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40oz
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I can't really say because I'm mostly attracted to Doomworld's diversity in maps than a singular concept.

Old Post 06-21-13 05:33 #
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hex11
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Antroid said:
I think many people may be discouraged from doing this...


Well that's the difference between internal and external motivation. One of them leads to a peaceful, fulfilling destination, while the other goes to a hellish dimension of constant stress, self-doubt, and long arguments about /idgames ratings & comments. Choose carefully. ;-)

Old Post 06-21-13 18:24 #
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Antroid
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Well, some stress and self-doubt are fine and needed. It's one thing to have your own creative vision, and it's another thing to just not have an eye for what's good and what's bad. I mean, after my earlier statements here I'm wary of calling something "inherently bad", but I think we can all agree that even after we remember that some things you might find totally against your tastes in Doom maps may be just the thing for someone else, there's things that are just a product of not having experience or not being aware of the general standards and expectations. During my extremely slow work on my own megawad thing, I've had so many eye-opening moments which caused me to go and try to improve the maps in some fashion or other (because I'm sadly not yet willing to just scrap the very old ones completely and redo them). It even happens to this day, but only because I listen to or read some harsh and blunt criticisms of others' maps.

Old Post 06-21-13 18:54 #
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scifista42
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PERFECT map? Doesn't exist of course, but I'll try to explain my opinion on how some maps appears to us "more perfect" than other maps.

Decent visuals are an automatically preassumed basic. Fun gameplay and style consistency are probably what makes a perfect map.

Fun gameplay can mean different things for different people. Some people enjoy getting their ass kicked by gigantic enemy armies and trying again and again until their skill improves, they finally win and feel satisfied. For others is dying too frustrating, so they find enjoyable maps that let them furiously run and blast through and provides only a minimal challenge, but only rarely forces them to stop and hide and feel the need to play carefully. For some of us the "fun" means to keep still being surprised and astonished by something, may it be unexpected monster ambushes or stunning and original visual effects or architecture. Or some people are keen on an atmosphere. The gameplay type we like certainly has major influence on our perception of the map being good.

Style consistency is in my opinion what makes the perfection of the map complete. If several maps had decent visuals and the type of gameplay we like, we'd most like the map which had the style unified. I don't mean monotexturing, I mean balance of visuals, difficulty and detail amount thorough the map, fluent progression, culminating and reaching the climax. Such style that makes our eyes and our heart feel that everything is alright. Makes us feel we can predict what we will find behind the next door, although we can't really know at all! Makes us feel we are already familiar with the map. Yes. A twist may happen, but only as a part of a surprise moment. Otherwise, all progression should be smooth and somehow predictable.

Let me state an example: Kassman's MAP20 from CC4. That map isn't great just because it is detailed. From the beginning, you are encountering an amazing and thoroughly unified visual style, while the difficulty is continuously developing from very easy to harder. At about one half (or two thirds) of the map, not only the difficulty, but also the style appears to start continuously changing into some sort of "virtual abstractness" or something. The gameplay is just my thing - offers me to run and gun through without being much blocked and stopped, but I also feel I shouldn't exaggerate it, or I'll die - and I feel it more and more... This map I would describe as "perfect". With his MAP21 it is very similar, and even better considering that it starts with similar style with which the previous map ends, and continues with the trend of change "into abstractness".

These maps are just superb - lupinx-kassman knows how to make a MAP. I just tried to explain on them what in my opinion makes them so good, and that is what I listed at the beginning of my post.

Old Post 06-21-13 20:34 #
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hex11
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There is only immutable standard: "is the map playable?" If it crashes the intended engine/port, is full of bugs, or is impossible to beat (for the target audience - not necessarily everyone) then it's a bad map.

For the rest, it's better for you to come up with your own style independently of what others think. Take the suggestions that seem reasonable, the ones you agree with (because you experienced the same frustration or wonder while playing someone else's map) but don't buy into the kool-aid mentality that some rules can be applied across the board, regardless of context.

