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Good Doom/Heretic/Hexen WADs

Tacgnol

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Alphons

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Brutal-Doom-20220402-002.jpg


Hell on Earth Starter Pack was fun.
 

Dayyālu

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Sarge has almost the tradition of starting stuff he'll never finish. The laundry list is huge, from Brutal Hexen to the Viet mod to this....
 

Curratum

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The joke is that Vostyok pretty much made and released a whole game by himself, without any of the drama.
 

Tacgnol

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The joke is that Vostyok pretty much made and released a whole game by himself, without any of the drama.
even 2x parts

And delivered a remaster of the first part.

As mentioned above, I'm fascinated about what him and Zan are currently working on together.
 

Riskbreaker

Guest
The joke is that Vostyok pretty much made and released a whole game by himself, without any of the drama.
It's as if he's got a magical shield of wholesomeness that repels it.
You remember that OGAY thing from Ion Fury? At some point after that drama, a batch of new screens from Afterglow was posted on Doomworld and zdoom forums, one of them being a screen of what looked like a warehouse with prominent OGAY logo. When I saw that, I thought "now he's done it, I know exactly how these people function and what is coming now."
Happily, I was wrong. Teh drama did not, in fact, ensue.

Anyway, I really gotta give some attention to Hedon sooner or later. I had it on Steam for some time now.
 
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Speaking of Hedon - any differences in the first episode when you play Bloodrite version?
 

CyberModuled

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Dayyālu

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As mentioned above, I'm fascinated about what him and Zan are currently working on together.

I'm not entirely sure the styles blend together: Ashes has become something of a team effort - if I'm not wrong, Dead Man Walking author ReformedJoe helped quite a bit. Hedon's is for sure impressive, but the combat loop became devastatingly stale and the last levels of Bloodrite are an annoying slog to march through, while Afterglow keeps the ideas and balance running straight towards the end.

I respect Zan for the skills and effort he puts into it, but .... let's compare the end fights of Afterglow and Bloodrite: Afterglow has a steady and satisfying two-phase battle in a simple yet efficient arena, killer soundtrack and clear patterns. You know what you need to do, it doesn't interrupt the flow of the last level, and it's a fitting crescendo.

Bloodrite's final fight is a mess. Huge arena. Jump-pads. Random spawns. Bullet hell patterns. Micro-levels that break the different phases (the Demon World is a shitheap of bad design, by chrissakes, I truly needed to break a boss fight with a button search session while fighting the most annoying enemies in the game). Juggling a completely bloated inventory to activate that or this at the right moment. Repetitive end phases. I may respect the amount of effort put into it, but most of it is an annoyance, not blood-pumping action.

As usual, less is more. Also Afterglow has hotter demon babes without dicks, that's a plus.
 

Curratum

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Nash is a great guy, I don't mean this as a dig against him, known him for like 20 years through the ZDoom forums, but man, ANOTHER indie horror game? The man can do so much better.
 

gerey

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Bloodrite's final fight is a mess.
Ashes 2063 endboss was also underwhelming, just a big bullet-sponge with a quick firing hitscan weapon. Then again, I don't usually judge FPS games by bosses, since few ever manage to make something that isn't a glorified puzzle or an ammo dump.

I think Zan's real strength is the unique spin he gives to each map. Ashes has facets of this as well in certain places, but not to the degree Hedon does with the various "side quest", readables et al. I remember how much fun I had completing the magic ritual in the first map, mining and crafting my own ammo in the forge level, even though I didn't really need it, or reading about two soldiers having a fight over an item in another level and it flying out the window, only for you to find it if you decide to look for it.

Both seem to be aiming for a similar goal, creating believable levels with high interactivity reminiscent of Build-Engine games, Zan just takes it a step further and crosses over into immersive sim territory, which is something I very much approve of and wish they both pushed even further in their future projects.
 

