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scifista42
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As we know, Doom mapping is simple. Therefore it attracts a lot of (amateur) level designers. Nothing to wonder. Thanks to the simplicity, a great quality can be crafted out with a relative ease, in low time - if you know how. Level creators are allowed a lot of freedom and possibilities in a low scale. As a result, I believe that the really top quality level design principles out there had been developed around this community. (debatable maybe, but read further to get my point)

As a prove, we have a lot of skilled and experienced Doom mappers, who are able to constantly put out great maps, wads and projects, with outstanding feel of professionality. Even though it's just an old game. (sorry if my speech lacks sense, but read further)

Then, Doom mapping scene also attracts a lot of people who can't achieve such a great quality results (yet). Maybe better said without the "yet". But some are talented, and many of them are enthused and interested. Not all of them have the skills, endurance, time and luck to succeed on this field, though. I mean, with their work, and with improving their work in level design.

AND I've thought: What if Doomworld had some sort of educational programme, where old mapping veterans would directly teach less experienced "students" the principles of good level design?

In the name of improving world's good game design overall!!! :)

Seriously I still think there's something on it. An organized educational system plays a major role in forming and improving standards of people's skills and knowledge. See the history of schools, and the state of education in different countries in the world. So let's say if we (the people here) are after good level design, what about to manage it an effective way? Instead of "self-student" mappers gradually growing in their skill, let's organize some sort of theory lessons, practices, advice centers for particular individuals. Perhaps even a form of apprenticeship! (I'm just throwing ideas.) Led by those who have the skill and experience, and attended by those who want to listen and learn from them.

Maybe I've been too much comparing with a real school system, but... Do you think there would be a realistic way to organize something like this on the internet? Or in some similar/analogous form? Would there even be a good will? And interest?

I've just brought up the idea which crossed my mind. Feel free to discuss, expand on the idea, condemn it, analyze, whatever. With respect and seriousness, please.

Old Post 03-20-14 22:21 #
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Memfis
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pls no, we don't need even more people worshipping and copying that certain group of mappers if you know what I mean

Old Post 03-20-14 22:24 #
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Obsidian
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I wouldn't mind showing people how to map. Vanilla and Boom of course. :P Also this could help steer would-be mappers from making wads with "sub-par" content. I'd recommend using Skype to accomplish this as the newbie can be directly guided easier.

Also, I vote that Tarnsman gets made a tutor by default: the image of him trying to teach an utter newb how to map gives me quite a good giggle.

Old Post 03-20-14 22:34 #
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Eris Falling
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Obsidian said:

Also, I vote that Tarnsman gets made a tutor by default: the image of him trying to teach an utter newb how to map gives me quite a good giggle.



I second this.

Old Post 03-20-14 23:06 #
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Joshy
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Eris Falling said:


I second this.


Me too.

"So, do I move the vertice... here?"

"OHHHH MYYYY GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHDD"

Old Post 03-20-14 23:56 #
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Tango
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maybe something more loose and open-ended (like a thread where any two mappers could just coordinate teaming up and working on a project together) would be good. especially for the reason memfis mentioned

Old Post 03-21-14 01:00 #
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mrthejoshmon
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Good idea actually, if I were to be shown some mapping tips by a Doomworld vet I would probably be able to make actually playable maps non blocky maps with actual detail (But until then I'm still sticking to the 90's style I have been trying to master).

And then the students who pass could then tutor other students?

Old Post 03-21-14 01:46 #
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vdgg
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I honestly enjoyed reading Essel's mapping tips and tricks. That was more of a lecture/university style than a school for me :)

Old Post 03-21-14 02:30 #
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Tarnsman
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Good mapping can't be taught. Because there is not a set rule on what makes a good map and what makes a bad map. There are certain things that must be good in order for a map to be good, like layout, flow, gameplay. But what makes those good can change dramatically from map to map and the overall idea of the map can often supplement one of those areas with a strong concept or gimmick. The only thing that can be taught really involves vanilla mapping that that's just teaching how to do high detail stuff within the limits (which mostly involves abandoning most pwadisms and understanding how seg-splits and visplane-splits work - which the majority of the doom community clearly doesn't) and even then once you understand how to work around those limitations there still are no hard rules. For example let's look at Esselfortium, Mechadon, Xaser and Skillsaw. All four people make good looking maps and all four people use different visual styles and compositions.