Old Post 06-21-13 21:23 #
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Antroid
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I'm just going to completely disagree with scifista42 on the fluid progression and the illusion of predictability thing. I generally enjoy games more when the gameness of them is less obvious and you think of your experience not in the "I'm playing this map by this author, let me judge it by all the categories I have listed in my head like visuals, layout, balance, etc" way, but rather in the "So my character ended up in this situation, I wonder how his journey to his destination is going to be" way. Basically 'good' by-the-books design can break immersion as much as bad design, and sometimes even worse, like Skyrim's backtracking-preventing extremely convenient dungeon layouts which I never tire of mentioning. So a map[set] feels more natural when it's bumpy and inconsistent in it's gameplay, difficulty and such. I'd take that over a carefully manufactured and designed experience that provides the maximum of (carefully dispensed) action and epicness for the required time any day of the week.

Old Post 06-21-13 22:22 #
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schwerpunk
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Antroid said:
... like Skyrim's backtracking-preventing extremely convenient dungeon layouts ...
Good example of technically 'good' map design that ends up annoying some players in the long run. The first time I 'discovered' one of these corridors I thought it was brilliant and that I was so clever for having discovered it. That quickly went away once I realized it was a sloppy hack to cut down on backtracking. I started being able to instantly recognize these tunnels as soon as I entered a new dungeon. Unfortunately, there was no way in from the entrance. The whole thing ended up feeling very streamlined and game-y. Immersion breaking, in other words.

As a counter point, I don't mind [Doom] maps that are designed for other mappers to appreciate. Maps that proudly display certain technical tricks or twists on old conventions front and centre. Although I can't think of any recent examples off the top of my head. I enjoy these differently, but I do enjoy them.

Old Post 06-22-13 00:00 #
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Springy
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I like big maps and I cannot lie, you other mappers can't deny, oh when a map loads up with the itty bitty lines and a Doom thing in your face you get sprung!

Poor parodies aside, there's no perfect map in all honesty it's a matter of taste. The perfect map for me is something that's unique and stands out from the crowd (Miss Sporty being an example of one of my all time favourites). It depends on my mood I guess, sometimes I prefer playing a ZDoom style map other times, just a vanilla episode.

Old Post 06-22-13 11:59 #
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Komenja
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It just has to be fun and have kickass music.

Old Post 06-22-13 17:55 #
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joe-ilya
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Good texturing & Good item placement
Lots of imps & revenants. (not too much in 1 place)
Non-repetitive.
Lots of heights.
Lots of brightness choices.
Atmosphere.
No mazes.
Metal song.

Old Post 06-22-13 18:03 #
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Antroid
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Ambient and/or creepy music is better :P

Old Post 06-22-13 18:05 #
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Eris Falling
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Antroid said:
Ambient and/or creepy music is better :P


You think so?

Old Post 06-22-13 18:38 #
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joe-ilya
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Eris Falling said:


You think so?



Icarus map19 song , organ song in a church map.

Old Post 06-22-13 18:47 #
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Antroid
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Eris Falling said:


You think so?



Um, I didn't quite call it right. I actually meant stuff like E1M8's or E2M4's or E2M7's music from Doom 1, or maybe MAP05's, MAP18's or MAP20's from Doom 2. I realize they're not "ambiance" in the slightest, but I was thinking one of the two prevalent styles of original Doom music, actiony vs. ambient-y. In fact, "Waltz of the demons" and "Message of (from? to?) the archvile" may be my favorite Doom songs.

But! I dislike generic Painkiller-style super-actiony metal stuff (more actiony and metal than even the actioniest of the original tunes) so much that even the sort of "music" from PSX or N64 dooms is better to me.

Old Post 06-22-13 19:53 #
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Katamori
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Antroid said:

But! I dislike generic Painkiller-style super-actiony metal stuff (more actiony and metal than even the actioniest of the original tunes) so much that even the sort of "music" from PSX or N64 dooms is better to me.



