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Author Topic: New Ideas for Special Levels  (Read 10190 times)

GinDiamond

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New Ideas for Special Levels
« on: May 17, 2012, 12:56 »

Hey, I was just wondering if anyone had cool ideas for special levels in DoomRL.
Because a new episode added on to the three episodes (Phobos, Deimos, Hell), we need more levels!

I have an idea for a special level, even if it isn't exactly related to Doom:

In Greek mythology, Alcyoneus was a giant yeiled up by the Earth to fight the gods. He was completely immortal in his homeland (he chose the far north, beyond the god's sphere of influence), so in order to kill him, Heracles had to lure him off of his land and kill him in foreign territory.
But it wasn't that easy. Heracles had to call upon Zeus to help him kill Alcyoneus.

So, I was thinking this:

There should be a special level that has an Alcyoneus-like monster with MAJOR hp and a vicious melee attack.

My plan:

You enter a red stair and the text says:
"You can't kill me, mortal! For I am <insert monster's name here>, the IMMORTAL!!"

The level is built up like barracks, but the walls are all ice (Alcyoneus ws born in the far north).
The first wave is met by mobs of lost souls, and maybe a few spectres (play the Inferno module).

Then, the second wave is <insert monster name here> himself, and he CANNOT injured AT ALL, by ALL MEANS, even a NUKE, if he is on the ten-unit radius circle he spawned on. You have to knock him back or something (he will never willingly venture off his home territory, he ain't THAT stupid) and finish him off. He doesn't teleport, but he moves fast. He will try to get back to his homeland circle thing at all costs, and if he does, he will heal back up to 100% again.

You have to use some artifact to finish him off (the god's power, possibly the Arena Master's Staff, or the Hell Staff/something like it?), or else you won't be able to kill him.
How to deplete his health:

1. Use a powerful shotgun to blast him out of his circle, and stand in the way of him and the circle AT ALL TIMES, blowing him back with your gun

That's it really.

Any comments? Questions?
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Uranium

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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 13:23 »

This becomes ridiculously hard for melee characters and actually impossible on AoB. I like the idea of an all-ice level, but make sure it's not impossible: even if it's insanely hard, Unholy Cathedral, for example, is possible even for characters limited to pistols or shotguns.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 18:41 »

Actually there are already three (?) special levels developed but not quire balanced which will hopefully make an appearance in the next beta of DoomRL. Game Hunter has all of the details on it.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 19:28 »

Actually there are already three (?) special levels developed but not quire balanced which will hopefully make an appearance in the next beta of DoomRL. Game Hunter has all of the details on it.
That said, it's still nice to have new ideas for special levels, not for the main DoomRL game, but possibly for mods that others might want to make.

Actually, they might be useful for A100 if we start to put special levels in that to "spice things up".

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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 22:40 »

Actually there are already three (?) special levels developed but not quire balanced which will hopefully make an appearance in the next beta of DoomRL. Game Hunter has all of the details on it.

Eh?  I knew he was revamping some of them, but 3 new levels?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2012, 11:57 »

Sounds interesting. If I may, I've been thinking about special levels and here's what I came up with:

A lot of the special levels are somewhat build around particular enemies:

Hell's Arena - Cacodemons, somewhat (more so on HNTR)
The Wall - Knights/Barons
City of Skulls - Souls/Elementals
Spider's Lair - Not sure
Unholy Cathedral - Melee enemies - Lost souls and demons
The Mortuary - Arch Viles

What I'm getting at is that IMO there should be a mancubus Special level. And maybe a revenant one as well, but a mancubus-themed level sounds really nice to me.
It should be designed to play into their strengths. Maybe they could be able to release additional enemies by destroying walls with their missed shots? I haven't given much thought into particulars, I'm just throwing this out there.
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Creaphis

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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 12:15 »

Interesting idea, but you've overcomplicated it in ways that just restrict build and strategy options.  The only characters that can beat this as written have:
- A very high knockback weapon to get the boss out of the circle
- High DPS weaponry to kill the boss once he's outside
- Very high passive resistance (from traits, armor, medkit supplies) to survive all the abuse you'll suffer standing between the boss and the circle.
- Some unspecified artifact (probably from another special level, meaning that skipping that level is not an option)

Interesting level design is design where there are a number of ways to beat any challenge, and it's very important in a class-based game (which DoomRL kind of is) that every class should be able to use their own strengths to get by. Below I've posted some revisions to your idea. Note that I don't intend for my design to be taken as the Right design - there are infinite ways to design any game, and the only thing that matters is that it's fun to play.