Riskbreaker

Guest
Nash is a great guy, I don't mean this as a dig against him, known him for like 20 years through the ZDoom forums, but man, ANOTHER indie horror game? The man can do so much better.
I wouldn't mind more of them actually trying to retrieve the design of 90s, early 00s survival horrors viz. slow combat, resource management, puzzles, exploration of hand crafted environments etc, rather than being walking sims, gimmick-fests, generic survival games and whatnot.
My problem with that Darkadia trailer is how uninspired and cargo-cultish it managed to be in less than one minute. "I'm afraid... of MYSELF" cue misty woods, cue Yamaoka pastiche. 'member Silent Hill 2 guys? Do you? DO YOU? wink WINK
 

Dayyālu

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Ashes 2063 endboss was also underwhelming, just a big bullet-sponge with a quick firing hitscan weapon.

The Mutant Warboss was kinda underwhelming, yeh. I'd even consider it the hardest fight on Survival mode in Afterglow, he's a fuckhuge bullet sponge in a limited-ammo environment. Vinaya is simpler, but she doesn't interrupt the "flow" of the final levels as the Baron does in Bloodrite.

Mere opinion, tho.

I think Zan's real strength is the unique spin he gives to each map.
Both seem to be aiming for a similar goal, creating believable levels with high interactivity reminiscent of Build-Engine games, Zan just takes it a step further and crosses over into immersive sim territory, which is something I very much approve of and wish they both pushed even further in their future projects.

Hedon for sure has a clear inspiration from Ultima Underworld/Arx Fatalis. The main problem I have with it is ... it becomes too much, the combat variety does not support it properly, and the puzzles become too asinine for my tastes. There's a shitton of hidden lovely details in Hedon (from the graves of your fellow soldiers changing dinamically to the allies that you can rescue and see in each level to ambushes changing depending on what you do and when you get them) but by the end I was sick of the.... repetition of the combat encounters mixed with frankly annoying item-hunting. Think of the Bridge in Bloodrite: its combat design is flat-out archaic and improvised, and for stuff like the Golden Vault you get the Salt mines.

But I get your point: for the immersive sim fan Bloodrite has more meat. For the "pure" FPS fan Afterglow gives you better combat and encounter design.
 

toughasnails

Learned
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Nash is a great guy, I don't mean this as a dig against him, known him for like 20 years through the ZDoom forums, but man, ANOTHER indie horror game? The man can do so much better.
Looks promising enough to me. I also think that this might be the first commercial GZDoom project that went in survival horror direction. There is also the remake of Solace Dreams, seems like the author planned to go commercial with it, but the things were p quiet there and in any case Darkadia seems to lean more to classic survival horror direction than does Solace Dreams.
 

gerey

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But I get your point: for the immersive sim fan Bloodrite has more meat. For the "pure" FPS fan Afterglow gives you better combat and encounter design.
Zan is much better at making the maps look better aesthetically, as well as handling the soundscape. Assets in Ashes look serviceable, you can tell what they're supposed to represent, but the scale is off they lack details. I think only the guys making Trenchfoot come close (and at certain points even surpass Zan in that regard).

Meanwhile Ashes has much better spirework for the enemies and NPCs (though from what I recall many of the sprites are taken from Strife), while Hedon characters and enemies look weird - not necessarily bad but they lack the "chunkiness" of Doom sprites.

What I'm really trying to say is that both have something they're better at than the other, and while I can imagine their different styles and approaches to game design may clash and lead to friction, I can also envision the two of them collaborating successfully, especially since they seem to apparently be free of the usual primadonna behavior most modders are cursed with and approach their projects with a rare degree of professionalism and productivity.
 

Tacgnol

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What I'm really trying to say is that both have something they're better at than the other, and while I can imagine their different styles and approaches to game design may clash and lead to friction, I can also envision the two of them collaborating successfully, especially since they seem to apparently be free of the usual primadonna behavior most modders are cursed with and approach their projects with a rare degree of professionalism and productivity.

Yes, this is a good point. Both Zan and Vos seem to be decent individuals judging by both observed interactions and my own personal experiences with both of them.

I've never seen Zan lose his temper at even the stupidest of his critics and Vos has always been receptive to useful feedback and fairly chill.

Such personalities are a rarity in the Doom modding community.
 

toughasnails

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Eh I thought the architecture, detailing, lighting in Afterglow are p great. The ardstyle and inspirations are so different between Ashes and Hedon that it is hard to directly compare their visuals anyway. Ashes tries to look like a 90s Build game and succeeds at it.
 