Old Post 03-21-14 02:48 #
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Marnetmar
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I say we should have several different schools of mapping and teach them as though they're martial arts.

I call Way of the Intersecting Snake(TM)


Memfis said:
pls no, we don't need even more people worshipping and copying that certain group of mappers if you know what I mean


Please don't go there

Last edited by Marnetmar on 03-21-14 at 02:59

Old Post 03-21-14 02:51 #
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Tarnsman
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No mapping is not a fighting style, it's an art style. Each mapper must find their own zen.

Old Post 03-21-14 02:51 #
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Marnetmar
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You're just mad because your mapping style doesn't spar.

Old Post 03-21-14 02:53 #
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Alfonzo
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A couple of episodes ago on Doom Radio (it may have been off the air) MTrop proposed the idea of a "Meat Grinder" project into which new and veteran level designers could throw their latest creations. The Grinder would basically comprise several members of a decided panel, each with their own differing tastes and styles, who would pick apart the maps and provide ideas on how to improve them before spitting them out at the other side with a collection of verdicts attached. The designer concerned would then collect his tattered map and drag it back to the drawing board. Or to /idgames!

A neat idea, I reckon, and one that could satisfy the attempt to instil a kind of educational process without worrying about any one person's style infringing on the development process of a new designer.

Old Post 03-21-14 02:54 #
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Joshy
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Cool ideas here.

In my opinion, I think particularly for beginner mappers, there has to be a stage where you have to copy, particularly the invariables of the mapping process (doors are generally 128 units wide, textures are best done in increments of 32, 64, or 128 units, either vertically or horizontally, etc). Even the variables (such as style, method of detailing, etc) has to be copied in a way that it acts as a crutch for the following original creations.

A good mapping exercise would involve two phases: imitation and creation. Imitation is to imitate either an aspect or a whole style of the map (i.e., focusing on details, layout flow, or both) based on the tutor's suggestions (vague example: please create a map that flows like this with detailing styles like that). And then for creation, you attempt to deviate from what you've learnt via imitation (please create a medium sized map and attempt to do something you didn't do during imitation). Darkwave0000 learnt to map further by accumulating ideas from my maps initially, particularly for the outdoors design, and then he went on to make epic-er designs.

Old Post 03-21-14 03:43 #
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Tarnsman
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Joshy said:
(doors are generally 128 units wide, textures are best done in increments of 32, 64, or 128 units, either vertically or horizontally, etc)


Both of these are hardly hard rules and easily subverted

Old Post 03-21-14 04:40 #
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Xaser
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Dunno if it's exactly in line with the idea, but I was considering maybe doing some Youtube mapping tutorials about less-talked-about mapping subjects like "how to pamper your automap" or "how to map for vanilla like a boss." The latter one is chosen for irony because I'm the idjit who invariably encounters roughly 8,000,000 seg overflows before fixing things. D:

Then again, I do have like eight zillion projects that may or may not happen at any particular point, so this is just another oddball idea in the pile. :P

Old Post 03-21-14 04:57 #
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Joshy
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Tarnsman said:


Both of these are hardly hard rules and easily subverted


It is objectively true that people do these quite often. What I am saying is the fundamentals should be learnt before one can subvert them (obviously people can do it differently, but consider it a rule of thumb to start with). Again, with texture alignments, people don't like misalignments but there are occasionally misalignments. Surely the 'invariable' of texturing a doom map is to ensure alignment is done?

Last edited by Joshy on 03-21-14 at 06:10

Old Post 03-21-14 05:43 #
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Zed
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We already have the Doom Editing and Source Ports forums for "technical assistance", Wads & Mods for people to submit their maps and get some feedback, tips, etc., and there are already YouTube and text tutorials that teach you most of the basics. Why bother with this? Sorry if this sounds rude, but I don't see the point.