I can agree with it partially. I mean, I can never be bored my heavy metal! But for Doom, it's not always necessary. Although original Doom music contains a lot of riffs from famous heavy metal songs, they are not super heavy. Compare this and this, according to "heaviness".

Not the best example, but I think we can feel the difference.

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Old Post 06-22-13 20:05 #
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Eris Falling
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Antroid said:
Um, I didn't quite call it right. I actually meant stuff like E1M8's or E2M4's or E2M7's music from Doom 1, or maybe MAP05's, MAP18's or MAP20's from Doom 2. I realize they're not "ambiance" in the slightest, but I was thinking one of the two prevalent styles of original Doom music, actiony vs. ambient-y. In fact, "Waltz of the demons" and "Message of (from? to?) the archvile" may be my favorite Doom songs.



Message for the Archvile

I like both PC and PSX soundtracks either way. Both Sign of Evil and Mutation are suitable tracks for E1M8, but D_E2M8 is far superior to PSXMUS03 for E2M8, and conversely, PSXMUS15 is far superior to D_THEDA2. I stand by what I implied the same page as that linked post, The Factory was one of the scariest maps in PSXDOOM, and that makes The Factory so much more brilliant than its PC counterpart.

Consider the two soundtracks in PWADs too. Threshold of Pain is a great set of maps, but I can guarantee you it would be nowhere near as good a mod without the PSX soundtrack - take the last map for example. Steadfast Extermination or something from the PC?

Sometimes I feel KDiZD should have used the PSX equivalent music too. The MIDIs are really out of place in the modernised levels and every time I place KDiZD, I play with music off, because it just doesn't seem right.

I was tempted to use the PSX soundtrack for my GZDoom project (name not officially revealed yet) since I'm going for a dark atmosphere, but I don't want to make it seem like I'm ripping off ToP :/

Old Post 06-22-13 20:09 #
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hex11
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I've often played with no music, and enjoyed it. It depends on the map. I wouldn't want to play Aliens TC with music, but I would rather have it on for School Doom.

Old Post 06-22-13 23:06 #
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Glaice
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-Nice looking. Doesn't need to be Sunder level detail but at least presentable.
-Plenty of monsters. No need for slaughter level amount, but a good amount is nice since I like to kill.
-Nonlinearity. I don't need a map to get lost in but multiple directions to each goal is a plus.
-Custom music. It's better than hearing D_E1M1 or D_RUNNIN for the umpteenth time and providing it's a reasonably length track of at least 4 minutes.
-No major flaws or glitchy gameplay. I don't need to get stuck because of a building flaw.

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Old Post 06-22-13 23:19 #
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Jayextee
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I've thought about this question since this very thread has been up. Long and hard.

Linedefs. I think my perfect map will have linedefs.

Old Post 06-22-13 23:20 #
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Redshirt_4
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Fast paced, minimal backtracking, lots of open area, and looks good.
Hell textures preferred.

Old Post 06-26-13 00:10 #
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joe-ilya
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I like the brick textures.

Old Post 06-26-13 00:17 #
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Tuxlar
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When the map manages to put me in a "I'm not letting this map get the better of me." mood... and then manages to get the better of me without overt dickishness.

Last edited by Tuxlar on 06-29-13 at 06:40

Old Post 06-27-13 10:23 #
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Dutch Doomer
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A good layout, with some non linearity. More than one path to get to a certain area, and being able to have a different fight when going for an alternate route. Let that extra path you take change gameplay, it also wants you to replay the map again. Replay value, a map you will play again after a while just because its fun. Great visuals, having a wow moment in the map on multiple occasions. Be creative, don't follow the mob because some things happen to be popular in level design. Good texture usage and alignment. Symmetry is used carefully, monster placement shouldn't be symmetrical. Loads of height difference, monsters everywhere, gameplay value goes up. Clever secrets, secrets that require some thinking to get to them. Like a BFG or a megasphere shouldn't easy to get to. Good amount of detail, not overdone, detail that makes sense.

