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doomgargoyle
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Gez said:
TheCastle works at Nerve Software and is probably quite aware of how game companies function.


Nerve Software? Are they still around?

Old Post 04-22-14 16:21 #
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doomgargoyle
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40oz said:


Same here. I'd love to do whatever I can to make it a reality. I know a few names here who would also be extremely beneficial to the production of such a thing.



Great, the team is building itself. :)

Old Post 04-22-14 16:22 #
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TheCastle
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doomgargoyle said:


Great, the team is building itself. :)



haha

Ill do a short write up later today. But ill warn you this isnt the work of a mad scientist here. My idea is extremely simple and merely takes elements from Left For Dead and Team Fortress 2 while bolstering a strong mapping community.

The only things that make the idea truly different is that its core game play is modeled after Doom 2. which isn't very different aside from the fact that nobody is doing anything like that right now and to many people it would feel like some new idea.

I am also not really pushing to actually take on a project like this. Its just something I feel would work.

Old Post 04-22-14 19:31 #
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Macblain
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Why I consider Doom superior to everything mentioned in this thread by orders of magnitude:

- All enemies are simultaneously potential assets. The significance of this can hardly be overstated.

- The Doom level, as a "box of monsters" is a fluid and dynamic system. A good level may, conceptually, have dozens of "encounters" but only a few discrete combat zones within which many encounters can interplay. Compare to Serious Sam or Painkiller, which are functionally a succession of Smash-TV-Style "Screens" or "Rooms".

- A full, classic Doom level has an inherent escalation narrative, from shotgunning troos and posses through rocketing heads and bosses, then at last to a plasma-charged finale. Which is why when playing through the best megawads, you can end the level, watch the score rack up, then dive back in to the next pistol start with a hungry grin. There is no need to "break up the pace" with turret sequences, quick-time events, "puzzles" and "story" and whatever the christ they fill games with nowadays.

- A well-constructed Doom level is knit together by a space ownership narrative. You gradually gain control of the map and acquire more of what would be called "interior lines of movement" in a military context, as well as more potential for "defense in depth".

- A well-balanced Doom level is also knit together by a resource-management narrative. Most other games function at a tactical level, but Doom situates this action within a larger "operational" scenario.

To look at it another way, when you decide to do a certain thing at a certain time in Doom, what goes into that decision? What is the significance of chainsawing a demon or retreating from a revenant? Watching a roomful of people play Call of Duty is just a horrible, meaningless brown noise.

I haven't played many modern FPS games, but it seems they have generally thrown most of this away. The Build games and Sam/Painkiller are lovely and I've played them quite thoroughly, but holding them up to Doom is like holding Shannara up to Tolkien or Andrew Lloyd Weber to J.S. Bach. And Half-Life is a very nice thing, but it is really a different sort of thing altogether.

Much of what are today called "games" are really more like "electronic consumer entertainment products" that have more in common, fundamentally, with "Duck Hunt", "A Fork in the Tale" and "Putt-Putt Joins the Parade", combined with a bizarre electronic form of hoarding.

I might put the Williams Arcade classics in league with Doom. Robotron and Defender are dynamic, chaotic systems of great beauty. However, I'm not sure how I feel about the intense emphasis on muscle memory.

Old Post 04-23-14 02:16 #
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TheCastle
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Another detail Macblaine that stands out about Doom and Quake 1 style single player level design is something that I have observed while working on various different games.

All modern games, even not so modern ones, use spawners to place a set number of enemies while in the game.

There is something to be said about how a level is designed when every monster that is placed is done so by hand. In a doom map if I place 100 enemies I have to build the level in such a way that all 100 enemies are part of the level.

Even though I know logically spawners are a good thing and make it much easier to change combat based on criteria such as dynamic difficulty. It is something that I feel changes how a designer has to make the level and by extension is a big part of why Dooms game play feels different.

Old Post 04-23-14 02:35 #
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Woolie Wool
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Macblain said:
- A full, classic Doom level has an inherent escalation narrative, from shotgunning troos and posses through rocketing heads and bosses, then at last to a plasma-charged finale. Which is why when playing through the best megawads, you can end the level, watch the score rack up, then dive back in to the next pistol start with a hungry grin. There is no need to "break up the pace" with turret sequences, quick-time events, "puzzles" and "story" and whatever the christ they fill games with nowadays.


I think it should be noted that even most megawads are shorter than even the most bare-bones modern single-player games. They go fast and are over fast (within a few hours), or else they start to drag. Pistol starting breaks this up even further, where you're basically playing 30 games lasting 5-30 minutes each instead of one long narrative. I design all my maps to be playable from a pistol start as that's the way I play them when building and testing them, by necessity. However in any multi-map project I always have progression and escalation between maps and the overall experience is designed for a continuous playthrough.

