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40oz
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For the better part of my mapping career I never knew (well.. cared to learn, really) how to use soundblocking lines correctly. In fact, if you were to study all of my maps, you will find that the only non-deafened monsters can be found in teleport ambush closets isolated outside the map.

A few months ago I started reading some Doom editing guides for some quick tips that I probably overlooked and stumbled upon soundblocking and now I'm pretty fluent with it. Now that I know how to use it I've been using it pretty regularly in my mapping, but it's not quite as fun as I thought. Occasionally I'll make a map where I soundblock all the doorways into the other rooms, and sometimes I'll run into a room approaching a monster or two from behind, and it just seems silly that they weren't aware of all the havoc I was wreaking in the other room.

Anyway, my question is less about how to use this newly discovered feature of mine, and more about what the best uses for it are.

So far I've been soundblocking all the entrances/exits of each room and all the windows to keep sound from traveling all over the map. Then I place a few deaf monsters hidden around corners and in little alcoves to add some spice to a room after all the monsters in it were alerted upon entry. Usually monsters end up seeing me before they hear me anyway.

I haven't come up with anything really remarkable yet. Am I wasting my time? Should I just go back to mass producing my deaf demonic race or are there some really clever ways to capitalize on this? From the perspective of a player, is it really obvious when all the monsters are deaf, and does it dampen the gameplay for you when you are aware of it? I mean, monsters are monsters in the end, but are there maps where the gameplay was significantly enhanced because of the usage of soundblocking lines versus deafening everything? Do players even notice?

Old Post 06-12-13 22:12 #
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ComicMischief
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Soundblocking is weird, or so I used to think; in order for it to function correctly it seems that two sound-blocking lines are needed. And so I double-soundblock every join between areas as default.

But I've been thinking about playing with it a little. If I single-soundblock, then monsters in the next room can hear the player, but not the room after that? Possibly.

And then, of course, there are things like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v469/jayextee/D2-M12_zps3cdb2a6a.png

I've not used any sound-blocking lines on this particular map; engaging with even a single imp will awaken every cyberdemon in the level, and there are about six. It's in the player's best interests to keep quiet here. ;)

Old Post 06-12-13 22:20 #
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Gez
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ComicMischief said:
But I've been thinking about playing with it a little. If I single-soundblock, then monsters in the next room can hear the player, but not the room after that? Possibly.

That's the idea.

Doom II's MAP01 is actually a perfect example of this. Instead of rushing around like you're trying to beat the par, just take your time. Saw up the first two zombies, put on the iddtiddt automap, and wait. You'll see a bunch of zombies-and/or-imps come to you, but not those that are further away. Move a bit in the corridor, mowing down the opposition, and look at how those in the next corridor are starting to move, but not those in the little secret closet from the main room. As you make noise in the second corridor, you alert the two imps in the closet.

Old Post 06-12-13 22:52 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Check my maps on FreeDoom, Map09, and Map13.
I have very few deaf monsters, and use sound block in the buildings.

1. Shooting a weapon outside will attract every monster outside. The map is large and the cacodemons are placed at the far limits so they take a bit of time to find you. They circle the buildings trying to get to the player and you never know where you will have your fight, or where they will find one of the few windows that are large enough for them to get in.

2. Every doorway gets 1 sound block line.

3. A narrow passage will have a sound block line at both ends because it tends to not carry sound.

4. Large openings do not get sound block.

5. Clear windows that should not transmit sound get 2 sound block lines.

6. Add sound blocks in wide open areas with many sectors just to try to relieve the engine from some work. Only need to leave one sound connection to the neighbor sectors.

7. Closed doors sometimes seem to do their own sound block, but cannot be trusted. Monsters in a closed room will hear.

8. When you really want monsters to stay put. Put in a step they cannot handle, or a monster-block line. Even a few pillars will hamper them much more than it hampers the player.

9. Monsters are very rarely idle in my maps. They always hear you coming (probably because of that shotgun). Because of doors and other design factors, they take a long time to leak out of the rooms and come after you. Use 36 wide door to slow them down. Use a 64 wide door and even the barons will come out after you.

10. Use narrow tall windows.

Old Post 06-13-13 01:06 #
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Dragonsbrethren
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Like Gez said, soundblocking lines work the way they do so that they add a natural pacing to your map when used properly. I'm sure if you look at some of my stuff there are some awful uses of them, but typically if you're seeing monsters that haven't been alerted, you're using them wrong. I'm not a fan of deaf monster abuse myself; the pacing soundblocking lines makes is much more natural than walking into a room of monsters with eyes in the back of their heads.

