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    This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

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    Same as always, cast your ratings please!

    [ 5 ]
    83% [83%] 
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    17% [17%] 
    [ 0 ]
    0% [0%] 
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    [ 0 ]
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    WolfForever
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    This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:01 am

    Third in a series of polls (and time for the Haven special! Smile although I also put it up on DHW) for what I feel are some of the best or likely some of the best pure SoD 21-level mapsets. This one I've played all of and liked quite a bit. It feels like ack (a good thing) except a bit more hardcore IMO, but not over the top like some previous works by the author mainly because this time he doesn't use bosses casually, but also as the level design seems a bit more of a controlled extensive rather than overly, super-extensive. Level 16 is my favorite (the Ubermutant, but it's more than just a straight up battle with him).

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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:42 pm

    Yeah, level 16 is one of my favorites... I think it was a reference to either Archives 1 or 2. It had a similar general theme (I think it was brown weave outside, red brick inside, grey brick islands in between). I was unsure how the very long lines of cages will be received, but it seemed ok so I kept it. The map layout is a bit different than I'm used to, and there are different textures and end are various places, so I had them connected or be shown behind a static object, which I think was a good effect.

    I found level 19 to be pretty interesting as well. Have you played it yet? Try starting with pistol and 8 rounds, that's when it gets more fun! I just played it, had quite a bit of amusement. Try to find all the secrets. Smile [Be careful, it's possible to ruin your possibility to find all the secrets by pushing the secrets in the wrong order!] I think it's fun mapping, bits of it are also quite different from my "normal" mapping.

    Brownies was the first well-received This Spear level, I think. I like the columns blocking player at brown weave from seeing grey brick. The end of that level was a bit different too, although there wasn't enough room to make the elevator have the elevator texture.

    It has been a while, and I've forgotten some of my own levels!

    Level 1 is a continuation of the mossy brick, wasteland style mapping from level 2 (with level 2 originally from SHS but heavily modified since). Level 3 is the one with the start where the palyer can look out to an empty room of grey bricks. My favorite part of that is the mossy area, I took a while with the decoration in that room. Level 6 is a mapping experiement, with the false start and especially with the red bricks, trying out a mapping style I've never done before. Map 8 seems a little too symmetrical at the end for me. I do like the extensive nature of level 9. I decided to put a locked door that requires key #3 (which isn't ingame) so the player can't open it. Consider it a different type of decoration. For 10 I tried to be as lavish as possible with the decoration. 11 and 12 have a different style than the rest of the levels. 13 seemed well received, even though I didn't particularily like that level compared to all the others. 14 has a fun start and I'm glad I found a way to link the four textures together with the steel center. 15 is one big mapping experiement for the first parts of the level. Long hallways filled with static objects. Ramparts - I tried to make it seem more difficult/sinister with a heavier Nazi presence. 18 - lots of guards! There is a save file incldued with This Spear called 'Eye of the Tiger' where I alerted all of the guards on that level. Smile Thank god for the night texture wall (with night-time textures on both sides) to make the start possible. 20 was pretty crazy, but that's the point.



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:18 pm

    Yes, Level 4 (=Brownies) was the first level I really liked a lot (I'd even go as far as to say loved), although the first three I did enjoy. However, the first had a ton of secrets including a few mandatory ones and also very, very extensive for a start level (not the best first impression), Level 2 was a tuned down SHS level that I felt was much better than the original SHS version but many do not appreciate map reuses of any form, and while I felt Level 3 was solid, it was unremarkable (though Grey Area is a cool name Smile ). I really liked the brown textures, length, and difficulty of Brownies (Floor 4); in fact, it is probably a top five map in the set of mine. It was very big and extensive, but done so in a better way than Floor 1 IMO and also more appropriate since the player is into the mapset some now. (Note that I'm leaving Floor 2 out of consideration because as I mentioned, a reused level can turn some people off right away, despite it not bothering me.)

    I do remember the completely symmetrical levels were a low point for me, mainly the non-boss/Rampart ones (which fortunately reduces to just Level 8 but yes, that was one of the weaker levels). I'm glad that otherwise no levels except the boss ones and Ramparts (which has to be and I enjoyed it) were completely symmetric and you even strayed from the boss level symmetry on Levels 16/18. I know ack has made some completely symmetric levels that didn't bother me as well, but Level 8 didn't feel quite right. And I clearly remember Levels 11 and 12 and how I felt they were different and overall somewhat inferior to the rest.

    Level 16 reminded me of one of ack's levels, as you mentioned, and in a good way, but I can't remember what level it was. I think it was an Archives one, as I seem to remember is was for Spear of Destiny as well.

