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zodiac
Green Marine


Posts: 43
Registered: 02-12


Question: does anyone out there have a good feel for characteristics that make a Shawn Green map? We've talked about the other designers, and obviously they made much bigger contributions to DOOM/DOOM2, but it's worth considering. From what I see, he has a few defining traits:

* Stuff scattered *everywhere*! This is especially true of monsters, which are almost constant-density. Compared to Petersen, who keeps them in boxes, and Romero/McGee, who both use strategic formations, this is quite a change of pace.

* Round, expansive architecture with lots of high/low rooms. The layout is orderly compared to Petersen/Romero, but not angular or confined like McGee. Almost every major area is divided into a high area that's 128 above the lower floor, give or take.

* Restrained texturing - like McGee, few textures are used, though not to that extreme. The bigger levels, however, make it more obvious.

Does this match your observations? It would be interesting to see a map in his style.


Memfis said:
You might want to add "block monster" flag to linedef 834: http://i.imgur.com/yaRXE.jpg


Thanks for the catch Memfis! What did you think of these last two maps in general (I know what you thought of the Map18 crusher, but that feels very Petersen to me ;)?

Old Post 06-16-12 08:40 #
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Alfonzo
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Yeah, that's a fair rounding up of Green's work. He certainly likes his decorations as a means to detail rooms, and much of his architecture looks as though the owner of the establishment forgot to communicate with the county tax department and had all of his belongings towed away.

By all means have a crack at Greenie if you were considering it, but be mindful that mapping in his style is fighting to stay atop a very skinny peak!

Old Post 06-16-12 10:27 #
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Alfonzo
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Microbump. Hello!

I've been doing a little bit of playtesting and pondering recently, and a delve into some of the maps submitted so far for the e2 segment of the game (map12 - 20) has revealed something of an oversight regarding one of the key aspects of Doom 2 design. I'd like to touch upon this briefly as I think it's vital that mappers are made aware of it before any further attempt at an e2 map is made.

Buildings.

The discussion began on IRC when "sky" was noticed to be dominant in most of the maps for episode 2, and that only a couple of maps submitted so far feature it at all. This lead to talk of sandbox and open plan layouts that feature multiple standalone structures (map13, 15, 16 and 20), and eventually to the realisation that pretty much all of the maps in e2 make use of outdoor environments as a way of distinguishing the scope and feel of maps from Doom 1, and even the majority of Doom 2 e1 (map01 - 11). Here's a map by map analysis:

  • Map12:
    When I played zodiac's recent map for e2, The Slaughterhouse, I was thrown off a little bit as to me it felt more akin to map10 than anything in stock e2. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it did make me wonder what it was we should be looking for in terms of layout and structure for the episode, seeing as map10 is so unique in this regard.

    And then it slapped me in the face...:

    Map12 doesn't need to have an outdoor area at all. Sure it starts outdoors, and there are a couple of bonus structures, but the majority of the level is based inside one big block, and what's outside of it looks pretty poor. So why is it there? By my reckoning, it's because in providing an outdoor space the structure is transformed into a building, hilighting that id -- and not just Sandy -- were now opting for a shift in design and point of view, and wanted to make the players feel more as though they had worked their way onto Earth proper. Players were no longer limited to the corridors and confines of the starport, or the laboratories of the moon bases, and it's mirrored in the use of the sky and the ability to explore across wide open spaces, providing a new dimension to each of the maps that was previously unseen (save for e3m6).

    I wonder what The Slaughterhouse might look and play like if it were given this treatment?

  • Map13, 15, 16, 20:
    These maps are simple to deduce. While map12 is mostly an indoor map with an extra outdoor dimension tacked on to enforce the doom 2 design, these were designed around the idea of having a sandbox style layout where players could enter into different structures in order to seek out objectives. We don't have any of these sorts of maps, yet, and I fell that we really, really should!

