Mo'Tanky Enemeesh Reviewed

It's been nearly two months since I released Mo'Tanky Enemeesh onto the Zandronum portion of the Doom playing public. I thought now would be a good time to count up the votes. Here are some reviews right here:

you keep coming in here? why the hell!!!!!
~ my secret admirer #1

Lets go to a different server with no monstors
~ my secret admirer #2

Why would I do that? You do realize you're speaking with the hoster of the server who also happens to be the author of the map you're playing in, right? I've stated before that I really don't care who joins in one of my deathmatch WITH monsters servers while I'm busy blasting away at my monsters. Network doom, especially deathmatch, is really a dead scene these days. Currently, the rage is speedrunning every new single-player map that comes out and getting as many people to subscribe to the players' YouTube channels. Nothing wrong with that I guess; it's just not my vision of "fun".

Anyhow, this is about me reviewing my own, latest map. I'm beaming. I don't think I've ever been happier at how one of my creations has turned out. Many elements of Mo'Tanky Enemeesh were deliberate and I'd guessed at what I'd like to see and planned things for achieving the desired effects. But not only did things pan out well in this regard, I also received numerous side effects which compounded my happiness with this work.

To begin with, I had a vision of melding a sky together using my, now ubiquitous with my work, tube sky and some nebula-like clouds. I wasn't able to get exactly what I was working towards with the cloud portion but at a certain point in time, I grew satisfied with what I'd done and felt it was good enough due to how I like the way it looked. Now that I've played multiple times in this environment, I'm further pleased with the fact that the cloud only lights up a portion of the sky leaving the rest to be only the starfield. I find that in this open colosseum the cloud versus unclouded portions act as a compass for the player to get his/her orientation and assess quickly which deathmatch start point they've spawned onto. Obviously, it's easier for me since I authored the map but to anyone who plays it enough, they will learn those spawn points.

Speaking of being a wide open colosseum, I found this lends itself well to my custom Rasmapeater weapon. With oodles of monsters and tons of space this weapon's three shots per pull of the trigger really lays a beatdown on monsters. Horray for the player!

When making this map as well as its Dystopian Playground and Yavin's Clone precursors, I violated a much ballyhooed and espoused principle of deathmatch map making; no hard edges. There are multiple reasons for violating that rule in this case. The first, of course, is that in these maps' construction, I've been using a building method which involves beginning with a single hexagonal shaped sector which I copy and then bolt on to a previously drawn hexagon. I call this practice rapid mapplication development and I'm sure I'm not the first mapper to employ such a method. Another rule of deathmatch mapping is to use wide halls as opposed to narrow ones. Since this map is so open, it's really easy to achieve this target and then those hard edges don't seem to matter as much. An additional benefit planned for in this map using these edges was to provide more edges for successful deployment of player spawned Sour Face monsters using the Master Blaster custom weapon. I knew from those last two mentioned hexagonal based maps that horizontal edges increased the likelihood of successful conversion of Sour Shots to Sour Face monsters. And now apparently I've learned that vertical edges also increase those chances for success.

What I didn't expect from the sawtooth pattern of my walls was the side effect of pigeon holing monsters in reserve for when a player enters their field of vision. True, I'd placed monsters in those positions when authoring the map but I'd made sure that all of them were facing away from the wall. Yet, when I play, monsters who've already been alerted to the players' presence will get stuck on those sawtooth edges facing the wall after the player has exited their field of view and starts mixing up their pursuit direction due to the circularity of the map as a whole. Bonus! Furthermore, since the map is made for playing with monsters, I've found myself often dodging a projectile attack by temporarly ducking into a wedge in the wall. This was something accidentally found by my placement of the pop cans health in such crevices.

The replacement of the chaingun with one which fires projectiles instead of hit-scanning was something I'd done for my Monsta BBQ single-player map. Giving this weapon to the player was really nearly an afterthought as the primary purpose was to nerf one of many players' complaints about chaingunners in general and until reading others' commentary about this monster I hadn't given much thought. Well, for the player, it turns out this is a really fun weapon which gives off all the splendid fireworks of a plasma repeater but with less damage to targets as a result of being a weaker level weapon. As for the chaingunner monster replacement, this is my first map where I'd extended my Borg Shotguy's beam-in sequence to Chuckie the chaingunner. The sound used was lifted from one of my favorite arcade video games of my youth. In that game, one would hear that sound at the beginning of level five but all of the mindless grunts would beam in unison whereas in my version here, the sound repeats every time a new chaingunner monster is alerted to the presence of a player. This give the map a certain alive vibe/feedback to the player which visually and definitely audibly conveys a sense of immediacy is required to deal with a threat to the player even though the player actually has more time than he/she would have when dealing with a stock Doom chaingunner first being alerted of the players' presence!

My latest permutation of Doom's Cacodemon has me recolor it again but this time to purple with an orange eye instead of the familiar red with green eye. Hopefully, it's name of Poisonberry Mental is found to be equally as sinister as its appearance. But the real fun of this one is change in the appearance of its firing sequence. It really issues no additional damage but looks more impressive with a fireball which oscillates between two differently diametered fireball frames as well as spitting out some gravity affected spittle at the same time. That extra drool isn't programmed to harm the player in any way but does wonders for adding more menacing appearance to an already fiendish looking foe. And recently I discovered that this extra drool is a great way for the player to find that he/she has one of these monsters close and directly behind them as there is a small amount of forward motion to this gravity affected energy drool. The player can now literally see over his/her shoulder!

There were no changes to my Cyberdemon-powered Ultimate Zombieman monster since its inception in my Monsta BBQ single-player map. In that map, it was a surprise final boss who numbered only one while being surrounded with Borg Shotguys and Test Pattern Junkie Demons. In this case, I felt one wasn't quite enough so there's two now in this map.

On the other hand, the storytelling of my lavaball pod/Fyredemon had already been told where the player realizes the source of this phenomenon was the single Spider Mastermind derived Perfect Bastermind which alternatively let out these animated spheres or Arachnotron plasma shots. Since the theme of this level was not a fire world but an electrolyte solution of a totally different color scheme, the new Bubblehead boss monster gets a facelift and its sphere shots have been modified to yield two different types of pods each providing a different form of demon upon their destructions. So, I placed six of these giant arachnids in the map.

The less frequent version of pod spit out is that of the Electodemon producing Lightning sphere. I cannot thank DeVloek enough for the raw sprites I recolored to suit this map's theme! When a monster's fire bursts one of these Electropods, there's a bolt of lightning which identifies an area of concern to the player since the resulting Electrodemon's attack is a distance attack which has been completely lifted from Doom's Archvile attack. That's not something beneficial for the player to be leaving to roam around randomly. When I originally created Electrodemon more than two years ago, I wanted it to have this distance attack which would score small amounts of damage to the player due to me nerfing the damage issued as low as possible. What I hadn't counted on is that other part of the Archvile attack where the player is affected by the thrust of actually being moved by the attack. Due to the high ceilings (sky) and large arena type map I've created here, the player can get thrust clear from one side of the circle to the other. As a player myself, I laugh my ass off every time I get tossed like a ragdoll from this effect. I can say that I'm the happiest I've ever been with my Electrodemon monster now.

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