what is the point of the death penalty
Surely if you really wanted to punish someone you'd make them do something they really really hated for the rest of their natural life, like cracking rocks, shovelling manure, or being an office temp.
7 maps and one week (and 4 more maps)
Contrary to what you might expect the One Week Megawad was not a megawad made in a week. Instead it was a wad in which each map was allocated a week to be made. So like speedmapping only you get time to think about it.
- Industrial 4 Metal base style map, quite easy although short on ammunition and one area where you might leave health and stuff turns out to be closed off once you've left it. I prefer being able to backtrack, at least eventually.
- Industrial 5 E2M2 clone with some hellish parts. Looks pretty good but was quite nasty. Lots of zombies especially in teleporter traps, and low on resources, so watch that health. But it gets easier towards the end. Pretty top-heavy.
- Caverns of Malice Couple of tiny plain caves and a great marble hall. Not particularly well-tested, I think. Very low ammo. Many rockets but no launcher on UV.
- In and Out Nukage processing plant or something, various base/industrial styles used. Some nicely large areas with high ceilings. Some big crowds of monsters and not much health. I can't get past the end.
- Fort Aphex Bioweapon Containment Facility Some large plain rooms in compblue and marble. No real theme. Poor monster placement removes incentive to get 100% kills.
- Close Combat Very cramped and dark rooms and corridors, vaguely tech theme. Not too hard if you're lucky. The archvile halfway through could cause you problems maybe.
- Hell Simple Outside of a large castle. You must find the secret entrances to get weapons while avoiding an army of mancubi. Some areas clearly inspired by maps from Doom's E3. Pretty good on HMP, UV is really hard especially if you want 100% secrets.
- Castle Another castle only this one you start inside. The inside is just plain wood and metal rooms but outdoors is pretty good. Features a teleporting cyberdemon and a massive army of hellknights. Not as hard as I first believed. Ammo can be tight on UV, HMP is better.
- The Archvile's Revenge Lots of slaughtering monsters in arenas. I like this map because it blatantly doesn't care what it looks like. Besides you don't get time to look at the architecture. It's too hard for me on UV though. I could deal with a couple of cyberdemons but the crowd of revenants and archviles was too much. I needed lots of reloads and managed to be permanently stuck on <5% health. Fun if you like this sort of thing.
- 3-Tech Dark techbase. Lots of attention to detail, and especially lighting. Uses a lot of Boom features. Good progression - it feels like an entire mission even though it's quite a small map. I don't know why the exit door has blue stripes on it when you need a red key to leave, though. Pretty easy barring accidents.
- The 24 Cyber Spirits Massive slaughter map in hell. Can't really describe this one, you just have to play it. Seems to like corridors with supports packed with monsters. Yellow key area seems vaguely inspired by Doom2 MAP28. Most of the secrets need archvile jumps to access, at least one needs a double jump which is probably impossible. This map is way too hard for me on UV, haven't tried lower skills yet.
This was done in 2001 at the height of a difficult period of mapping. Literally difficult, I remember at the time wondering if people were deliberately making their maps harder or something, and was this the wave of the future? It was the nasty kind of difficulty as well, where you give the player minimal resources. I prefer having tons of everything and then trying to fight 300 monsters at once. Still, there are a few weak maps but overall this is a decent wad.
And a couple of others:
Great Falls This is what you'd get if people had had Doom Builder in 1994. Mixes up all kinds of themes, the texturing is all over the place, sky textures on walls, architecture all higgeldy-piggeldy (the best thing you can say about the crates is that at least they're quadrilateral) but there is quite a lot of small "detail" as you'd expect when your editor makes it really easy to just draw sectors. Also another map in which I didn't feel it was worth bothering with 100% kills. I think there's enough ammunition but it's in the wrong places. In fact some of it is inaccessible. Lack of resources and high probability of accidents makes for frustration.
Trippy Skrill This map is like a poster child for ZDoomisms. At first glance it's just a map in the random theme style of early Doom 2 maps. Nothing wrong with that. But if you play it, you'll soon find it's been clearly designed by someone more used to having mouselook, as there are stairs too steep for the autoaim, and steep dropoffs with monsters underneath. None of that stops it from being finishable in other engines at least in theory, but the door with the walk trigger in front of it will bring you to a halt! I wouldn't bother if I were you.