- Remove the requirement for a special artifact. We already have the Hell's Arena -> Chained Court -> Vaults dependency, we don't need to restrict player route options even more.
- Remove the instant 100% heal the boss gets when returning to his circle. This would only be a frustration for characters strong enough to fight the boss head-on, and would make the fight impossible for characters that have to wear the boss' health down more gradually.
- To make the fight possible for characters that can't deal knockback or that rely on active defense (or both), the boss should have slow move and attack speeds, and its attack should be reasonably dodgeable. There should be a good supply of napalm barrels in the level. The careful player could push these into the boss' circle while dodging its projectiles and then trick it into blasting itself out of the circle by shooting a barrel at close range. This would also destroy some of his safe zone by replacing it with lava.
- The theme for the level could be changed from Greek mythology to some sort of tech theme, to explain the presence of napalm barrels and the accompanying environment survival gear (boots and envirosuits) that might need to be placed on the level. The boss' safe zone could be technological, eg. a "force field," and this invulnerability could also extend to the player when he's standing in the field, depending on if this makes it more fun without completely nerfing the challenge. Then, the first stage of the boss fight would be challenging but non-fatal, like sumo wrestling.


I'm looking forward to seeing the new special levels. I'm not sure that revenants or mancubi could support special levels on their own, though, as they don't require unique strategies to defeat. The problem is that there aren't any reliable ways of fighting them safely without corner- or radar-shooting, so a level built around them would likely end up as another cornershooty experience like the Wall. If it were up to me I'd have designed the revenant and mancubi with reliable ways to avoid their attacks without cover, eg. a left-right-left dodging pattern for mancubi (as in Doom 2) and some way to redirect or destroy homing revenant missiles, to allow these monsters to be used in more interesting ways.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 12:29 by Creaphis »
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 12:20 »

Spider's Lair - Not sure

You, sir, have made me giggle most heartily.

But yeah, I like the idea of a Mancubus special level. Or rather, the idea of a Mancubus level gives me the fits and I think that's exactly the response you'd want from a mancubus level. Releasing things from pillars though... that'd make it hard to 100% without asking the fatties for help, making it less about killing the fatties and more about manipulating them. Also, that's vaguely mortuary-ish; we've already got a level where the enemy is giving itself reinforcements all the time.

Maybe something more akin to a "storm the beach" thing, where you're trying to deal with the Mancubi fire with cover that's constantly disappearing (because of mancubi fire). Or something?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2012, 18:51 »

Spider's Lair - Not sure

*snrk*

Quote
And maybe a revenant one as well

Have you ever been to the Vaults? That's all about Revenants exploiting funky level layout. Unless you're boring and just shoot into the dark and hide behind corners.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 02:40 »

Have you ever been to the Vaults? That's all about Revenants exploiting funky level layout. Unless you're boring and just shoot into the dark and hide behind corners.

I guess. I think I'm still in the HNTR mindset - even though I play on UV these days, I often avoid either CC or Hell's Arena.

Quote from: Creepy
Maybe something more akin to a "storm the beach" thing, where you're trying to deal with the Mancubi fire with cover that's constantly disappearing (because of mancubi fire). Or something?

That sounds nice. I'm not sure if it is possible to design a level to make cornershooting at least a little risky, especially since the mancubi are so slow to move. There should be some scripted twist, have the walls disappear gradually or some teleporter shenanigans, though that is already used to nice effect in Spider's Lair. Maybe there could be barrels near all the walls (far enough from each other not to cause a chain reaction) that would explode randomly during play or something like that.

