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Thread: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

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    Grim Makes a DOOM WAD




    This is my thread where I present my work on a current map pack I am making for Doom II, called the "Fall of UAC". 32 maps all entirely created from scratch. I will be sharing clips, images, and screenshots of my progress onto this thread as a memento. I will also be including clips of abandoned maps that went unused but are still in the files. So with that said, I hope you find enjoyment in my progress.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP 01: Entrance Hall (Complete)


    The first map of the pack is perhaps the simplest one of them all, but I designed it to mostly start off with a bang. You're placed into a room decked out in zombie guys and a shotgun to quickly grab if you want to rush things. The pace is meant to start things off ridiculously quickly by thrusting you into the middle of the action. Chaingunners will be your biggest pest on this level as there's at least 12 of them ready to pump you full of deadly lead.





    The level design is slightly borrowed from both E1M1 and MAP01 of the original DOOM games. It takes on a sort of "L" pattern instead of the "n" pattern seen in those levels. It's meant to be short, quick, but convey the idea that this WAD is not going to be easy.





    For the music, I actually decided to use a theme from the CastleVania spinoff "Haunted Castle", which is the first level theme, "Cross Your Heart". I think it's very fitting for the first level here as you've already got pulse-pounding action against a cornucopia of enemies ranging from simple zombie-men to lost souls.





    This is perhaps the "easiest" level in the game, as the rest will surely punish players who are ill-equipped to handle the pressure. Following this, much tougher enemies will appear in droves to cut you down to size. But some bad luck on this level could very well kill you before you even have a chance to get going.


    What isn't shown on the video is some slight visual edits I made to make the level flow a tad more. Nothing serious, nothing major, just some metal supports to separate different wall textures and make the level look more "natural". The next map is one I feel may bring a lot of mixed feelings to it, when we enter MAP02: Sewer System.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP02: Sewer System (Complete)


    Of course there had to be an obligatory sewer level, after all, this is DOOM. I had major problems a few weeks ago when making this map, as I was unable to use TNT: Evilution, and DOOM 1 textures without coming across some major texture issues if the WAD was opened outside of GZDoom Builder (the program I'm using to make these maps). But with some quick editing, I fixed the issue at the cost of the level looking more slick. This is an issue that will come up in later levels.





    As you can tell, it's quite a bit larger and looks to be a bit more labyrinthian. It's also chock full of baddies in extremely close quarters combat where they can do some massive damage. That said, there are plenty of secrets to find to help you out.





    While I don't show the secrets on the video, they're fairly obvious if one is paying attention. The more obvious one is actually edited somewhat to be less-so following the video. Other than that, the North-side area leading to the blue key is arguably No Man's Land, as you'll be assaulted by sniping chaingunners and imps. However, if one notices the particular level lay-out, it is entirely possibly to beat the level without needing the blue key at all.


    The music used in the level is a MIDI version of the remixed "Vacant Flat" from Resident Evil. I was going for somewhat of a "creepy" vibe to the level, and while I don't think I managed to nail it, I believe the atmosphere is still there ever so slightly.






    Some people are actually highly against what I like to call "Doom Corridor Shooting", in which Doom Guy is forced to fight off against enemies in tight quarters that limits movement. While I can understand the complaints, the level is meant to be one the causes the player problems regarding vertigo and tight places. It's intentionally designed to be slightly disorientating. That said, the next level that I will be showcasing is one of my personal favorite works and more than makes up for this level's problems: MAP03: Modem Storage.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP03: Modem Storage (Complete)


    This might be one of my personal favorites; Modem Storage is a big damn blue map full of enemies but plenty of space to maneuver, and plenty of obstacles. Still a little "corridor shooter"-y, the main area just plops you into the action immediately with monsters ready to tear your ass in half.





    As you can see, there are a butt-ton of monsters in the main area, starting with a lowly zombie-man. Shooting him wakes up nearly every other enemy; luckily for you, you have a chaingun to help you out right away. Beware flanking demons, dodge some Cacodemon balls, and you'll be pretty golden. If you have to hug a tight corner, so be it. Perhaps the most dangerous enemy is the Arch-Vile at the end of the level. If he manages to escape, he'll immediately resurrect all the tough enemies you were fighting, and you're essentially fucked until you can kill the bastard.