  • Map14:
    The presence of sky transforms many structures into buildings, much in the same way as the structure that houses the red key in American's The Underhalls appears more like a building than a geometric cut-out.

  • Map17:
    The Tenements could easily have been set indoors entirely, and for the most part it is. Romero, however, likes to make use of intersections and large hubs as a means to guide the player through the often complicated layouts that he creates. In this particular map, we see that the primary intersection (the soulsphere pillar area) features sky, and so running in any one of the openings from that position feels like entering into a building distinct from the one you've just come out of.

    The second use of sky in the map to the north features a structure that, because of that sky, is made more to look like a building and less like a simple pillar that would have otherwise connected plainly to the ceiling.

  • Map18:
    The Courtyard is a little bit unique when discussing buildings and interiors/exteriors, as rather than having seperate buildings that are placed within a single, overarching outdoor environment, the map's main feature functions as the only outdoor location from which all the different encounters and ideas branch indoors. If we look at Downtown as being a monoconceptual map designed to harbour many different ideas within buildings, then The Courtyard is very much the same thing, except with those different ideas branching off from one single outdoor area. Critically, there still remains within the map that indoor/outdoor means of creating buildings from structures (yellow key door building), and emphasising that change in scope and perception from layouts previous to e2 and Doom 2.

  • Map19:
    It's similar to map12 in that it's a single structure (save for the northwest and exit buildings), but it's also more elaborate than map12. The Factory is a good example of a map that might otherwise have fit elsewhere in the game being transplanted into an outdoor environment to fit the e2 design, but just as maps 13, 15, 16 and 20 are designed to allow the outdoors become the playing field, map19 really capitalizes on the idea of moving from the outdoors into the indoors as way of creating atmosphere, and heightening tension:

    We could have just started in The Citadel, but then so much would be lost. You have to enter into it instead, as you would any building, and this is something that, at least on this sort of scale (map09's circular BFG house; map02's reg key building), is again unique to e2.

I think we've seen some pretty reasonable attempts in maps like The Slaughterhouse, Hidden Lake, and Dammit!, but so far I think only Pavera's Cul-de-sac has succeeded in capturing this critical e2 quality of design. It achieves a fine balance between the interior and the exterior, turning certain structures into buildings, and granting that much needed sense of place that is so unique to Doom 2's city maps. Now, while we don't have to go back to the drawing board on this one, I invite you to consider what it was that id was trying to achieve with e2's distinct environment, and how that is represented in the maps' designs, layouts, and architecture.

Of course, I'm banking on your finding this as enjoyable process as I do, because damn: this sort of meticulous and masochistic obsession with design can only be healthy if you let it!

EDIT: Now with 10% less ramble.

Last edited by Alfonzo on 06-24-12 at 18:32

Old Post 06-24-12 09:44 #
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Marcaek
Senior Member


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If it's any consolation, the MAP19 I started was intended to combine different features of maps like Downtown and Suburbs in a reasonably sized outdoor area. :)

Do you have any specific suggestions on how I could improve my(soon to be renamed) Hidden lake?

Old Post 06-24-12 17:42 #
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Alfonzo
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Marcaek said:
Do you have any specific suggestions on how I could improve my(soon to be renamed) Hidden lake?
I think I arrived at the conclusion a while back that, despite Hidden Lake being more noticably Romero than Sandy, it still came off as being too different from either mapper. Focusing on the small intricacies of what makes a Romero map at this stage however could stiffle the creative process (unless you're able to do what I sure as hell can't -- focus on the little things at the same time as the big!), so I would try and focus on the most definitive aspects of Romero design and maintain the strength of gamepaly that's already there. You've got the walkways down for the most part, but I think too much of the map focuses on wide, interconnecting tunnels and formations when Romero would probably decide on having most of the map orbit around an elaborate, central hub of some sort with delicate offshoots and a clear direction. There's room to pick issue with the texturing, geometry, etc. as well but again, that's just getting in the way at this stage. There's a good map in there, all said and done!