Edit: Another idea - have the player start in a small room/arena with a mancubus and no exits. Should be easy enough to kill it before it starts to move. Once it dies, most of the walls of the room lower and reveal a larger arena with more mancubi. Few sections of the walls remain and give you some cover, though not perfect and not from all sides at once. Killing these mancubi repeats the process - the walls of the bigger arena lower and uncover more mancubi in a bigger arena. (Not sure how many times can this happen - that depends on the size of the map, obviously.)

The enemies in the Anomaly for example are trapped in their starting spots so that once the walls lower, they are always at the same place. In this level, I'd let the manbubi wander through the thin hallways between the arena walls, so that every new arena would present you with several mancubi in different places in each playthrough and inadequate cover.

It would suck to be a pacifist on this level though, much like it does in halls of carnage - I'd make the walls of the arenas destroayble, so a pacifist (and other clever doomguys) can break through to the larger arena spaces without killing the initial mancubus (either rockets or by dodging), thus making their life a lot easier with plenty of cover.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 02:54 by Klear »
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 03:40 »

Here's a draft of my the idea I posted above. The first picture is what the level would look like when entered, the second is after killing the first mancubus and the third is after killing the two other ones. It's obviously unfinished, as can be seen from the empty spaces.

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Maybe the stairs should be placed in the second arena/stage, so you'd only have to blast one wall open to be able to chicken out. The rewards for the level should be stashed away in the corners, protected by more mancubus rooms.

Edit: Hmm... it looks fun. I guess I'll read up on DoomRL modding and try to make a playable version just to try it out in the evening. Is it relatively easy or hard to make a mod like that?

Edit 2: Not sure if the walls that remain and give you some cover for the next fight should be destroyable. They'd probably disappear pretty fast if you'd be unlucky.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 03:51 by Klear »
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 08:43 »

OK, I've put together a demo map. It gives you about 10 character levels, red armour and a chainsaw. I guess it would be more interesting to see how this would play with cornershooting builds but I was lazy. You can change the initial loadout if you want to give it a try.

I didn't know how to trigger the next stages by death of specific (groups of) mancubi so I made it that the first walls open after your first kill and the second ones after your third kill.

In other news, modding DoomRL is FUN! I'm glad that I finally got the impulse to try it out and I will definitely continue in the future.

Edit: You can't reach the stairs without help of the mancubi, but that is irrelevant, as this level is unfinished and there is nothing to be gained by finishing it.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 08:45 by Klear »
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 06:36 »

Interesting idea, but you've overcomplicated it in ways that just restrict build and strategy options.  The only characters that can beat this as written have:
- A very high knockback weapon to get the boss out of the circle
- High DPS weaponry to kill the boss once he's outside
- Very high passive resistance (from traits, armor, medkit supplies) to survive all the abuse you'll suffer standing between the boss and the circle.
- Some unspecified artifact (probably from another special level, meaning that skipping that level is not an option)

Interesting level design is design where there are a number of ways to beat any challenge, and it's very important in a class-based game (which DoomRL kind of is) that every class should be able to use their own strengths to get by. Below I've posted some revisions to your idea. Note that I don't intend for my design to be taken as the Right design - there are infinite ways to design any game, and the only thing that matters is that it's fun to play.

- Remove the requirement for a special artifact. We already have the Hell's Arena -> Chained Court -> Vaults dependency, we don't need to restrict player route options even more.
- Remove the instant 100% heal the boss gets when returning to his circle. This would only be a frustration for characters strong enough to fight the boss head-on, and would make the fight impossible for characters that have to wear the boss' health down more gradually.
- To make the fight possible for characters that can't deal knockback or that rely on active defense (or both), the boss should have slow move and attack speeds, and its attack should be reasonably dodgeable. There should be a good supply of napalm barrels in the level. The careful player could push these into the boss' circle while dodging its projectiles and then trick it into blasting itself out of the circle by shooting a barrel at close range. This would also destroy some of his safe zone by replacing it with lava.
- The theme for the level could be changed from Greek mythology to some sort of tech theme, to explain the presence of napalm barrels and the accompanying environment survival gear (boots and envirosuits) that might need to be placed on the level. The boss' safe zone could be technological, eg. a "force field," and this invulnerability could also extend to the player when he's standing in the field, depending on if this makes it more fun without completely nerfing the challenge. Then, the first stage of the boss fight would be challenging but non-fatal, like sumo wrestling.



