MAP17 - Cul-de-sac
Download Link:
Playable on: MAP17

So I've had a couple people describe this as "if American asked sandy to design The Inmost Dens for him". That wasn't really the intention but I guess that's a fair comparison. I really didn't even set out to mimic any certain author. I pretty much just started drawing stuff that made me think of Doom 2. This map is pretty weird, and it's not even close to finished yet.. but I wanted to give it a submission anyways. 

It doesn't resemble a cul-de-sac at all but for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about naming it that. Hope it's alright enough!

3/11: Updated with some new textures and another area. Blue key is achievable now!

4/4: Huge update! Map is now playable from beginning to end with monsters and item placement! Still subject to change, but have a look see. Also, Pavera is bad at taking screenshots.

9/15: Extray! Extray! Map has been updated, addressing several issues mainly including the secrets and the highly controversial Pain Elemental room. One step closer to a more final version of this map.

2/5: Small update. Fireblu indentation in flashing caves now gone. Red key relocated to lift room. Sky floor teleport changed to regular teleporter. Some HOMs fixed. Moving platforms should always trigger properly now.

Slade wrote on 16-Sep-2012 (13:41)

I like the gameplay, and the layout is pretty solid, but there is way too much shotgun ammo and health.

My ramblings:

- You can get stuck in the partial invisibility secret
- It is possible to break the linedef at the red key that starts the moving platforms(inserting an extra linedef at the teleport destination to trigger the platforms should solve this)
- I suggest the removal of the megasphere secret, as there are plenty of health, and it is almost next to the blue armor
- Sector 233 should be 128 units tall because of the middle textures
- I also think that the soulsphere in the room with the moving platforms should be removed
- There is no way back from the exit room

Definitely had fun playing this one!


zodiac wrote on 07-Apr-2012 (05:36)

Glad it helped!  If you're going for the chain secrets, I think it's especially helpful to keep the unlocking links close together in terms of map flow.  I like that sort of secret as long as it doesn't frustrate me, so I'd be interested to see if you rework it.  The cavern area in particular has enough nooks and crannies to hide a progressive secret chain.

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, take a look at what I did with the BFG in Infestation here:

Or the secret paths on my other mapping project, Delos:

If you decide to check any of my maps, I'd appreciate any feedback or demos you might have!  Always looking to improve =)

Pavera wrote on 06-Apr-2012 (13:38)

Zodiac: The criticism is excellent and much needed! Alright, so I had a feeling that some of the secrets were a bit far fetched and probably not even worth all the effort needed to find them. I definitely like your ideas for them and I'll probably just do exactly what you suggested. Seems much more level headed that way!

See, my original plan for the secrets was that there would be a main "chain" of secrets that lead up to acquiring the megasphere that taunts you in the cave. But it seems I went a little overboard in how confusing the setup was!

For the lost soul soulsphere secret that teleports you to the island, I'll probably just make that open with a gunshot. It a.) makes for easier access to an important secret while it still comes in handy and b.) makes for a secret backdoor into an area that may or may not have already been visited. I think that would make the flow a little more interesting.

As for the mega armor, I agree. I figured that was just a little too far away for a run secret, so I'll probably just make the walls lower permanently. Players shouldn't have to kill themselves for a simple blue armor. 

As for the moving platforms: yes! That's a great idea. I built the PE platforms room after I implemented that secret, so I guess I never thought to put it there. 

I haven't added any DM starts or multiplayer items yet, yeah. it'll happen though because I think that main water area would make for some great DM. Also, the cave area would be pretty cool too I think. 

I'll take all these suggestions to heart. It certainly wouldn't be a sandy petersen map without questionable design choices, either. :) Thanks for feedback

zodiac wrote on 06-Apr-2012 (06:22)

Finished the full playthrough, fun action through and through.  Love the map, hate the secrets.

As for the play by play:

+ I agree with Hellbent that the step into the upper portion is non-obvious and that a rocket launcher should come earlier.  If the secrets are easier that would fix this.  I don't disagree with replacing the plasma for it - I needed the plasma to power through the rising platforms/pain elementals, and it was perfect there. 