    I don't remember the secret levels that much aside from that both were very difficult, even harder than most normal levels, and I liked them both. But overall I know I loved Levels 4 and 16 and I at least quite liked all but: 1 (you should not go total full scale on a starting level), marginally 5, 8, marginally 10, 11,and 12 (note I let Level 2 get by as I personally didn't mind the reused level). I put in an excellent vote myself because all in all, I think it's at least close to that as a whole, and I found the improvement from SHS to be very, very strong. If I recall I had played virtually all of This Spear before the final version was even released, and I never even played half of SHS. That's a big jump, no doubt about it. Smile


    Last edited by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:24 pm; edited 2 times in total

    Dark_wizzie
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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:22 pm

    20 Was pretty difficult if you start with default ammo. 19 has you running from your starting position though. Don't want to alert too many guards at the start, but you need to pick up some ammo! I dunno, I really like the decoration of 19. Smile It's the level with the most secrets required to explore the full map. (Although none are required to finish it.) Little Aardwolf easter-egg in steel casing on that map.



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:24 pm

    As a side comment on one other level, that came to mind as you were typing up your most recent post, Floor 14 always felt like what E6L10 (of the original Wolfenstein 3D) might have been if it was designed to be more of a normal level, rather than a secret one, but with the same quadrant-based layout.

    Oh and unless it is designed to be practically impossible to do so, I try starting all levels I play from scratch (pistol and 8 bullets, hence default ammo).

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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:29 pm

    @WolfForever wrote:As a side comment on one other level, that came to mind as you were typing up your most recent post, Floor 14 always felt like what E6L10 (of the original Wolfenstein 3D) might have been if it was designed to be more of a normal level, rather than a secret one, but with the same quadrant-based layout.

    Oh and unless it is designed to be practically impossible to do so, I try starting all levels I play from scratch (pistol and 8 bullets, hence default ammo).
    Of course it's possible. I designed SHS to be possible with pistol and 8 rounds. Wink



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:38 pm

    @Dark_wizzie wrote:
    Of course it's possible. I designed SHS to be possible with pistol and 8 rounds. Wink

    It's not about starting from a pistol or not; it's just that every level is super-extensive (often to the point of too much so) and there are far too many bosses on normal levels that interrupt the flow. Plus far too many mutants that are in the most unpredictable places possible and killed me time and time again, leading to frustration.

    This Spear, one the other hand, had extensive levels indeed, but they feel more controllably so, and there is little or no boss/mutant abuse.

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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:43 pm

    May I ask, did you indeed get some of your inspiration for Level 14 from the original Wolfenstein 3D E6L10 layout?

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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:44 pm

    @WolfForever wrote:
    @Dark_wizzie wrote:
    Of course it's possible. I designed SHS to be possible with pistol and 8 rounds. Wink

    It's not about starting from a pistol or not; it's just that every level is super-extensive (often to the point of too much so) and there are far too many bosses on normal levels that interrupt the flow. Plus far too many mutants that are in the most unpredictable places possible and killed me time and time again, leading to frustration.

    This Spear, one the other hand, had extensive levels indeed, but they feel more controllably so, and there is little or no boss/mutant abuse.
    I know, lol.

    Anyways, how did you deal with the area with gold key on level 4? The design was to try to take cover on the way (with extra life secret), go to next hiding spot with a guard in it, get the ammo there, then charge forward to the medkit right before the entrance to the key. It's hard though, because of the vines and the guards shooting at you, and the confusing layout. Very Happy



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:44 pm

    @WolfForever wrote:May I ask, did you indeed get some of your inspiration for Level 14 from the original Wolfenstein 3D E6L10 layout?
    That level may have flashed through my mind, but I didn't take anything from that level except from the format of 4 corners.



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:02 pm

    It's the format of four corners (or rather, quarters) that I am talking about, as to if you took that idea from E6L10.

    And Floor 4 with the key, I recall it as a good example of a fight that is very challenging but not unfair or cheap.

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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by Dark_wizzie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:08 pm

    I didn't conciously pick that layout thinking of E6L10, but it may have been a subconcious decision. After the start I made, I figured 4 corners would fit.



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    Re: This Spear, by Dark_wizzie

    Post by WolfForever on Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:01 pm

    I just looked into ack's Spear of Destiny levels and noticed just a couple things I feel are worth mentioning:

    -Level 16 looks to draw its inspiration from the same level in Archives Volume II (I was pretty sure it was an Archives level but forget which one).

    -ack has made two very extensive Ramparts levels like the one here is. They are Level 17 of both Archives II and Gex's Spear Levels Set (this is actually a multi-authored set, of which ack did only Levels 5 and 17). Of the two, the one in Gex's level pack looks most reminiscent of your Ramparts level here (in Archives II it is less symmetrical).

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