Yeah, I never thought of that!

Why not make the boss be affected by knockback from melee weapons also? Like, you beat the hell out of him with fists or something to push him out of the circle, and then use a chainsaw or something.

That way, AoB people can do the level.

I aslo need more ways on beating the bos.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 08:59 »

Um, I like the idea of a level based on Mancubi, but if it is to make it to DoomRL, we need rewards and a strategy to get ALL of the rewards without destroying them or dying.
Any ideas?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 10:51 »

Um, I like the idea of a level based on Mancubi, but if it is to make it to DoomRL, we need rewards and a strategy to get ALL of the rewards without destroying them or dying.
Any ideas?

They can always spawn after the mancubi are dead.

BTW, I've been playing a frozen-over level recently and realized that it neutralizes safe cornershooting, so that could be used somehow.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 11:23 »


BTW, I've been playing a frozen-over level recently and realized that it neutralizes safe cornershooting, so that could be used somehow.

Yeah, it does.

But I think that a whole new special level would be really cool, you know? To make things a bit interesting!
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 11:29 »

I meant that the easily destroyable walls could be basis for the hypothetical brand new mancubus based level.
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Kashi

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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 15:34 »

I meant that the easily destroyable walls could be basis for the hypothetical brand new mancubus based level.
Polar Hell, with fireball-tossing walruses? Good lord, that would be awesome.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2012, 10:52 »

I wonder if I can put together a Mancubus-centered level with symetrical posts, and the mancubi are in a ring around you (like Spider's Lair), but this time, there is a ring of destructable/indestructable pillars around the mancubi? The destroyable ones are randomly placed in the ring circumference, so you will never know which ones can protect you!
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2012, 11:53 »

Polar Hell, with fireball-tossing walruses? Good lord, that would be awesome.


Do you know how to put a module like that together?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2012, 16:10 »


Do you know how to put a module like that together?
As much as it pains me to say this, I lack the sufficient experience to do so.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 05:57 »

As much as it pains me to say this, I lack the sufficient experience to do so.

Okay, I'll see if I can do something soon...
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2012, 06:04 »

Does anyone have any ideas for a "unique" stair?

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Creaphis

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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2012, 09:09 »

I believe that in previous versions of DoomRL, special stairs weren't guaranteed to appear (which is why mortems have that "Levels generated" line). Making new special levels that only have a small chance of being generated would be a step back in that direction.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2012, 10:54 »

I believe that in previous versions of DoomRL, special stairs weren't guaranteed to appear (which is why mortems have that "Levels generated" line). Making new special levels that only have a small chance of being generated would be a step back in that direction.

No, what I mean is that the stairs are "unique", and BLUE instead of RED. There should be three different special (well, in  this case UNIQUE) levels that might or might not show up in your run. Like, you know how basically ALL special levels are now pretty much garunteed? Make these insanily hard levels weighted to show up, not 100% of the time. I would like to see a really special boss, with really cool rewards. Possibly even add things to the game, like cursed boots or more weapons, or more unique consumables?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2012, 11:12 »

I don't see how that is any different from the older system of random appearances of the special levels, really.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2012, 12:58 »

I mean, the unique stairs are very rare. Sometimes you might not see any of the three stairs in the game!

Like, a 1 in 20 chance per floor level? Maybe even lower on HNTR?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2012, 16:31 »

I really hate to say this, but there's no real difference between "really rare stairs" and the old system where the appearance of special levels were not always guaranteed and had a probability of appearing.  The special levels were designed to be hard/challenging in some way, so it nulllifies the difference that the "new" unique stairs appear to have.

Part of the reason for removing the random appearance of the special levels has to do with "game balance".

* thelaptop glances at Game Hunter
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2012, 19:26 »

I really hate to say this, but there's no real difference between "really rare stairs" and the old system where the appearance of special levels were not always guaranteed and had a probability of appearing.  The special levels were designed to be hard/challenging in some way, so it nulllifies the difference that the "new" unique stairs appear to have.