Old Post 06-13-13 01:48 #
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schwerpunk
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If you've only got one entrance into a room, then it's not a bad idea to hide some deaf monsters out of view of the windows. It gives the impression that they saw you shooting their buddies through those openings, and decided to wait for you to enter in order to launch a surprise attack. As long as their backs aren't turned, then you should be fine. But I'd say even that's allowable in some cases - should reward the player for flanking!

Deaf monsters are great for ambushes in rooms the player might think are clear, especially after a bunch of able-eared monsters came trickling in to be dispatched. It really depends on how cautiously you want your player to play your map.

Also, say what you will, but there's there's something special about a former sergeant waiting in ambush near a 'really needed' medikit. >:D >:D >:D

Old Post 06-13-13 02:19 #
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Phml
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From the perspective of a player, is it really obvious when all the monsters are deaf, and does it dampen the gameplay for you when you are aware of it?


I feel it actually improves gameplay, if any. Loosely speaking, you see the monster, you haven't opened a door since the last time you fired a shot, the monster reacts; direct visual feedback. As the player has more information available, the variety of ways in which you can challenge his skills increase. As he has a better view of the big picture, you also have more control over the exact level of difficulty you want to achieve.

Comparatively, soundblocking can be great for immersion, but most gameplay situations it creates are likely to rely on surprise and obfuscation. You don't know where the monsters come from exactly, and likely, you don't know where the soundblocking lines are. There's some level of guesswork, and there will always be some level of guesswork unless you crack the map open in an editor.

It's not necessarily bad, but I think it tends to lead to more conservative play and homogeneous situations. As the player you want to save resources for nasty surprises, as the mapper you have to hold back on the amount of pressure you can apply on the doomguy.

Of course this isn't exclusive to soundblocking, you could say similar situations can arise from instant floors, hidden monster teleporters, and so on, and I don't mean to imply using soundblocking lines at all will always result in the above. It's just, looking at the gameplay angle, just like you I've been racking my brain to think of anything truly interesting it could do, and so far I'm coming up empty.

Old Post 06-13-13 09:17 #
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40oz
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When I did my nightmare run of the first few levels of D2TWiD, there was a part in the beginning of MAP03 where there were three zombiemen around a corner that were driving me crazy. They were all deafened so I couldn't get their attention with gunfire, and the only way of crossing their line of sight was to pop around the corner real quick, which made me highly vulnerable to shotgun guys deep in the hallway on the opposite side. The only way to get by without getting shot was to pick them off one by one really fast with a fast reaction time and good accuracy. It was extremely tedious and occasionally I would miss and get shot, or leave myself too exposed, waking up more monsters than I wanted to.

I guess it's an otherwise thoughtless situation when the monsters aren't fast, that particular situation in Nightmare mode was a pain.

I'm thinking monsters being able to hear could be pretty handy in a level designed for Nightmare mode. I could, for example, set a fat army of monsters non deafened off to a non-vital part of the map. The monsters could hear the player as he's approaching and disperse, flooding into the areas the player is going to need to go in. The benefit of killing them would be that they respawn back in the areas they came from, outside of the places that the player needs to be in.

Old Post 06-13-13 15:37 #
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Gez
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By the way, if it needs to be said again, monsters aren't actually deaf. They're lying in ambush. They do hear your gunfire perfectly fine. The difference is that when they're woken up by sound, instead of seeking you out, they stay in place but get a 360 FOV.

Here's something you can do. Edit MAP01 so that the two zombiemen on the steps right at the beginning are "deaf". Go grab the chainsaw, and fire it on the balcony. Look at the automap with iddtiddt, the zombies aren't moving. But come back to your starting point, and you'll see that despite still having their backs turned to you, now they see you, turn around, and start shooting.

Old Post 06-13-13 20:34 #
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ComicMischief
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Gez said:
By the way, if it needs to be said again, monsters aren't actually deaf. They're lying in ambush. They do hear your gunfire perfectly fine. The difference is that when they're woken up by sound, instead of seeking you out, they stay in place but get a 360 FOV.



This is interesting and I can use it. Thanks. :)

(Now going to go over some of my maps and see where deaf-flagged monsters would be better unflagged and vice-versa)

Old Post 06-13-13 20:48 #
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