The Necroforge v1

Necroforge.wad

Name: The Necroforge (MAP01, Single)
Format:  UDMF
Tested In:  GzDoom (Uses ZDoom features)
IWAD: DOOM2.WAD
Difficulties:  ITYTD/HNTR, HMP, UV
Freelook: Yes
Crouch/Jump: No
Notes:  Map uses 3D Floors, portals, dynamic lighting, and scripting.  Has custom music, some custom SFX, and a custom sky.
Map type:  Small, but dense.  Short if you know where you're going.  One key only.  Finishes with a boss fight.
Build started 11/23/2021
First release candidate 12/19/2021
Build time:  probably 150 hours

Hello, and thank you for stopping by!  What a whirlwind making this map has been.  I've been playing Doom since I was about six years old, but never had an itch to make maps and furthermore never found user-made WADs to be super interesting; I passively enjoyed watching people like Decino play through stuff like Sunlust but never felt like that kind of thing was for me.  *Then* I saw him play through Going Down, and found myself captivated.  Here was a megawad with a personality I could get into.  I worry this level wears its influences too much on its sleeve and will come off as derivative (and far less clever) than mouldy's work.

Despite that hanging over me, I pushed onward.  I hadn't done much level building apart from Mario Maker, so the task was pretty daunting.  I plowed through Lazygamer's tutorials on Youtube, threw away countless prototypes, filled a trash can with bad sketches, and generally just wrestled with the concept of 3D space for a solid week before grinding out something with spaces I didn't feel awful shooting at demons within.

You can probably feel (but definitely see if you crack this open in an editor) the "beginner's journey" effect in full force in this map.  The level began with simple voodoo conveyors doing most of the event handling, but eventually I found myself needing ACS and 3D floors to make a particular inspiration manifest.  Then, the dominos fell.  Soon I needed DECORATE to make some variant enemies do what I wanted.  Then I needed ZScript to make an event play out the way I wanted.  The backend to this map is a mess of spaghetti.  But hopefully not terribly buggy spaghetti.  Here's hoping.

I'm probably compensating for bad texture skills with OTEX, but I certainly felt like I had a lot more room to work with using that stuff.  I felt pretty out of my depth aesthetically, particularly when playing with lighting, so there may be some odd choices here and there.  Particularly in how I combined dynamic lights with sector lighting, not sure how I feel about some of that.  

I will say watching someone play Heartland just about strangled this map in the crib, the way it made me feel absolutely inept, but I swore to myself I'd see this one through.

I'm not a terribly skilled Doom player, so my judgement of this map's difficulty is probably lacking.  I may have hedged a little on the side of abundance, however I do believe there is a fairly powerful sense of pressure throughout.  Expect to need to make decisions and figure out solutions while under duress.

This map is very experimental, both by nature of being my very first WAD release as well as generally with encounter design ideas.  I hope you all enjoy it, and I'd love to hear your feedback, as I'd like to continue making maps if I can maintain a sense of momentum.

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