08/07/2007-09/07/2007 @01:19:07 ^02:21:17

trying to tell you something

I pressed the "random page" button on Wikihack's main page and it gave me this

The Dying End

tde.wad, a remake of Doom2 map29 ("The Living End", in case you forgot) for Boom-compatible Doom engines. It's by the guy who did P:AR so if you've played that you'll know the sort of visual detail to expect.

Okay it's not quite on the realism scale of P:AR but that's to be expected, it is a remake of a Doom2 IWAD level so you are working within those boundaries. But it is very beautiful and detailed to all hell. Just what you'd expect from this author, really.

Sadly the gameplay lets it down a little. For one thing I found it far too hard. Dropping the skill level down helps, but not much. You tend to take a lot of damage from fire you don't see coming, launched by monsters in far-off locations. It's full of ledges (just like the original) and you will be knocked off them, forcing a run, often a long run, through poisonous blood. (10% damage) In fact in a few places you must take a swim in the blood voluntarily just to make progess or get secrets. Needless to say there is a general lack of health and ammunition here. This map is incredibly unforgiving.

It might not be quite so hard but for this. The map was designed largely using GZDoom. It's apparently doable in PrBoom but there is a certain insidious dependence on proper 3d thing clipping (i.e. not infinitely tall monsters, torches etc) The accompanying text file mentions this. I suspect it would also be a lot easier with mouselook, to shoot the monsters far away that aren't at the same height as you are. The text file mentions that you shouldn't jump but says nothing about mouselook. On the other hand I suppose I should be grateful it works in rboom at all.

Summary: very well constructed, good architecture, high detail, falls down on gameplay (quite literally, when you run too fast down a freestanding, curving staircase, while trying to avoid a cloud of revenant and mancubus missiles, and overshoot into the blood for the umpteenth time) Will probably be one of the maps of the year but only because there's been so few so far...

Token Archvile (CC3 map 28) progress report

It's basically, tweak the monsters, run it, probably die well before the place I actually want to test finally get there, oh it's still wrong, repeat. It's pure irritation, I must have played this thing a thousand times by now and I am totally fed up. Also I am still utterly convinced there is something very fundamentally wrong with the map's gameplay that only a complete redesign would fix. Here's some pictures I posted on Doomworld the other day:

It's still anyone's guess if I get it finished in time. There's not much to do, it's just going to take ages, because of the Yadex effect, and because of being utterly, utterly fed up of the endless playtesting. I don't know how anyone could make a really large map that takes 40+ minutes to play through, I really don't.