Old Post 03-21-14 05:43 #
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Sodaholic
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I agree, this seems redundant and unnecessary. The best way is to just jump in and do things, and learn as you go. Community feedback is easily enough to help guide good practices to make fun maps.

Old Post 03-21-14 06:24 #
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Phml
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Dunno if it's exactly in line with the idea, but I was considering maybe doing some Youtube mapping tutorials about less-talked-about mapping subjects like "how to pamper your automap" or "how to map for vanilla like a boss."


IMHO this is the best approach. Make great text or video tutorials once, and thousands of people get to use the resource for years.

A more focused approach could be nice. I haven't seen any tutorial walking you through the steps of making a map start to finish, as opposed to just picking one feature and explaining it in a vacuum.

Old Post 03-21-14 11:06 #
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Jimmy
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If this ever does get off the ground, I'd be willing to mentor and advise any newbie mappers in need of it. :)

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Old Post 03-21-14 13:24 #
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scifista42
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Zed said:
We already have the Doom Editing and Source Ports forums for "technical assistance", Wads & Mods for people to submit their maps and get some feedback, tips, etc., and there are already YouTube and text tutorials that teach you most of the basics. Why bother with this? Sorry if this sounds rude, but I don't see the point.
The idea is - as the "system" works now, we're all basically self-students of mapping. Tutorials and technical assistance are tools which we use on our own, and not always in the most effective way. It might have been better to just let someone skilled (=the teacher) to guide you like in a course/school. Either for individuals and for the designer community as a whole.

EDIT:


vdgg said:
I honestly enjoyed reading Essel's mapping tips and tricks. That was more of a lecture/university style than a school for me :)
I was reading the thread some time ago. Although it contained good info and tips, I was personally disappointed, because the tips were related to other topics than I was looking for. In fact, most of the advices seemed quite obvious to me, so that anyone could easily find them out himself. The important question for me - What techniques can I use to effectively create superb stunning-looking architecture? - was something I failed to find out in the thread.

Last edited by scifista42 on 03-21-14 at 15:00

Old Post 03-21-14 14:38 #
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traversd
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I think some of the content in the DTWIDx threads already have this for the IWAD design? - but how about a series of articles deconstructing some of the more universally acclaimed maps (individual maps, not whole packs) to look at what works and why. Both in gameplay and asthetics terms. I suppose, somewhat of a review, but more targeted to the individual parts of the map than reviewing them as a whole.

Old Post 03-21-14 15:03 #
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Tarnsman
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scifista42 said:
The important question for me - What techniques can I use to effectively create superb stunning-looking architecture? - was something I failed to find out in the thread.


This is a prime example of why "teaching doom mapping" just doesn't work. There is no answer to that question beyond "make a bunch of shapes that look good together" as there are a million different ways to do that. Between overall scene composition, layout integration, dynamism, depth, lighting, color contrast, layering, and stylistic choices there is no clear cut "do this and it will look good".

Old Post 03-21-14 16:33 #
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Phml
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Tutorials and technical assistance are tools which we use on our own, and not always in the most effective way. It might have been better to just let someone skilled (=the teacher) to guide you like in a course/school.


Well, I agreed with your idea up until that point. ;) Going along with the school comparison, you can see video tutorials is the course of action real-life universities are steering towards, for good reason (and, of course, books are essentially text tutorials). And have you been in primary schools lately? These days it's all about electronic boards and each kid doing his assignment on his mobile device, while the teacher moves around the classroom to help kids when they need it.

You could argue the latter part is what's missing from tutorials, but there's nothing stopping you from adding a comment page, Q/A type, below the text or video, and have people ask their questions and see other users or even the author answer.

There's no substitute in efficiency for doing something really well only once, and having it replayed to a potentially infinite amount of people, for a potentially infinite amount of time. Each student gets to learn at his own pace, can replay the video if he's lost or dozing off; and the teacher, rather than having to maintain a constant level of competency each and every time he does a particular lecture, can focus on putting much more effort and structure into a single tutorial.