Of course, the other route is to ditch Romero and dedicate yourself to the Sandy cause, but you may have to do some method mapping. You know, go out and buy a few burritos. Maybe a chicken korma. You owe it to yourself.

Old Post 06-24-12 18:31 #
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schwerpunk
Senior Member


Posts: 2052
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st.alfonzo said:
method mapping


Did you coin this, or is this a term already in use? Because it's brilliant.

Additionally, I agree that starting big is usually best, before focusing in, unless one is some sort of savant mapper.

Old Post 06-24-12 22:02 #
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ellmo
Custom Title


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D2TWiD homepage is down and I can't make heads or tails out of it, especially since the original DTWiD homepage was set up the same way and it still works.

I'll be trying to address this issue during the weekend.

Old Post 06-30-12 14:01 #
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Sodaholic
I feel justified yet disgusted with myself at the same time


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My god, guys, is this really who you want involved in your community project?




On a more serious note, I just wanted to say that to me, these maps seem to get the Doom 2 feeling down for Doom 2 more than DTWID managed for Doom 1. Either way, great job on the maps so far!

Last edited by Sodaholic on 06-30-12 at 14:09

Old Post 06-30-12 14:04 #
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zodiac
Green Marine


Posts: 43
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I've had McGee on the brain, so get ready for some techbase fun with Warp Factor!

The level's conceit is that McGee had made a map with teleports as the defining feature rather than a bridge or crusher. The layout should be good for deathmatch, I've been taking notes from Gantlet =).

http://s11.postimage.org/vsip22bsz/Map02d.png

Old Post 07-01-12 07:17 #
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Alfonzo
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Good heavens, this is by far your most accurate effort by my reckoning. In fact, it's just about perfect! The geometry, use of textures, layout, progression and optional tangents are quintessentially McGee, yet for all of these boons it is the intelligent use of the teleporter concept that really wins me over. At first I was in mere agreement with having the linked teleporters feature in rooms that the player could immediately observe and walk between with ease, but then I figured out the switch system and my impression was totally bolstered. Well done! This one's a real winner.

A couple observations:
  • I think the central area which the player drops into en route to the exit is a little cramped, and I romanticize with the idea of that being an area that the player either has to teleport to (in line with the map concept) or access via a simple doorway from the north.
  • The monster placement makes the map a little too tricky, perhaps, although I acknowledge the abundance of sergeants in McGee's earlier numbers. Getting rid of some small number of the opposition and providing a couple medikits in response might balance things out well enough for map02 allotment.
  • The Catacombs-esque secret teleporter in the southeast is another one of those little details that shows just how knowing you are of those itsy American motifs. Awesome.
  • Little windows showing key objectives. Key objectives like keys! Again, very observant.
  • The use of certain textures like tekwall in place of conventional support textures is also quite good, I think, but there could be room to revise their implementation a little bit. I'll have to come back to that one.
  • Be careful with those inset computer terminals. I can think of The Underhall's SSG room off the top of my head (I think that's one, at least), but he really didn't do that many. It's a bit of a giveaway that it's not an id creation in this era of Doom mapping, where illogical computer panels are rife!

Overall this is one of the best McGee maps submitted so far, and I'd be damned if it's bested by many before closing time. Some small things like alignment, the relation between geometry and texture usage, and monster distribution/placement could do with some refining, maybe, but I love it. Lots 'an lots.

Last edited by Alfonzo on 07-01-12 at 08:38

Old Post 07-01-12 08:33 #
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Xaser
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I like it too. :P

Only troubles I've found (which I suppose is not too bad since I'm usually full of nitpicks) is that the border around the window across from the start area seems a bit excessive and stylistically off, and the SSG is kinda thrown in there randomly and doesn't really suit the map, IMO. I'd wait and let another map give it a proper introduction, personally.

Otherwise, that's about it. Good stuff!