I think it's unwise to completely disregard narrative. If you lose sight of it you end up with something like a community Frankenmegawad where none of the levels really fit together and I at least end up bored out of my skull by map10 or so. One thing I loved about Unreal but I don't feel nearly confident enough to replicate in Doom is how levels foreshadowed the levels that come after them. It gave the feeling of exploring Na Pali as a place rather than fighting through a series of "boxes of monsters".


TheCastle said:
Another detail Macblaine that stands out about Doom and Quake 1 style single player level design is something that I have observed while working on various different games.

All modern games, even not so modern ones, use spawners to place a set number of enemies while in the game.

(snip unrelated paragraph)

Even though I know logically spawners are a good thing and make it much easier to change combat based on criteria such as dynamic difficulty. It is something that I feel changes how a designer has to make the level and by extension is a big part of why Dooms game play feels different.



That seems incredibly limiting in terms of fight design and choreography to use spawners exclusively. I always think of fields of fire and the roles of specific enemies (granted, most modern FPSes don't have "roles" for enemies because all the enemies are alike) when placing enemies in Wolfenstein and Doom levels. Doom actually takes a step back from Wolfenstein in this department--in Wolfenstein, many (in my more recent Wolfenstein levels, most) of the enemies patrol along preset paths, making the encounter just a little bit different every time and making it much harder to find the "right" angle of approach as the guards' patrol routes can be staggered so that one of them will always catch you trying to sneak around.

Last edited by Woolie Wool on 04-23-14 at 02:59

Old Post 04-23-14 02:42 #
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TheCastle
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Woolie Wool said:


That seems incredibly limiting in terms of fight design and choreography to use spawners exclusively. I always think of fields of fire and the roles of specific enemies (granted, most modern FPSes don't have "roles" for enemies because all the enemies are alike) when placing enemies in Wolfenstein and Doom levels. Doom actually takes a step back from Wolfenstein in this department--in Wolfenstein, many (in my more recent Wolfenstein levels, most) of the enemies patrol along preset paths, making the encounter just a little bit different every time and making it much harder to find the "right" angle of approach as the guards' patrol routes can be staggered so that one of them will always catch you trying to sneak around.



I have been looking at Wolfenstein levels myself and have noticed the turning points and (moving) enemies. While Doom 2 definitely did not keep patrolling enemies it made up for it a lot with the use of mobs that were placed deeper into the level that are not deaf or behind block sound. Doom 1 did this more than Doom 2 did. I call it Mob Pachinko! Mob Pachinko works very well, possibly even better than patrolling in a particularly porous level for creating emergent encounters. Doom is really amazing at creating emergent encounters especially in the larger more well designed doom 1 levels.

I disagree that modern games do not have roles like the mobs do in doom 2. Taking your average grunt in COD and handing him a shotgun vs handing him a sniper rifle has a huge effect on how they are best placed within the world.

with that said, spawners that spawn X number of guys vs a single hand placed mob creates a different way of thinking about how the level is designed. Its hard to explain but I find it to make encounters feel very generic in spite of the fact that it does a great number of improvements to every aspect of the design... Its strange but true.

Last edited by TheCastle on 04-23-14 at 03:26

Old Post 04-23-14 03:10 #
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Woolie Wool
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Wolfenstein monsters can also do "mob pachinko" if you exploit the floor code system (i.e. firing a shot in a certain part of the map wakes up guards in another part of the map set to have the same floor code) and can do it to even greater effect as when the guards disperse through the level to look for you, inactive guards in their presence may wake up, causing things to get more and more dangerous. One level of my current Wolfenstein project, level 13, has an outer ring split into four segments by rooms with sealed doors preventing access. As you navigate through the level, explore all four segments and the various rooms and areas in the interior of the level, you will eventually flip a switch that opens all of the sealed rooms, causing 24 Waffen-SS sharpshooters to burst out of the sealed rooms into the outer ring and scatter all the way across the level. Once they're released they can pop up anywhere and kill you near-instantly (their rifles don't have damage dropoff with range) if you don't watch out for them.


ArEyeP's map "Overkill" from the 2011 version of Spear Resurrection, the shit-kicking mother of all mob pachinko battles. With well over 100 guards attacking at once this also qualifies as a sort of Wolfenstein slaughter map. (Although it doesn't play much like a Doom slaughter map because of Wolfenstein enemies being hitscans who can shoot through each other!)

Last edited by Woolie Wool on 04-23-14 at 03:49

Old Post 04-23-14 03:44 #
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40oz
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TheCastle said:
Mob Pachinko!