Old Post 03-21-14 18:26 #
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40oz
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I'm a big fan of the idea of an experienced (or retired) mapper taking a new mapper under his wing as some sort of an apprentice and being the new mappers mentor to guide him into making some awesome maps. It's basically a tightly knit mapper/playtester relationship. In my observations here, there are mappers here who can manifest their vision into a beautiful screenshot, and others who can direct layouts and gameplay flow, and between the two, there are those who can articulate the pros and cons in each's style, and I think a trio of sort is a recipe for some of the best short doom episodes we'll ever see.

The trouble is these people being able to identify themselves, find each other, and stay committed to working with strangers.

A lot of the powerviolence bands I listen to do "splits" where one band will compose the first 3-5 songs in a CD, and another band will do the remaining songs. Sometimes the bands' styles are so similar that you can't tell the difference between the two bands, but sometimes there are very different bands who work together to come to a medium between their two styles to make a cohesive record. Often times these are huge successes. Personally I think this community could do well with more partnerships and less community projects.

Old Post 03-21-14 22:14 #
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Springy
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All up for this as long as we're not hit with some fascist 5,000 tuition fee like those Uni students. Seriously though, I like the idea. The suggestion of using Skype would definitely play a valuable part in this and having Tarnsman staging some will likely reduce bull shit, and separate those who want to learn from those who don't.

Old Post 03-21-14 22:27 #
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scifista42
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Tarnsman said:
...there is no clear cut "do this and it will look good".
Not in a form of universal guide, of course. I agree. But that's why I was after the tips and possible techniques. In art lessons you also won't learn a "talent", but you'll learn about using different creative techniques. Eventually it'll be up to you how to use them to make unique masterpieces. So it can be said that attending art lessons can improve your "skill".

Phml said:
...Going along with the school comparison, you can see video tutorials is the course of action real-life universities are steering towards...
...electronic boards...
...adding a comment page, Q/A type, below the text or video...
(and so on in this spirit)
True, but I don't believe these methods will ever completely take over the school system and the importance of qualified lector's / teacher's presence. Either for the purposes of an efficient teaching / learning, or for the student's motivation and interest. Besides, we're talking more about art work rather than exact knowledge. If I was going to learn drawing, I can't imagine myself doing so only through video tutorials. Attending a lesson led by an experienced artist would be invaluably better. Learning things like programming is something different, of course - I've basically learned it on my own and the school lessons I've attended later seemed extremely slow and ineffective to me.

Old Post 04-10-14 23:12 #
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Xegethra
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Phml said:


IMHO this is the best approach. Make great text or video tutorials once, and thousands of people get to use the resource for years.

A more focused approach could be nice. I haven't seen any tutorial walking you through the steps of making a map start to finish, as opposed to just picking one feature and explaining it in a vacuum.



But the vacuum kinda does work, as they learn the technical stuff separately from one another, they can just as easily decide to connect them with other parts of their map as they go along. Teaching someone to make a map from start to finish, might ingrain the idea that this is the only way to do it and then the freedom to explore and try new types of maps might be lost. Then again, it might not be, but as far as I gather the YouTube tutorials are enough already...as even with a "proper education system" new mappers could get just as confused and whatnot with it.

And there are always places to go ask for help if you get stuck, I got stuck on a couple of things on my maps and I didn't have a tutor to help me, I just asked around for help...I even have a question on these forums about something I wanted to do...got some replies and now my room works the way I want it too....no tutor needed. Other problems I eventually overcame on my own if no videos helped me.

However, some people may need a more solid way to learn mapping....so it is a good idea for those people who can't handle a YouTube playlist of 40 videos explaining bits and bobs about different features....

I guess it would work for some but not others...as everything is like that. I just think a system like this may be taking mapping a little too seriously for the sake of custom WADs.

Old Post 04-10-14 23:40 #
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Phml
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I didn't mean to imply this should replace the resources we already have. I'm saying we already have these resources, so going a different route makes sense.

Old Post 04-11-14 01:02 #
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