    After recording the video, I came across a small problem that I had not accounted for. The monster closet full of imps wouldn't open after hitting the switch on the East side of the map. I've immediately fixed that. For a while, it was also impossible to achieve 100% Kills as the Mancubi were improperly placed out of the North-West room.


    The music for MAP03 is also incredibly fitting, it's a remixed version of "Frequency 140.85" from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, specifically from the Metal Gear Solid fanmake of the Virtual Missions. I personally believe since the level is a technology filled affair, full of computers and computation equipment, something slightly futuristic and techno-genre fits. I believe it might have been the best possible song for this particular level and it absolutely breathes life to the level.






    I think it might turn into a fan-favorite as it's a particularly shining example of my style of map-making: Quick to the action, slightly backtracky, increasingly difficult level of enemies, and plenty of ways to escape encounters if needed. My next level is also one of my more enjoyed ones, as it's one of the longest maps I've possibly done: MAP04: Courtyard.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    Bonus Content 1:
    Enemy Reference Sheet


    Here's some bonus stuff for all the folks who may get lost in, or don't particularly understand the Doom terminology. With these, I will briefly explain the monsters, items, and weapons.

    Weapons:


    Zombie Man:





    The lowliest of enemies, perhaps the most common enemy you'll see. Weak, easy to take down, but a horde of them can chip at your health so that the bigger enemies can kill you quicker. Extremely dangerous when the player is at low health.


    Shotgun Guy:





    Shotgun Guy is a bit beefier than the Zombie Man. His shotgun can be deadly at close range, and less so from afar. In a crowd, they should be your first priority as they drop either a shotgun for you to pick up, or more precious ammo.


    Chaingunner:





    The most dangerous of the human enemies, the Chaingunner will easily hand your ass to you if you take him for granted. His chaingun is absolutely devastating regardless of range. When mixed with the Shotgun Guy, the duo can quickly dispose of the player with ease.


    Imp:





    The most common demon type, they throw fireballs at you and are immune from infighting with their own kind. One or two are manageable, a crowd will whittle away your health slowly.


    Demon:





    Big, bad, and gnarly, these things rush you and try to give you lots of noms to death. A group of them can quickly swarm you and do you in if all you have is a shotgun.


    Spectre:





    The invisible version of a Demon. If one encounters them in the dark, they can be pretty terrifying to deal with.


    Cacodemon:





    Big blobby cyclops that is a ball. Also shoots flaming balls at the player. A bunch can be a pest and up close they will attempt to eat the player. They fly around and if shooting rockets at a group, they tend to scatter and make things harder.


    Lost Soul:





    A flaming skull that will charge at the player. They can be a pain in the butt and take a few shotgun blasts to deal with.


    Pain Elemental:





    Bastard brown balls that spit out Lost Souls. Best to kill them before the Lost Souls become too much.


    Revenant:





    The memiest enemy in Doom. Big skeleton boys that shoot rockets (sometimes guided) at the player and will punch at close quarters. These are solidly in the mid-tier as far as enemy hierarchy goes.


    Mancubus:





    Fat bastards that shoot three volleys of two fireballs. They can swallow a lot of damage and usually enter a pain state (a frame in which they pause and are unable to do anything) with a chaingun. In an open space, they can be very scary.


    Arachnotron:





    Spooky scary spider boi that shoots you with a plasma gun. The Arachnotron is a pretty rare-ish enemy that although looks cool, is fairly impractical due to its massive size. From afar, they can commit covering fire for other enemies and pin the player in one position.


    Hell Knight:





    Tan colored Satyr. They are the weaker version of the Baron of Hell and are the peak definition of a glass cannon. They deal exactly the same amount of damage as the Baron of Hell, but with half the health.


    Baron of Hell:





    The Baron of Hell is the true king of the recurring enemies (two Baron of Hells were the bosses on Doom 1's first episode). They soak a ton of damage, can hit hard, and usually when paired with other enemies, will do the player in.


    Arch-Vile:





    The biggest bastard enemy of them all. Arch-Viles attack with a line of sight attack that can be dodged (even with a 1-pixel line), but their true strength comes in their ability to revive any enemy that is at most a Baron of Hell. You see that group of Chaingunners and Hell Knights you took down two minutes ago? Well say hello to them again. On the plus side, the Arch-Vile will attack whoever hits them last, regardless of who it is.