Thanks for coining that term, I'll have to keep that mind. I've documented a philosiphy on how to make the Nightmare skill on Doom fun and playable by what you describe as Mob Pachinko. Fast monsters is difficult enough to deal with, but monsters respawning from their original locations is another story, especially since most mappers tend to scatter them all over the map, and they end up respawning right in your face, which can be a pretty big nuisance and result in unexpected and unfair deaths.

I've been thinking about the idea of piling up monsters in an optional area of the map, and have them awakened by sound or a distant sight, which would cue them to scatter and navigate through the layout of the map to chase the player (provided it's not too complicated for them.) In theory this should have monsters appear in different locations and in different quantities at different times, and killing them would have them respawn back at their original locations off the main path, giving the player more of a feeling of accomplishment than if he were to kill all the monsters within a short distance of their initial location.

I got a good bit of ideas from playing NRFTL, and it's pretty clear you know your stuff :)

Old Post 04-23-14 04:00 #
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TheCastle
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Haha that looks pretty crazy! It reminds me of the early version of march of the demons for no rest for the living. At the last part of the map I actually unleashed more than 100 pinky demons on the player from every side of the level. Most people who played loved it at first but it then devolved into finding a safe corner and killing one after the other for like 5 minutes. XD

Old Post 04-23-14 04:06 #
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Woolie Wool
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Floor codes are something I miss in Doom mapping, the use of the codes instead of walls, doors, or block sound lines gives you much finer control over how sound propagates through a level.

EDIT: Well at least with ECWolf it does. The vanilla limitation of different floor codes not being allowed to touch without a door in between is annoying.

Last edited by Woolie Wool on 04-23-14 at 04:52

Old Post 04-23-14 04:46 #
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TheCastle
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Woolie Wool said:
Floor codes are something I miss in Doom mapping, the use of the codes instead of walls, doors, or block sound lines gives you much finer control over how sound propagates through a level.

EDIT: Well at least with ECWolf it does. The vanilla limitation of different floor codes not being allowed to touch without a door in between is annoying.



Through the use of sectors I imagine its possible to replicate the effect of floor codes. The only catch is that the floor and ceiling height would have to be the same in two different areas.

I have never tested this though, I wonder if it actually works.

edit: I just made a test map in GZDoom and it does work.

Last edited by TheCastle on 04-23-14 at 05:30

Old Post 04-23-14 05:00 #
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Woolie Wool
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It does. I use it for teleport traps. Wolfenstein enemies are also much better at navigating the level and hunting you. Pinkies in particular seem completely hopeless at pathfinding.

Old Post 04-23-14 05:02 #
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doomgargoyle
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TheCastle, you made No Rest for the Living? 0_o

Old Post 04-23-14 05:29 #
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Woolie Wool
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He made about half of it, with another Nerve employee making the other maps. But what I want to know is how he managed to make such good maps with no prior Doom mapping experience at all. Was there a period of adjustment?

Old Post 04-23-14 05:31 #
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TheCastle
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doomgargoyle said:
TheCastle, you made No Rest for the Living? 0_o


Yeah :)
I was the one who made 4 of the maps and pushed the project forward. Charon was the other mapper who did the later half of the levels too.

This is my portfolio: http://castledoes.carbonmade.com/

Doom is where I first learned to make levels and I had a lot of experience with just about every major engine. There wasn't any real ramp up for NRFTL. The biggest thing I wanted to get from the project was to apply modern design philosophies to old school level design.

Last edited by TheCastle on 04-23-14 at 05:39

Old Post 04-23-14 05:34 #
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Woolie Wool
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If you make any future Doom maps, will you have custom textures since you've done game art before?

Old Post 04-23-14 05:37 #
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TheCastle
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Woolie Wool said:
If you make any future Doom maps, will you have custom textures since you've done game art before?


My youtube channel one of the rules I have is that I will only be making new levels and not making new assets like textures. I want to stay focused on bite sized projects and work on a variety of engines.

My goal with my next Doom 2 map will be to take full advantage of GZDoom powered by Brutal Doom.

Old Post 04-23-14 05:42 #
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Woolie Wool
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TheCastle said:
My goal with my next Doom 2 map will be to take full advantage of GZDoom powered by Brutal Doom.


So Brutal Doom is going to be mandatory instead of just an optional thing. I don't know how I feel about that.

Old Post 04-23-14 05:45 #
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doomgargoyle
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TheCastle said:


Yeah :)
I was the one who made 4 of the maps and pushed the project forward. Charon was the other mapper who did the later half of the levels too.

This is my portfolio: http://castledoes.carbonmade.com/

Doom is where I first learned to make levels and I had a lot of experience with just about every major engine. There wasn't any real ramp up for NRFTL. The biggest thing I wanted to get from the project was to apply modern design philosophies to old school level design.



