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Obsidian
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This might seem like a generic question, but bear with me. What I want to know is: what to you epitomizes the perfect map? For me, the thing that makes the perfect map is cleverness, whether it's a well-made trap or a cleverly hidden secret. I mostly find this cleverness in Vanilla and Boom maps, given the somewhat small amount of functions available and the workarounds people use to circumvent them. DeHackEd falls under this category for me as well: there's something about utilizing the pool of resources that Doom II offers that I find quite ingenious. So, how about you?

Also I'm aware that these sort of threads might have cropped up before, but please don't post links to them and nothing else: it's kind of irritating and doesn't really add anything useful. Thanks. :-)

Old Post 06-20-13 06:54 #
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DooM_RO
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First and foremost, I am a very visual person, so how a map looks is extremely important for me. However, that doesn't mean overdetail, I like a GOOD balance of detailing and simplicity, the map should not try to be overly "realistic". Some of the things I hate most in maps is sector furniture for example, the map should EMBRACE what Doom is about but improve it.

An example of overdetailing is KDIZD, which although impressed me greatly at the time, doesn't really stand the test of timeIt just feels...old and outdated which is very weird, it seems superfluous in many places but Z1M7 was quite great though and I think it was the best map.

The Refinery is a clear improvement over KDIZD though, it's very crisp and clean, I loved it. It even had bits of Doom 3 in it which was great. That doesn't mean it didn't have problems though, the map was like a very hot babe but also acted like a dumb, frustrating bimbo (because of the gameplay), on the other hand, the flow of the map was very good. E1M7 from HYMN is also extremely good and makes perfect use of the simple architecture of Doom/Heretic and shows how powerful the latter's resources are for making maps.

Of course classics like map 26 and 27 from Scythe 2 are to be mentioned, those were some of the first maps the blew my mind.

Old Post 06-20-13 07:10 #
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CorSair
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Dude, there's no perfect map. :P

It is hard to give "perfect map" stamp, because people are different, and so are opinions.

But here's how I describe perfect:
Perfect map would be something that gives long- or everlasting good impression. It doesn't need to be solely about gameplay, level design or visual, but they are main factors of the perfect map.

Old Post 06-20-13 07:23 #
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purist
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I like being able to read the intentions of the mapper when playing. That sort of 'ah, I see what you were going for here' feeling. This can apply to most aspects in a map and is a indication that the author has taken careful consideration with the level and has made deliberate design decisions rather than haphazardly dropping things in etc.

Examples of this is foreshadowing upcoming events, providing visual clues to secrets, intuitive level flow and well executed setpecies.

Old Post 06-20-13 07:31 #
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GreyGhost
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ObHack!

<runs and hides>

Old Post 06-20-13 08:20 #
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Obsidian
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GreyGhost said:
ObHack!

<runs and hides>



X-D Brilliant.

Seriously though, what's your opinion? I don't see you talking about maps much. :)

Old Post 06-20-13 08:33 #
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Mr. T
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Wolfenstein SS, chaingunners off in the distance, lots of revenants...

Old Post 06-20-13 09:38 #
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Antroid
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I can never think of one single map as perfect. I only value them as parts of a whole, a game, a campaign or whatever. If it does it's job in maintaining the narrative (even if the narrative only consists of the list of places the hero had to get through on his way to the goal), if it isn't sticking out among others in style, then it does it's job. On matters like gameplay balance, visuals, immersion, interestingness and such I would judge the whole 'game' (in doom's case, wad), which for me to care about it has to be a consistent whole as opposed to just a collection of random singular maps glued together haphazardly.

Of course, there have been single maps that were big enough to feel like an entire adventure, the most memorable for me are Lainos' maps (Project 34 sonar, 5till al1 or however you spell that, and doxylamine overdose). In which case the standard judgements apply: no overdetail, a sense of place and atmosphere, gameplay that has breaks and pauses in it, etc etc.

Old Post 06-20-13 10:43 #
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Phml
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Replayability. If I'm having fun playing it today, if I'm having fun replaying it a dozen times, and if I get the itch to replay it again the next year, and five years after that, and still end up having as much fun, it's as close to perfect as it can be for me.

It's hard to point at any specific element, there's a bunch of very different maps that can fit the above definition; but overall, looking at the maps and mapsets I replay most, it tends to have something to do with an adventure feel and/or very tight gameplay balance.

Old Post 06-20-13 10:58 #
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Antroid
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I would also like to add, I never found some things that everyone just frowns upon and mentions exclusively with no small amount of disgust to be inherently bad. Things like orthogonal geometry (especially since Doom pretties it up with the fake contrast), extreme linearity, maps that are just rooms connected by corridors, maps with slow-paced gameplay, crampedness, backtracking and whatnot. Don't know why, but in reasonable doses those things never ever bother me. Maybe it's because of my stance that a game needs to feel natural and the challenges presented to the hero have to be uneven in all respects: unevenly spread, unevenly difficult, unevenly fun even. I'm all about immersion and that helps a lot, unlike all those open interconnected abstract maps with a constant battle going on and nothing distinctive beyond different configurations of enemies or maybe slightly different visual styles of places that everyone seems to love. If a map isn't afraid to have a section without monsters, or some backtracking, or have a slightly more down-to-earth layout that feels more real than the ones whose sole purpose is to cram as many directions for monsters to attack from as possible, it's actually a huge plus for the map in my book. Without those things a mapset can feel like one hours-long rollercoaster and that's just tiresome. With them, however, it feels more like an adventure.