Old Post 07-01-12 20:03 #
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esselfortium
A Major Doomworld Concern


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I'm not convinced yet, to be honest. Warp Factor seems way overly cramped for my liking, and the ever-present darkness can easily lead to a lot of time spent with tedious sniping about if, especially you don't already know where stuff is.

As far as a map02 slot goes, I'd consider the concept a bit too elaborate and confusing for it to be my first choice.

I'd also agree with Alfonzo about the computer terminals, and add that the start scene with a tekbron window opening to reveal hitscanners in a small dark tekgren room is far too directly reminiscent of The Focus for my liking.

Old Post 07-01-12 21:13 #
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Gez
Why don't I have a custom title by now?!


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Dunno how much such a consideration matters, but it can be broken when jumping is allowed by the port (e.g., in Eternity) a lot more than true Id levels; even more than The Gauntlet.

Old Post 07-01-12 21:39 #
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iori
#legacy bastard


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I would say that whether jumping is allowed or not is irrelevant in a vanilla-compatible wad. If a port allows it and the player wants to use it to break the map, that's their [silly] decision.

Old Post 07-01-12 23:25 #
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schwerpunk
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Hear, hear! May as well balance the maps for noclip for all the sense that would make. For this type of wad, anyway.

Old Post 07-01-12 23:52 #
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hex11
Senior Member


Posts: 2237
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zodiac said:

In the meantime, anyone have feedback for Slaughterhouse? I'm still looking for detailed critique since first opinions were split.



You've got a whole bunch of visual glitches after the BK door. Also, it's not obvious enough which sectors are going to hurt you. There doesn't seem to be a method to the radiation signs plastered here and there? Some of them are in or near damaging sectors, but others aren't. That part was confusing...

Anyway, it's a really fun map, with lots of nice surprises. ;-) That big "empty" room near the start didn't bother me, and anyway it didn't seem that empty later on... One thing though: it was slightly annoying to be unable to jump off one of the tall ledges because of some barrels right below (I couldn't see/tell what was blocking me from the top).

Old Post 07-02-12 04:38 #
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purist
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Updated my MAP11 submission Starport Anomaly following advice from esselfortium and zodiac.

Find the new version on the D2TWID Site

I'm looking forward to reading any comments you guys have.

Old Post 07-03-12 21:48 #
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zodiac
Green Marine


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Thank you all for the feedback, it is much appreciated. I realized that many of my maps felt cramped because they didn't give proper space on turns. Id maps usually run straight in the narrow parts.

With that in mind, I've got a new map for you, The Cage! Like the 4th of July, it's all American =). You should have enough room to maneuver this time around, though not too much, this being McGee after all.

The plan now is to finish up a couple more maps, then start revising all of them based on the combined feedback.

http://s12.postimage.org/6on0kx8sd/Map05a.png

Old Post 07-07-12 03:37 #
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Wraith777
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I`m not sure, will it fit to this project, but here is my map: Lift Service

http://s12.postimage.org/wa476wssd/liftserv_BETA1.png

Old Post 07-27-12 00:42 #
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zodiac
Green Marine


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Still alive after a terribly busy month in real life! Even better, I have a new map, The Docks!

What if Shawn Green made an open-plan city map witht a bit of help from Sandy? That's the question I tried to answer here - I hope you enjoy the results!

The Docks
Ma always told me not to hang out near the waterfront back in the day. Well, they may have been tough then. Now they're zombies. Still, it's the only way through, and they've got some heavy support backing them up this time.

http://s12.postimage.org/4udsqi3bh/Map15a.png

Developer's Notes
This map was a balancing act. I wanted to do justice to the original in light of Alfonzo's post, so I tried to echo the structure of indoor branches from a vast outdoors. The general layout and secret placements are the main Petersen elements.