    Cyberdemon:





    The iconic hulking rocket launching beast from Hell itself. The ultimate mix of flesh and tech. They have a ton of hit-points and decimate entire groups (a group of Barons will barely put up an equal fight). The Cyberdemon fires in volleys of three, and their rockets do splash damage.


    Spider Mastermind:





    The final boss of DOOM, the Spider Mastermind is the mother of the Arachnotrons. Instead of a plasma rifle, it's a chaingun. Lots of health, and can kill you very quickly in open space. Better get a BFG.


    Icon of Sin:

    The Icon of Sin is the final boss of Doom 2. And for the purposes of keeping things a secret, I will not be revealing his sprite. You'll understand why whenever you discover the tasty cheats to actually get to see his sprite.




    And with that, we have every enemy in DOOM, so when I mention specific enemies, refer to this sheet for clarification!

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    Map 04: Courtyard (Complete)


    One of my bigger maps, Courtyard acts as an intersection between the early "easy" levels, and the now rising difficulty. It's definitely a long level that runs the player all throughout the map. The "courtyard" in question is actually the main hub area, used to connect the separated areas of the map with one another. This map is also the very first appearance of a "crusher", a lowering ceiling that does damage to players and enemies.





    I believe the level strikes a solid balance by not being too difficult, and not being too hard. I think the difficulty is just right. To be honest, this level was actually a bit of an experiment to see if a level could mostly be completed entirely with just a chaingun and shotgun (the two main weapons you'll find here), and surprisingly, the level is fairly well built for that loadout. You will receive a rocket launcher in the East area, but this is more to ease the player into learning how to use it against Cacodemons.





    Following the recording of the video, I made a few edits that are reflected on the map. A few bonus powerups here and there if the player is brave enough to challenge the Arch-Viles lurking in the dark tunnels. With 144 enemies on the map, you'll surely be in for a handful dealing with these bastards.


    As far as the theme goes, I went with something far more unique. I went with a "peaceful" and thought-provoking song to place into this level as I think it's a great sound. "Training Room" from Rare's Nintendo 64 FPS cult classic Perfect Dark was just what I was looking for. Slightly relaxing, thought-provoking, and perfect for cutting down demons in the wild outdoors.





    It should also be mentioned that this is the level where upper-tier monsters begin to come in droves. The original alpha of this level also had Revenants in the opening area, and a lot more ammo to use, but I felt it was slightly cruel to have to deal with the big skeleton bois at once. The red key room had a Baron of Hell alongside the Mancubi too. In the alpha, the tunnels were composed almost entirely of Arch-Viles. The alpha was admittedly much harder than it needed to be, so thankfully for the finished product I was able to find a delicate balance. For the next map, I think the WAD begins to hit its stride and showcases some quality map skipping devices for the player to abuse... that of course being MAP05: Barracks.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP05: Barracks (Complete)


    Another one of those close-quarters combat maps brought to you by yours truly, this one will probably end up as one of my more difficult and controversial ones. Not that much ammo, not much health items, and not enough weapons to deal with monsters; that is, if you're playing it "properly". In truth, this map has another fun fact to it. Having to get the blue key can actually be skipped entirely if one knows what they're doing. That would cut down an entire four minutes of fighting by all accounts.





    The map looks fairly bloated at first, but admittedly it's mostly just full of big monsters; Cacodemons and Hell Knights will be your biggest pests for the most part. Three Barons can be found on the map. Chaingunners can be found littered throughout, but are for the most part not much of a problem.






    As you can see between the two videos, the rocket jump saves an incredible amount of time for those looking to speed-run the game, or just want to skip the major monster room. I actually don't really have much else to say about the layout, but I tried to design a more "decrepit" look for the Barracks, as though the base is falling apart itself (this could be seen more in MAP01 too).


    The music for this particular level is a heavily modified version of "Terran 1" from StarCraft. I wanted to give a militaristic feel and I think I nailed the atmosphere rather well for it. It's a personal favorite song of mine, and while I don't think the MIDI worked out too well, it's fine.





    I guess the best way to describe this map is that it's "mediocre" at least. In all honesty, some of these early maps aren't anything particularly special I suppose, but they work as set-pieces, and the building falling apart is a neat idea. The next level will be somewhat more of the same, but with an added bonus secret! I'm talking about MAP06: Armory.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP06: Armory (Completed)


    The armory, despite its name, doesn't give you a ton of weapons to run with, rather, it will give you just enough ammo to deal with all the extra tough baddies you'll face off against here: Cacodemons, Chaingunners, Hell Knights, Revenants, Arachnotrons, and Barons of Hell Galore. It's not a terribly big map, but it's more bloated and just filled to the brim with enemies: 139 enemies to be exact.