Impressive, where did you learn to do all that level design? School? Or just on your own? You should make this game idea of yours a reality. :)

Old Post 04-23-14 05:56 #
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TheCastle
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Woolie Wool said:


So Brutal Doom is going to be mandatory instead of just an optional thing. I don't know how I feel about that.



Honestly I am sketchy on even just requiring a source port to begin with. Nobody outside of the doom community is going to be willing to find and download GZDoom and Brutal Doom. By the time they follow the 10 easy steps they will have likely given up.

Its a little ways off before I really dive into the Doom 2 map project. But i want to do something different this time around.

Old Post 04-23-14 05:59 #
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TheCastle
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doomgargoyle said:


Impressive, where did you learn to do all that level design? School? Or just on your own? You should make this game idea of yours a reality. :)



All self taught lots of long nights and lots of caffeine. :)

Old Post 04-23-14 06:01 #
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Woolie Wool
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TheCastle said:


Honestly I am sketchy on even just requiring a source port to begin with. Nobody outside of the doom community is going to be willing to find and download GZDoom and Brutal Doom. By the time they follow the 10 easy steps they will have likely given up.

Its a little ways off before I really dive into the Doom 2 map project. But i want to do something different this time around.



I'd suggest Boom compatible, that's a standard almost everyone will understand and be able to play--Boom, PrBoom(+), MBF, (G)ZDoom, Eternity/SMMU, Legacy (do people still use Legacy?), and Risen3D all play Boom maps. Also if you really want to use GZDoom features you're looking at a much larger commitment due to the greater effort involved in making Hexen or UDMF format maps. I'm using ZDoom for my current episode 1-themed map set, but not Hexen format or ACS (well, in-level ACS; I have some global ACS for the scoring system).

Old Post 04-23-14 06:12 #
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doomgargoyle
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TheCastle said:


All self taught lots of long nights and lots of caffeine. :)



Damn,I tried learning on my own radiant and UnrealED years ago, but couldnt. I think I could learn a lot from you. :)

Old Post 04-23-14 06:16 #
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TheCastle
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doomgargoyle said:


Damn,I tried learning on my own radiant and UnrealED years ago, but couldnt. I think I could learn a lot from you. :)



I set my radiant to a black background to this day because that is what I was used to when I worked with Deu.

On that note, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. Carry on! lol

Old Post 04-23-14 06:22 #
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doomgargoyle
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This is a very informative thread, specially for noobs like me. We need more threads like these. I should begin mapping. :D

Old Post 04-23-14 06:46 #
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Maes
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Playing Doom is like going jogging with a beatiful, fit woman wearing a tight-fitting tracksuit...and trying to keep up with her (you do get a "reward" if you manage not to stay too far behind her ;-)

Playing any other FPS...is like going to Wal-mart with a 500 lbs monster and shopping with a motorized cart, while someone else takes your pic and posts it at peopleofwalmart.com

Old Post 04-23-14 09:27 #
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Gez
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TheCastle said:
Honestly I am sketchy on even just requiring a source port to begin with. Nobody outside of the doom community is going to be willing to find and download GZDoom and Brutal Doom. By the time they follow the 10 easy steps they will have likely given up.

Its a little ways off before I really dive into the Doom 2 map project. But i want to do something different this time around.



I'd really suggest ditching Brutal Doom as a requirement. It has many fanboys, but also many haters and people who simply don't like its gameplay changes, so requiring it will reduce your target audience and invite pointless controversy. Furthermore, the sweeping changes between different iterations of BD as well as the alternate versions made by other people (with clever names like Sperglord Edition or more imaginatively Enhanced Edition) make it rather fragmented, impredictible, and hard to balance for.

On the other hand, GZDoom I don't mind. It's one of the Doom ports I use the most, and I'm interested in seeing what professional level designers would do with something that is both inherently archaic from its underlying architecture and yet modernized as much as possible. I'm keeping an eye on Prime Directive and on JPL's unannounced project for the same reason.

Old Post 04-23-14 11:25 #
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Hey TheCastle, Seeing as you've done professional work in modern FPS level design, I was wondering if there was an official taboo on using the colour coded keys? It seems that after Half Life did it's thing, every developer collectedly decided that they don't do the old colour coded key thing any more.

Old Post 04-23-14 12:56 #
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Marcaek
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Honestly, a BD specific mapset might do away with a lot of the problems it has with levels designed for the standard, vanilla gameplay. On the other hand, Gez is right about the balance changes between versions and a relatively large number of people who won't touch the mod. A well designed, GZDoom based project would be a welcome sight regardless considering they're kinda few and far between in comparison to vanilla wads.

Old Post 04-23-14 17:19 #
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