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schwerpunk
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Posts: 2056
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samiam said:
My frustration with FreeDoom is that this project has languished without any real progress ever since I started playing it nearly a decade ago. Bottom line: Mappers just aren't interested in making maps for this project "for fun and for free".

I think one big reason mappers aren't interested in this game is because a lot of sprites are missing, and many of the sprites that are there are unattractive "place holder" sprites. I also think the Open source copyright restrictions are not appealing to gamers--many amateur content developers just do not want to worry about the copyright consequences of "borrowing" someone else's work to finish up the project, nor do they want to allow commercial use of their work.

. . .

If anyone knows of a way to break this stalemate, I am all ears.


I haven't been a contributing member of these forums for very long at all, but I know if I saw a "Freedoom Community MegaWAD Project" thread pop up, I'd be at least interested in giving it a whack. It's not even like you'd have to use any of the resulting maps in the official Freedoom.wad, but it would sort of freshen up things, and get people talking about Freedoom - people that might usually sit off at the sidelines, or lurk, like myself. Maybe you'd get one map, and two good ideas out of the whole project. I'd say that'd make it worth it.

I mean, look at all the Doom 2 megaWADs that get started just for the Hell of it. Most of the time, people don't expect anything more than to have fellow mappers playtest their creations, get some new feedback, and learn a lesson or two.

Example: even my horribly managed (I accept full responsibility) Monochrome Mapping Project spawned some really cool art: Custom splash screens, music, replacement textures made from the ground up. And I don't know the first thing about managing creatives - people just worked on this stuff of their own volition!

Of course, I'd recommend at least some creative direction, just to keep people from wasting their time completely. But from reading these forums over the years, it seems like you're not lacking for great ideas. Just need someone to sum it all up in a sentence or two, and let the creatives get to work on it.

Last edited by schwerpunk on 10-22-13 at 05:27

Old Post 10-20-13 17:38 #
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fraggle
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It needs creative direction in the form of a top-down plan of "we are doing X". That means (probably) a story or other purpose, and a creative director with a vision of what the end product ought to look like, and the ability to motivate others towards that goal.

I agree with samiam's concerns but I don't agree with his analysis of the source of Freedoom's problems. I don't think the problem is "open source economics" or that mappers don't want to work "for fun and for free". There are plenty of counterexamples - even after 20 years new megaWADs come out on a fairly regular basis. All of these are developed "for fun and for free" and it's rare that money has been charged for any of these WADs. Mappers certainly have a preference for choosing the "Authors may NOT use this level..." copyright term but I don't think that's what holds Freedoom back.

Freedoom's problem is a lack of creative direction: it's built from the bottom up as a fairly random collection of levels with no overall direction, purpose or story that they conform to. Back in the early days when I was running the project this kind of approach worked fairly well: we drew up lists of textures, sounds and so on that were needed, and people contributed them until we had complete sets. It took only a couple of months for Freedoom to have a complete set of textures and there was a real energy to the project.

The problem is that that approach doesn't work so well for levels. For a complete megaWAD you need some overall direction and management. People contribute to projects like DTWID because it's an interesting concept and there's an overall theme to be part of. If you look at The Doom Wiki's list of megaWADs the overriding theme is that pretty much all of them have an overall theme of some type or other. What is the overall theme for Freedoom? There is none. Lack of artistic direction means that, (as a single, simple example) there is no attempt to match appropriate music to levels. On a larger scale it means that there is no consistent progression of difficulty (seen in this thread). In summary I can perfectly understand why Freedoom doesn't attract mappers: the levels for Freedoom are pieces without an overall puzzle to fit into.

I'm partly to blame for this state of affairs because when I ran the project I focussed on the technical aspects of building the WAD rather than the artistic ones. I'm a programmer and that seemed to me like the best approach: divide and conquer. But that approach isn't the best one for building a megaWAD. The problem is that Freedoom now has that association ingrained that I expect it would now be very difficult to attract the kind of artistic talent that could change it. Probably the best approach would be for someone to straight-up fork the project, keep the useful bits (like textures and sprites) and start building a completely new set of levels. Alternatively, find a healthy megaWAD project and convince its contributors to donate the levels to Freedoom.

Old Post 10-20-13 18:32 #
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schwerpunk
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That's a very good point. Personally, just from playing the Freedoom levels, I always got more of a 'sci-fi' than 'horror' feel from the whole thing. But I guess that's obvious to everyone, given the visual theme.

I'm just a vapid newbie, but it sounds to me like you guys need to have the "What is Freedoom?" discussion again. Looking at the official about page, it reads more like the design document for a new spreadsheet software suite, than a kick-ass, community-made FPS with giant worms, and guns, and circular saws, and fancy special effects (at least to us Doomers)!

As for theme, I think this proposed story is the best. Everyone hates big pharma, and everyone wants to be The Guy (that socks it to 'em). Every level should reflect this amoral, Umbrella-esque design of cruelty for cash. Just throw in a puppet villain whose name is an anagram for placebo, or something, and there's yer episode 1.

EDIT regarding a fork: is there any motivation for a new direction, and who would spearhead it? Would need a new design doc, for sure... a sort of Freedoom bible, hehe.