Old Post 06-27-13 20:07 #
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Holering
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Whatever's big, adventureous, and keeps you rather busy.

Old Post 06-28-13 07:42 #
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wesleyjohnson
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Immersion is foremost.
Engineered maps (with architecture and machines) offer better immersion than artistic maps (where things look good).
I play to explore the engineered environment as much as I play against the monsters, maybe more.
In a perfect map everything has meaning and the purpose of everything can be deducted. There are no logical mistakes, like cages up on the walls with no way to get to them.

It seems that some players use maps and Doom only as a way to compete with other players. I have little interest in the competitive thing, and prefer COOP and single play. This is reflected in what I consider to be a perfect map, someplace to explore together.

Old Post 06-28-13 21:27 #
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Tarnsman
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Layout, layout, layout and more layout. Layout is the single most important aspect of map design, if your layout sucks, the gameplay will suck and it doesn't matter how good the rest of your map is, it will still be mired by shit layout. Beyond that a map having a good sense of space and area primarily in how everything connects to each other. People talk about interconnectivity in terms of flow but far more importantly it makes a map feel like it has structure when it's more than just hallway connected to box connected to other hallway. It allows you to use juxtaposition and balance scale so that small areas feel purposefully tight instead of annoyingly cramped and large areas feel larger than they actually are.

Note: Straight line linearity is not a bad thing, you just really need to dress it up or make it feel like there is a reason you're going in a literal straight line.

Old Post 06-28-13 21:42 #
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Antroid
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wesleyjohnson said:
Immersion is foremost.
Engineered maps (with architecture and machines) offer better immersion than artistic maps (where things look good).



A man after my own heart. "Good" layout can go burn in hell for all I care if the map is not immersive. And "bad" layout does not inherently detract from immersiveness, especially if it fits the theme. The contents of the map being interesting is more important to me than it's general shape. I always thought that all these concepts like "sense of scale", "sense of place" etc are just meaningless if you're running around something completely abstract. Oh sure, areas are going to feel properly big or properly small, but that's like the least important thing if they don't otherwise feel like anything. And if you need to constantly remind yourself of something big to get a proper feel for how small something else is, or vice versa, you've got serious problems with your spacial perception.

And gameplay can be good in totally flat and cramped layouts too, in fact it's probably the type of gameplay I would prefer: evading enemies in tight spaces, running away from them because you're out of ammo, not being able to dodge too well so the enemies are more menacing... of course, some people get outright enraged when they can't run at full speed the whole map, but screw them. I'd much prefer to play a slow, tight and tense map like that then the generic "run around like a headless chicken and dodge fireballs from every direction effortlessly (and occasionally duck behind cover from chaingunners or archviles, how exciting!)" type of ordeal.

Man, I'm kinda bitter about how Doom is exclusively a "fast-paced action game" these days, I liked it best when it was tense and almost survival horror-like (due to me sucking at the SNES version, primarily), and I'm confident that same feeling can totally be reproduced today even for people who are adequate at the game. It's just the other way to perceive the original games, and no less valid, dammit! Why don't more people make maps with that kind of focus?

Old Post 06-28-13 22:27 #
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esselfortium
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Antroid: What are your thoughts on RTC-3057 Hub 1? I really enjoyed it as a slow-paced survival/exploration thing.

Old Post 06-28-13 23:51 #
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traversd
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- a sense of place (not too realistic, not too "obvious virtual construct")
- intrigue/interesting/unique aspects
- (for me) classic Doom gameplay elements

Old Post 06-29-13 00:18 #
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Antroid
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esselfortium said:
Antroid: What are your thoughts on RTC-3057 Hub 1? I really enjoyed it as a slow-paced survival/exploration thing.


Never played it, downloaded it just now and fixed the pistol thing as advised by the zdoom wiki, gonna give it a twirl tomorrow and report back. It does sound like something I would enjoy too.

Old Post 06-29-13 01:07 #
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