Part of the reason for removing the random appearance of the special levels has to do with "game balance".

* thelaptop glances at Game Hunter

This is the whole damn point. People consider random imbalancing things... fun -_-
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2012, 21:10 »

This is the whole damn point. People consider random imbalancing things... fun -_-

YES!
Wild and crazy rides with no two games the same = most fun.

If I had to choose, I would go with wild and unbalanced vs methodical and balanced.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2012, 22:19 »

Hmm.  How about this, N! improvement has always been on the lists for a while.  Why not make it even more unbalanced with the wild stuff?  That'll make N! more incentivious to play, and challenge those crazy N! players more.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2012, 07:31 »

If I had to choose, I would go with wild and unbalanced vs methodical and balanced.
I second this. If you were to play a methodical and balanced game with little to none random stuff, many strategies can be made that would ensure a perfect, complete run with zero chances of failing.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2012, 10:57 »

I'd say we should allow DoomRL to do what it does best. DoomRL is very "methodical and balanced" as far as roguelikes go. With all the control that the player has over his build, his route through special levels, his choice of difficulty level and challenge game, the player can always know pretty much exactly what he'll be up against from the beginning of a game. This is not a bad thing - DoomRL bridges the gap between roguelikes and other turn-based strategy games, and caters to people who want to have more control over their play experience. Other roguelikes often put the player against much more randomness right from the outset, so you find yourself playing the game the RNG wants you to play, not necessarily the one you wanted to play. This is also not a bad thing. It's just not what DoomRL specializes in, and we don't need to cram any square pegs into round holes.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2012, 12:32 »

Even if this sounds ridiculous and adds too much diversity… We can splice game into "campaign"/"classic" mode and "random"/"less balanced" mode.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2012, 09:40 »

I second this. If you were to play a methodical and balanced game with little to none random stuff, many strategies can be made that would ensure a perfect, complete run with zero chances of failing.
I would really like to give my sincere congratulations to anyone who can actually play _that_ well.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2012, 10:37 »

I would really like to give my sincere congratulations to anyone who can actually play _that_ well.
* Xtremekiwi points at 2dev.
although even he might occasionally lose.
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2012, 13:08 »

Sorry for being such an a-hole!

I understand the weighted thing now.

Now, where can i find a complete tutorial on how to make custom enemy AI for my module?  (the Unique stair level thing)?
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2012, 16:20 »

Now, where can i find a complete tutorial on how to make custom enemy AI for my module?  (the Unique stair level thing)?
I take it you've already found the less-than-complete tutorial. I've always meant to come back to it, especially because I've been handling most of the AI updates and changes to the actual game for a couple of versions. If there's something small and specific you want to ask about, insomuch that you want to know if it's possible at all, then feel free to ask in the appropriate thread. (BTW the tutorial I linked in that thread earlier should be compatible with the current version by now. If it's not, just let me know what the errors are and I'll try to take care of them at the earliest convenience.)
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2012, 09:01 »

Yeah, I found the tutorial.

Okay, I'll see what I can do...
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2012, 11:47 »

Anybody have a good Monster AI tutorial anywhere???

I mean, a complete one...
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 16:04 by GinDiamond »
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2012, 12:21 »

Anybody have a good Monster AI tutorial anywhere???

I mean, a complete one...
If you have any specific questions about whether or not certain algorithms are included in the API, go ahead and ask them in the Modding Tutorial thread. I believe that I covered most of the important ones, but I know there are some special circumstances that involve less obvious functions.

If you want to know "how to make a monster smart", that's not specific enough to give a concrete answer. Rather, you should pose the question by stating an action or series of actions, then ask "how to I get my monster to do this?" Writing artificial intelligence has less to do with DoomRL and more to do with the analysis and evaluation of algorithms. Hopefully all of the necessary pieces are provided to you in the API, at which point all you have to do is write out the steps yourself. (Specifically, the AI object in DoomRL is extremely open-ended and, aside from what is explained as the "rules" in the tutorial, entirely up to the modder with regards to its makeup.)
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Re: New Ideas for Special Levels
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2012, 12:37 »

Oh. Okay!
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