new, more elaborate exit has been tacked onto the end of the map.
  • Difficulty flags added (thanks again zodiac)
  • Light sources have been dimmed (thanks -yet- again zodiac)
  • 2 new secrets
  • The outdoor teleporter building has been tweaked.
  • DM starts and weapons added.

I think that's everything. I'm having tutti-fruit issues with the rad signs and am not entirely happy with how the 2 new secrets are triggered. I will allow time for people to play V2 some more and then fix those minor bugs along with whatever other recommendations I get in V3.

Xaser wrote on 25-Mar-2012 (18:06)

I definitely like this one. Very McGee with an interesting layout to boot. ;)

Only thing that bugs me a slight bit is that the exit seems unimportant. It's just a switch in the nukage, though I guess I'm still spoiled by the first Doom's dedicated exit rooms. I'd probably have made some stairs up to a door with an exit in it, but it really doesn't matter in the long run anyhow. I'm just being a pickyfarg. :P

purist wrote on 19-Mar-2012 (19:40)

Thanks for the comment zodiac, I'm encouraged to hear I'm on the right scent and you've given me some very helpful tips.

I'm easy about the map slot so if this became MAP02 or MAP03 instead of MAP04 then I would still be delighted. I'd prefer it to remain the intro map for the SSG/chaingunner than the HK so if it's one or the other the HK can go. Also, having played Water Main and Undercurrent the D2TWiD maps seem longer than the original Doom II maps so perhaps it would fit better early on.

I agreed with all your points and have addressed most:

+ Fair enough. I deliberately made the step too high to get back as I wanted the player to feel trapped here but, if only for DM reasons, I see why there needs to be a way back so you can now get back to just before the start part by following the nukage-fall. The trade-off for backtracking is that you will use up one of the rad suits.

+ I agree the chaingunner "reveal" could be better and I'm willing to move things around to make it work. Unfortunately, I can't quite grasp what you mean in (a) - if the seperating wall lowers at the same time as the door what purpose will it serve?

+ Added another Sargeant in UV. Removed one from outdoors in HNTR/HMP. Replaced HK with a caco.

+ My theory about the second secret was you could see it from the crooked pathway and workout there must be a way to it - but I have used NUKEPOIS texture to mark it clearer. Two (connected) secrets did not seem enough but I noticed some of the early maps were quite miserly (MAP02 and MAP03 has one, MAP04 has 3 but one of them is pants!)

~ When I've got the chaingunner situ resolved I'll play with difficulty settings, DM items, maybe add another secret and then upload V2.

zodiac wrote on 18-Mar-2012 (00:54)

Fun map, hits a good vibe here!  I really liked the level of interconnection going on, and the raised elevations are a very McGee way to do it.  The outdoor area was a nice touch, but I think the real star of the level was the yellow key room and it's leadup, which was just a blast to play.

I do think that both the outdoor section and the chaingunner intro recommend this as a Map02 replacement instead of Map04.  The drop into the slime would make a great connection to Esselfortium's Water Main as Map03.  That, in turn, has a nice rising motion at the exit that continues at the start of Alfonzo's Siltyards as Map04.  If undercurrent's rework is easier, we can bump all three up one slot, since Siltyards still seemed a bit hard for Map04.

A few suggestions and comments:

+ There really needs to be a warp or exit out of the final area.  The whole thing punishes careful play - you can build a small stock of health earlier in the level through skill or patience, but you can't get back to it!  I'd just uncage the area you can see it from and move the slime closer, so you can drop down and "crawl through".

+ The chaingunner intro would work better if they came after you in tandem.  I'd rearrange as follows: (a.) they separated by full walls that open along with the doors in front, undeafed, and (b.) the switch is on the far wall, visible between the drop in the lower crate.  This lets one of them see you immediately and leaves you turned much closer, turning the encounter into a quickdraw showdown.  The shot will bring the other in as backup.

+ In UV I'd shift a second sarge to guard the switch to the chaingunners.  It makes a nice symmetry and a better challenge, and it felt like a few too many outside anyhow.

+ Given the earlier place in the lineup, replace the hell knight with a caco.

+ The imps going through the warp in the first secret as a cue is brilliant, I'd leave them.

+ I would give the second secret a bit more marking, though.  You can use the map, sure, but early maps usually didn't resort to that.