A cool collab

I’ve been trying to get over a terrible sinus infection for almost two weeks now. It has pretty much made me completely useless as far as getting any work done. Today I’m finally starting to feel almost 100% back to normal, so I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of my Doom projects lately.

In my downtime, a fellow Doom modder called Vader worked on detailing a speed map I made for the Back to Saturn X project. He finished it up a few days ago and, after some additional editing from myself, the map is pretty much done! Of course you’ll have to wait until BTSX is done to play it, but why not have some screenshots :)

The name of the map is Shocker in Gloomtown. The theme is some sort of weathered and worn looking castle ruins. I really wanted to play with the ruin textures in the resource but never really got a chance to since most of my maps were already done before the textures were made. This speedmap gave me a really good opportunity to use them, although in this instance Vader was the one doing all of the texturing and detailing work. I didn’t really specify to use the ruin textures in this map; mostly I just gave Vader a vague idea of what I had envisioned and then let him run with it. The end result turned out better than I was expecting, and I was expecting a lot! Vader is probably very well known in the mapping community for this exquisite sense of detailing. Don’t believe me? Go and play some of his works (I highly recommend Thunderpeak and Blackrock…but you really can’t go wrong with anything he touches). Vader has also contributed many maps for BtsX, so this map isn’t the only one where you’ll see his work.

Anyways, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this was a collaboration map between Vader and myself. I did the layout and gameplay elements while Vader did all the pretty visuals. We both contributed bits to gameplay and visuals as well. I spent about 3 hours doing the bare layout and then another 8 hours adding gameplay, flow, and map things. 11 hours still counts as a speedmap, right? The map is pretty interesting in the gameplay sense. It’s fairly dense and compact with monsters around every corner bearing down on you. The normal flow is linear but allows for some exploration, which might get you into trouble if your not well prepared. However the map utilizes two secret keys which drastically changes how the map can be played and makes it a bit more non-linear. In fact you can be the map with just the two secret keys while ignoring the normal key. It’s a fairly short map, well in relation to my other BtsX contributions at least. In fact that was the main reason why I made this map. Essel was asking for some shorter maps to mix in with the many larger, more complex maps. While it didn’t turn out as small as I would have liked, it is definitely not the 1-hour adventure fest like many of my other maps are.

It was a real pleasure working with Vader on this map! He did a fantastic job detailing it so I hope you guys enjoy it once it is released. I don’t do collaborations very often, but if they all went as smooth and fun as the one I did with Vader, then I’d definitely be up for it more often.

This map officially marks the end of my contributions to the Back to Saturn X project. I’ve done a total of 5 maps for the project which have kept me very busy for the past 1-1/2 years. And it has been a blast! I’ve recently played through a testing version of E1 and it is one of the best map packs I’ve played in a long time. Seriously, I’m not saying this just because I a part of the team. It really is a lovingly crafted work of art from some of the most prolific and talented minds in the Doom community! And it should be released not too long from now, so keep your eyes peeled. You can bet I’ll have a post ready here once it does launch ;)

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Reading this stuff makes me sort of anxious that I wasn’t around at the correct spot when this kickstarted off. I had no idea the project even existed before essel cross-posted the project thread into ZDoom forums – I rarely lurk in Doomworld and post even less. Oh well, maybe next time.. and anyway I am busy enough with what I have.

    1. I was just lucky enough that essel asked me to contribute. Although I was very interested in his personal texture works before the project officially started too, so that may be why he asked me to join.

      It would have been great to have you on board though, especially from some of the latest work I’ve seen from you. In fact there are a few mappers I would have liked to see on the team that didn’t join or weren’t asked to join. Ah well, so it goes I guess.

      Thanks for the read and reply though Dusk! Hope your doing well.

  2. I’m doing pretty well with things. Recently I made a from-scratch palette for the singleplayer project I’m juggling with and managed to remap all the IWAD resources without copying them over. Should keep copyright purists happy! :P

    I also got a map into a gameplay-complete state. Maybe I’ll actually get this project out and complete one day or another.

  3. Just thought I’d let you know that I really like this map, Mek. The layout has that really cool non-orthogonal thing you pull off so damn well (which I seem to be incapable of :P) and Vader did a great job on prettifying it. It’s a shame Vanilla is so unforgiving with the limits, because a Mekavader map, in theory, would have a completely unparalleled level of detail. You two need to collaborate on something like that in the future… just to see how far between you you can push the envelope, detail-wise. :lol:

    What do you think about the music track I wrote for it being used elsewhere in the project? I’m not bothered too much by it, but I was surprised when the reason given was that it didn’t fit the map’s hectic pace. It’s not the most difficult BTSX map you’ve done. :P Doesn’t compare with GSFRB, for instance. Talk about nitpicking. D:

    1. Well thanks man, I’m glad you enjoyed it! The past couple of years I’ve been trying to focus more on non-orthogonal designs, mostly beginning with BtsX. I’d say that vanilla limits did somewhat force that direction as a way to make my maps interesting without breaking the limits (big, open areas but less interesting shapes). After going back to some Boom mapping, I can already see the vanilla influences in some of my usual designs.

      I’m looking forward to playing your contribution soon; just waiting for the E2 alpha to be compiled :). Hopefully Xaser will get that handled before much longer.

      I agree with you about the music. Vader and myself both really liked the track with that map. It matched the visuals of the map very well I think; it went well with the gameplay too in my opinion, but maybe less so in relation to visuals. I thought it was nitpicky too, but in the end I’m usually easy to please and was more than happy to use Enigma for the map (which fits it well too). Above all, so long as the other tracks gets used in another map, I’m happy. I probably would have fought to keep the track with the map if you didn’t have a free track to use.

  4. Sounds like it’ll be a blast to play through! I’ll be sure to do so when there’s stuff out. :)

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