Old Post 06-20-13 11:38 #
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Pavera
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I like maps that are fun to move around in and that are built primarily for speed and fluidity. I generally make maps with big, open spaces with as few doors as possible so that the player never has any sort of environmental 'junk' to get caught on. I also like the visual design of a map to focus upon the shaping of areas and the bone structure of the architecture holding the place together. I don't have a keen sense for detail, so I find that such elegant simplicity is the key to winning me over!

Old Post 06-20-13 13:57 #
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Memfis
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good music good desing good gameplay good txt file

Old Post 06-20-13 14:54 #
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Ribbiks
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Memfis said:
good music


can't stress this one enough. I'd spend some serious time playing even the shittiest map if the midi is groovin :)

Old Post 06-20-13 14:58 #
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StoneFrog
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Plutonia 2, basically. A high level of connectivity - not in the sense that you're in a wide open arena all the time, but that you could run circuits throughout the map and through all sorts of overlapping buildings, height levels and enemy encounters, constantly feeling "exposed" in a sense.

I also prefer simplicity in detailing, with general large-scale architecture and interesting texture usage as the main source of visual interest.

Old Post 06-20-13 15:12 #
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Suitepee
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I haven't spent a sufficient amount of time playing Doom wad's to fully comment here, but....

The perfect map for me currently would be something that impresses both visually and gameplay flow-wise, and also does something I've not seen before from a Doom level in a well-executed manner. And has good music playing in the background, because I've played enough MMP in silence to appreciate Doom levels needing music!

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Old Post 06-20-13 15:35 #
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Jayextee
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Archviles. At least 40 of them.

Old Post 06-20-13 16:05 #
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MFG38
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Not too linear, but nor too "mazy". That's it for me in a nutshell.

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Old Post 06-20-13 17:36 #
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hex11
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Antroid said:
I would also like to add, I never found some things that everyone just frowns upon and mentions exclusively with no small amount of disgust to be inherently bad.



Yeah it makes no sense to me to become a slave to some arbitrary "rules" that limit what you can make. That's okay for specific projects like those various "mapping challenges" or DTWID & Co. because that's the entire point of the project. But when you declare some rules as holy and create a system from which you don't want to deviate, then you become a slave to it and lose the freedom to explore many interesting designs. You lose some level of spontaneity that might have allowed you to make cool stuff. Of course it can also result in ugly or unplayable things too, but if you always stay in some "safe" zone, using "best practices", then you'll never find out, because you'll always be running around in that small subset of reality. I think it's better to not sweat those little details so much. Just don't upload the end result to /idgames if it's completely broken/unplayable. But most maps aren't that way, unless it's done deliberately or if the mapper doesn't know any better because he's a novice.

Old Post 06-20-13 17:40 #
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Antroid
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I think many people may be discouraged from doing this because it often seems that players have some sort of mental checklist where they note those things as soon as they encounter them and then bitch about it, even if the things weren't offensive or detrimental in any way. Or maybe the checklist is just so powerful that a mere presence of something from it is enough to really affect one's enjoyment, even if apart from existing that thing doesn't do anything bad for the map.

Old Post 06-20-13 18:09 #
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Phml
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unlike all those open interconnected abstract maps with a constant battle going on and nothing distinctive beyond different configurations of enemies or maybe slightly different visual styles of places



I think many people may be discouraged from doing this because it often seems that players have some sort of mental checklist where they note those things as soon as they encounter them and then bitch about it


You don't say.

Old Post 06-20-13 18:56 #
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Antroid
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That has nothing to do with it. =/ One thing's a point of taste (which the majority doesn't even share with me anyways), and another's just kneejerk reactions to things people hastily deem as universally, inherently bad. I've never said that that kind of map is bad, I just don't like it.

Old Post 06-20-13 19:11 #
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Jayextee
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Taste is it, really. They differ. I mean, I've recently an aversion to narrow spaces in maps, and use them sparingly. On the other hand, schwerpunk has been testing my maps and is a little weirded-out by 192-wide doors and things. People differ, and some are incredibly vocal with their distastes.

Old Post 06-20-13 19:17 #
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Antroid
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Well I guess it's a thin line between these cases, but I do notice from time to time - in reviews and let's plays and stuff, not even just for doom - that people point out the tiniest instances of these things and essentially make mountains out of molehills. Like, if you can't bear to backtrack for ten seconds, just mention it like that, and don't go "UGH THIS IS BAD DESIGN, BAD DESIGN CHOICES UGH!". :-X (Maybe I just have an issue with people pretending to know what is universally good design and universally bad design, when there's almost never such things)

Old Post 06-20-13 19:23 #
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Phml
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edit: scratch that

Old Post 06-20-13 19:34 #
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Wordy
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The perfect map has a clear identity (starter episode map, slaughter map, stand alone epic) and performs it not just textbook-perfect, but adds something that makes it pop out from all the rest. It could be a new texture that really nails the theme, an architectural style that strikes like nothing else, or some other 'x factor'.

Old Post 06-20-13 21:33 #
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Jayextee
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Well that's every last one of my maps far-from perfect, then.

I think I take some comfort from that.

Old Post 06-20-13 21:42 #
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Clonehunter
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Arch-Viles

Old Post 06-20-13 21:48 #
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Wordy
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Don't despair Jayextee, I'm sure one day you can make ::::the perfect map:::

Old Post 06-20-13 22:27 #
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Jayextee
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Until then, I'll be hand-cutting my cookies.

Old Post 06-20-13 22:37 #
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Avoozl
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Atmosphere and ambience, but of course there's more to it than just that.

Old Post 06-21-13 03:40 #
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