    Once again it's a corridor shooting map, this time much more angular and square in design. While I think it might be a tad basic, with just a ton of brown textures, it works for what it is. It's a good map to run around and just kill things with.





    As one can tell, the Yellow Key door is locked; that's because it's actually a secret based room. The Yellow Key is hidden behind a secret area that you'll have to discover for yourself.


    The music for MAP06 comes curtesy of Metal Gear Solid 2, Strut A's theme. It's a pretty chill theme that works out pretty well for the level being kind of meh.





    I don't really have much else to say regarding the level. I think it's probably going to end up being recognized as a somewhat mediocre map that throws a ton of enemies your way. There's just barely enough ammo and health items to keep you alive through it, so it may be more difficult that one realizes. The next map is one I've debated remaking entirely from scratch since I'm not very pleased with how it turned out. That of course is MAP07: Office Complex.

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    Map07: Office Complex (May Remake)


    We finally get to, honestly, one of my least liked maps. It's dark, claustrophobic, and has hordes of hit-scanners. It also has the misfortune of being filled to the brim with 6 Barons of Hell. That's more Barons than MAP03 and MAP04 combined, and one less than the previous map. The major difference between Office Complex and Armory, is that Armory is stacked to the gills with weaponry for you to use, whilst the most powerful weapon in Office Complex is either the Rocket Launcher, or the Super Shotgun, depending on the situation.





    The central room is mostly filled with 3 demons and a cornucopia of shotgunners, zombies, and imps. If you can survive the first room with somewhat of a bevy of health, you're in good position. The South room gives you a super shotgun to blast away enemies with, despite the low number of ammo throughout the map.




    I'll be honest. I'm not really sure how the map would be received by players themselves. I suppose the map is meant to be sort of a stop-gap level to get to the next map. I did make it in a matter of days without any real plan, so it does come out looking very unpolished. Plenty of health items though. You'll need it with all the enemies that could straight up kill you in a matter of seconds. There's also only one secret in the entire map, which is easy to spot from a mile away.


    As for the music, it comes from none other than Capcom's 1989 horror masterpiece: Sweet Home. I utilized a special version of the 2nd Floor theme, since I felt it worked pretty good for a claustrophobic map. I think it works out pretty well, all things considered.





    Overall, it's not a map I'm not entirely pleased with, and I suppose it just misses the mark of what I was attempting to accomplish. I may remake the level down the line if I'm really displeased with it following making all the other maps. The next on our list was actually a pretty big shift in tone from its alpha stage and looked to become a totally different beast entirely. That is of course MAP08: Laboratory Entrance

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    Re: Grim Makes a DOOM WAD

    MAP08: Laboratory Entrance (Completed)

    If we wanna talk about a map that has it all, this one is definitely it. It is the second proper appearance of the dreaded Cyberdemon, but it too can be completely skipped if you're fast enough, otherwise, prepare for a very close encounter with the badass from hell itself. The opening area in particular is a big combat zone that does not necessarily let up even after you clear it the first time.



    The map itself is pretty linearly designed though it has several fun hotspots to take care of. There is one little problem that could potentially happen if you don't do a sequence correctly, locking you in with the Cyberdemon until you either die or until you reset the map. This was a slight oversight on my part though not intentional. That said, this layout in my opinion is far more inspired than the tepid and frankly ugly alpha that I originally had.





    As you can tell from watching the video, enemies come at you hard and fast, the most dangerous of them turning out to be the Demons of all things. They can cause an accidental pincer movement on the player through careless action. They and the Arch-Vile are the biggest problems to take care of on the map.

    The music in the game comes from the introduction cinematic of a game I reviewed back in 2016: SplatterHouse 2 for the Sega GENESIS. It's a loud, bombastic song filled to the brim with metal music and I felt it made a perfect choice for the chaos of this map in particular.




    Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this map turned out and I don't feel that there's anything left to add onto it. It's short, sweet, difficult, but just in that sweet spot where it's not too hard. Next map will be one of my most ambitious yet, when we arrive at: MAP09: Docking Yard

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