Anyway, vapid newbie out.

Last edited by schwerpunk on 10-22-13 at 05:32

Old Post 10-20-13 18:56 #
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wesleyjohnson
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FreeDoom is still too hard, one reason being that some contributors still see it as needing to be a challenge to advanced players. My vision believes in the claim that FreeDoom ought to be a replacement for the Id maps, which to me requires that they be reasonable to play.
Some of the Id maps exceeded reasonable difficulties and that mistake should not be repeated.

Being that FreeDoom is of this age and not in the 1990's, it should not be clinging to the quality metrics that Id used. Those were pretty low, anything goes, and represent a lack of any quality competition they had. FreeDoom should strive to be the best that can be done with this technology (Boom). We should not be constantly fighting over using vanilla design tricks, engine exploits, and the goofy stuff that Id would often throw in for a laugh.

I am trying to design toward Boom metrics, which means more realistic water and other effects. I do not see any place for unrealistic stuff
for several reasons, even if Id did it in their level maps. One of which is that it has been 15 years since that stuff was done and players expect better stuff now. Another reason is that the designs should be compatible with what Boom brings, not conflict with it.
You would think this would in itself would be inadequate and weak, but this suggestion alone will be fought tooth and nail.

In spite of several comments and arguments in these forums, we cannot get mappers to modify their level maps hardly at all. Comments upon Map31, Map05, and other difficult maps have no effect. I have no interest in any Flame war on this comment. The point is what is the use of commenting if the mapper simply won't budge, not even to get greater acceptance and wider playability. Having narrow target player ranges seems to be accepted by many, and many maps narrowly target different player groups, which seems to guarantee dissatisfaction.

Old Post 10-22-13 05:28 #
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Clonehunter
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Wasn't the point of FreeDoom to give a Doom Game out to those who can't buy it for whatever reason so that they can use FreeDoom to access all the mods? Like someone just wanting to scrounge up some noobie Dmers, and they all just use FreeDoom while playing Dwango.

Old Post 10-22-13 15:43 #
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Catoptromancy
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Z0k said:

map15...can be a bit of troubles for new players.


Zing.

So why remove monsters from -skill 4? New players should not pick the hardest skill to begin with.
I really like MAP15, but as of 0.8 release I noticed most of the challenge was gone. I beat it on my second try(did something dumb first time).

Removing challenge from the hardest skill to accommodate players with the least skill does not seem right.

Old Post 01-05-14 23:20 #
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fraggle
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wesleyjohnson said:
FreeDoom is still too hard, one reason being that some contributors still see it as needing to be a challenge to advanced players. My vision believes in the claim that FreeDoom ought to be a replacement for the Id maps, which to me requires that they be reasonable to play.
Some of the Id maps exceeded reasonable difficulties and that mistake should not be repeated.

Being that FreeDoom is of this age and not in the 1990's, it should not be clinging to the quality metrics that Id used. Those were pretty low, anything goes, and represent a lack of any quality competition they had. FreeDoom should strive to be the best that can be done with this technology (Boom). We should not be constantly fighting over using vanilla design tricks, engine exploits, and the goofy stuff that Id would often throw in for a laugh.

I am trying to design toward Boom metrics, which means more realistic water and other effects. I do not see any place for unrealistic stuff
for several reasons, even if Id did it in their level maps. One of which is that it has been 15 years since that stuff was done and players expect better stuff now. Another reason is that the designs should be compatible with what Boom brings, not conflict with it.
You would think this would in itself would be inadequate and weak, but this suggestion alone will be fought tooth and nail.

I strongly agree with all of this. There's an (understandable) tendency for Doom level designers to be inward thinking: that is, today's mappers design for today's players. The problem is that most of "today's players" are people who have been playing Doom for 20 years and who want a higher level of challenge than what the original levels provided.

Freedoom ought to be enjoyable for new players - ie. anyone who's never really played Doom and just installed the Freedoom Debian package or downloaded it off the web for the first time. Hence my original purpose in creating this thread. We can provide a higher challenge on -skill 4 (like the original levels) but the default -skill 3 should at least have a smooth slope of gradually increasing difficulty.

Old Post 01-05-14 23:43 #
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Z0k
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Catoptromancy said:

Zing.

So why remove monsters from -skill 4? New players should not pick the hardest skill to begin with.
I really like MAP15, but as of 0.8 release I noticed most of the challenge was gone. I beat it on my second try(did something dumb first time).

Removing challenge from the hardest skill to accommodate players with the least skill does not seem right.



dont worry im just going to give another revision to map15 to make sure that skill 1-3 are plain easy for new players, and return the skill 4 chanllege of the map but more fair (since i though even on skill 4 those revenants camping far away on the red key zone was pretty pretty hard even for skilled players). but i will take note on that and will make sure skill 4 have challenge as before.

because my worry for me its that maybe im making maps too hard so thats why i started to make revisions on my maps. (mostly because when i map i never use flags, but on my last map (e2m5) i started to set stuff with flags and not like before)

Old Post 01-06-14 01:12 #
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