Sjukob

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I finaly played ashes afterglow. At the time I wasn't really impressed by the first episode and up until very recently I knew nothing about episode 2 aside from the fact that it has been released, I didn't watch any videos, screenshots or read anything about it, I thought that the sequel would be very similar to the episode 1 - a short game with a couple of linear levels about nuclear apocalypse with primitive combat, well I was wrong. Afterglow is much bigger, more varied and more interesting that it's predecessor, frankly the first episode feels like a demo version in comparison.
I really enjoyed it, but I want to be brief. I feel like everything that I think about build engine games applies here - it's an FPS with a pretty shallow combat, but with great exploration and visuals, you won't find the sort of interactivity here that build engine games have, but instead you get a pretty good plot that's interesting to follow. The only thing I didn't get are the ending slides, what are they for? There's only one outcome for the protagonist and when I beat the game I really don't care about what happens to Silver, Walker, prosperity or any other schmuck and the hellhole they crawled out of, the ending slides don't answer any important questions, so whatever.
I also felt like the game couldn't decide wether it wanted to be a horror or an action packed FPS, I don't mind the variety, but I liked horror parts more, because the combat is really not a strong side of the ashes, the only notable encounter in the game is the final boss. I hope that the authors won't go full limp dick and deliver the final episode. And while you wait for the release you might want to check out the new episode for AMC TC, which the devs hope to deliver in 2023.
gzdoom-2022-05-04-23-14-17-73.png
 
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Dayyālu

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Fallout Cargo Cult for the end slides.

Not complaining tho

Did you play on standard difficulties or Survival? I personally greatly prefer survival for that STALKER-lite effect.
 

Sjukob

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Did you play on standard difficulties or Survival? I personally greatly prefer survival for that STALKER-lite effect.
Apocalypse. I still ended up swimming in ammo and various supplies, made a lot of money by selling surplus medkits.
 

Tacgnol

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I actually thought the end slides were pretty neat. Not overly complex, but it was a tiny bit of end game reactivity and not what I expected from a Doom TC.
 

HansDampf

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I felt the same way about Ashes. Neat, but I couldn't play it for longer than 20 minutes per session without getting bored.
*addsafterglowbackonthelist*
 

Sjukob

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I felt the same way about Ashes. Neat, but I couldn't play it for longer than 20 minutes per session without getting bored.
*addsafterglowbackonthelist*
You mean you haven't played afterglow yet? In comparison to episode 1 it's much bigger, there are about 18 maps now and they are bigger in size and have more variety to them: there's the usual stuff with abandoned settlements and junkyards, but there's also stuff like gardens, forests, military bases, even a football field and the secret level is a haunted soviet submarine, also there's a hub system and you can backtrack to the maps you've already visited.

There are way more dialogues and lore dumps, there's a weapon upgrade system which allows you to turn a sawed off into a three barrel shotgun or put and underbarrel grenade launcher on an assault rifle, that sort of stuff. The arsenal itself has been expanded a bit, they've added an assault rifle, a P.I.G. which is a weapon you have to build from parts you find throughout the game and a laser gun, which is a semi-joke secret weapon, oh and your bike will get a pair of machine guns installed on it. There are new enemies like mutants with shields, mutants with muskets, new ghost type, bigger spore bags, carnivorous plants, new boss etc, the raiders got visual redising as well as new types among their ranks.

Exploration is way more important now, there are more sidequests which reward you with supplies and information, for example the P.I.G. weapon I mentioned or the submarine level, which you can't get to unless you find one of secret areas in the earlier parts of the game.

There's more variety to the gameplay, previously you had action oriented maps, a huge map meant for bike riding and a spooky underground, now there are more horror themed maps, there's a pitfiend race, road rash game on arcade cabinet, a "find the exit before time runs out" sequence, a dialogue minigame where you can convince a mutant to sell you stuff for cheap and may be something else that I can't remember at the moment. The combat is still easy, but it's not terrible, if you are alright with combat in Blood or Duke Nukem 3D then you'll be fine.

Check out my screenshots to see some of the maps. I highly recommend trying out afterglow even if you didn't like the first episode. Make sure to set "sector light mode" to dark or something similar in display options, otherwise some of the sections that are meant to be dark and spooky will be very bright, which will ruin the atmosphere.
 
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