+ I really like the dynamic with each monster having a little 'hive', the revenants near the red key, the spiders outside, the demons in the darkened maze.  That felt very much like something Petersen would do as a level theme, and the texturing definitely got it right.

+ The getting the chainsaw part was great, especially since I was critically low on ammo at that point.  There was a good balance of health and ammo throughout.

+ There ought to be a way back from the exit - why not just let the player step down like the start platform?

+ I would consider adding additional (duplicate) weapons for multiplayer.  Especially with the secrets as is, it will be hard to trigger the BFG/Rockets, and the level is spacious enough to need more options.  It's a good mix of open and closed, which I think could be a DM hit with the right weapon and item placements.  8 Players and the weapons to support the would be chaos, in a good way =)


+ The whole sequence for the MegaArmor and Megasphere secrets just made me mad.

  • The switch for the MegaArmor looks just like a ton of other gargoyle faces, many of which are not switches.  That would be fair game, except that I could not see or hear what it was doing (and I keep the sound volume fairly high)
  • Figuring the location wasn't hard with map markings (the linedefs need the secret flag), but I couldn't reach them fast enough!  Using Strafe40 I came up just barely short, which is bad form.  I can't think of any DOOM2 secret except for a few straight jumps that required Strafe40, let alone Strafe50.
  • The switch for the megasphere was exactly the same problem.  It's not intuitive what opens up the little passage with the lost souls, and due to the trigger placement in that room you can't see or hear the next door that opens walking through the teleport.  After that, Strafe40 again came up short, particularly because the warp points you away from jumping off the island, with torches blocking a side-strafe to the teleport.

+ The above is what I don't like, but it's not really constructive, so here are a few ideas:

  • For the megasphere, why not just make the skull switch shootable?  It puts the burden on the player to notice and try that.  I don't think the looparound warp is even necessary, the whole deal is sufficiently obscured that I think the warp just to get on the island is enough.
  • It's probably a good idea to make both sides of the 'BFG Triangle' open the initial skull corridor, or better, just move it to something in closer proximity.  That hallway is easier to run in and easier to see/hear things, so a switch (say) at the east end of the SSG loop would allow a rush-the-door secret that's obtainable with standard running.
  • Using the above suggestion, I would then make one of two changes to the MegaArmor secret, either 1.) put the switch on Line 609, the mid-cage square, making an easier run, or 2.) my preference, since you'd already have a running secret, just have a permanent opening.  Trust me, finding the switch among all those faces is still enough to make the player feel observant.
  • It felt arbitrary how finding some line in another secret starts the 'BFG Triangle' platform and its fellows moving.  I think it would be more poetic if a switch hidden in the other platforms moving room did the trick.  Certainly a more concrete indication of something changing it would add to the feel of forward progress.

+ I realize you may have different design goals in mind, espeically if you're trying to replicate a creepy Spirit World type of atmosphere.  That could be doable, but if so I'd say to change the flow so there's reason to revisit more of the level.  For starters, the teleporters could take you more places instead of just the wood sections in the middle of the level.

+ On the other hand, if you're going for the classic 'Castle Keep' feel, I'd add a few more pressure enemies and obvious secrets.  In particular, chaingun snipers could probably be swapped for bigger groups of specters/demons and a few free-range revenants.  I though the specter tunnels were great fun, but in the adjoining sections they tended to get stuck at doors - a placement further back and around corners would fix that (for starters, instead of 4 gunners, 4+ Demons and specters would create a mass of tension in the preceding room, especially if the Baron isn't dead yet.)

+ Finally, take heart that you have a great map!  I spend a lot of time on the secrets, but they're the spice of a level, not it's essence.  My hope is that they'll add fun for the completionists.

Pavera wrote on 26-Mar-2012 (02:27)

workin on it! it's very close to finished.

Marcaek wrote on 24-Mar-2012 (19:12)

Layout is spot-on, now put some monsters in it :P