At the same time, I wanted to do a Shawn Green style without using pure Hell textures - there's not a lot to go on since Bloodfalls and E4M3/M8 are all hellish. In the end, I went for a rocky shoreline feel that I thought was plausibly Green. Amazingly, I think the BIGBRIK2 actually works here. I'd really like to hear how you thought I did - open maps aren't intuitive for me.

Finally, I really wanted to show a watery area slowly getting corrupted. Given that we have Water Main (Map04) and Dead Sea (Map24) in the lineup, The Docks let you see a progression of the Waterfront area slowly descending into Hell >:).

Detailed considerations:
* No backpacks and lots of lifts because these were traits of all Shawn's maps.
* Medium is almost as tough as Hard - McGee and Green used roughly 50/75/100% monster concentration for Easy/Medium/Hard, while Petersen and Romero went with 25/66/100.
* I erred on the side of more health here. My intent is for Slaughterhouse to follow, and it's fairly hard. This is an intentional parallel to Courtyard/Citadel, where the former is easy to give a headstart on the latter.
* The map is big, but open enough that I think 8 player deathmatch could be really fun. I designed multiplayer around that idea.

Old Post 08-20-12 00:14 #
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Hellbent
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@Purist: Nice map, but perhaps not ... anomalous enough? There isn't enough sense of ________ (I don't know what the word is). At the end of Circle of Destruction you go into this very dark and super dangerous pit. It is not nice. It is not easy. "the only way out is through" ... In your map, I didn't have that sense of passing through some transformative trial to get to a mysterious switch. I think your final area needs more going on. What if that area rose upwards? I dunno, something more needs to happen there. It's just a little too flat and "oh, that's all there is too it."

I liked the secret areas, especially the really cool one:
Spoiler:
where you get the ultimate reward and the walls come down
.

Item ammo/weapon balance were great.

Texturing/theme were good.

I liked the start because it threw me off so.

I think the map could use more Romero-esque creativity in some of the areas. The shelf where the arachnatrons were firing down from--that area is really stale to me--it's not doing anything--it needs to be redone I think.

Your secret areas are the best parts of the map. Some part of the main path needs more sinister.

The only thing that really gave the level an 'anamolous' feel were the presence of arch-viles. The exit area I suppose fit the word anomaly, but overall the level is to me very normal and ordinary:circular layout surrounded by slime. I recorded Let's Play of me playing but needed to edit it due to interruptions and am trying to figure out how to get iMovie to create files that are the same size as the originals; not three times as big before I upload to youtube.

EDIT: oh, and there's a buggy sector in the berserk secret I believe and there is a light over the slime that doesn't hurt you when it should (I think near the computer map secret).

Last edited by Hellbent on 08-21-12 at 12:50

Old Post 08-20-12 03:28 #
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Hellbent
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@Wraith: I really like your map. I haven't finished it but what I saw was top shelf. Excellent design. No idea if it's appropriate for dtwid, but as a standalone map it is very groovy. It has excellent sense of place. I felt like I was in some futuristic experimental lab made by aliens because everything was different but consistent in its own, otherworldly design. Masterful work.

Old Post 08-20-12 04:06 #
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Alfonzo
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Well I'll be...! It's great to see that your interest hasn't waned over the course of the project's development so far, Zodiac. Also great to see is that the quality of your maps hasn't flinched either!

I think The Docks is a cool map. When I first saw that it was an attempt to emulate a collaboration I was a little concerned, but then I recalled that Bloodfalls was a Green/Petersen affair. The map performs well in light on the little "buildings critique" I offered a while back, and it satisfies the title in that vague, abstract way that only Petersen knows how -- it has water; there may be a jetty; there are torches...!

As it's a collaboration between the two designers, I have to question where and when it is that the designers stepped in to work on the map, and especially given Memfis's attempt where, to me, it seemed like a disassociated incorporation of styles rather than a process. Granted the shape and architecture of Green's E4 attempts, it's reasonable to conclude that with map25 he at least grappled with most of the bare architecture.
Do you think maybe you could give us a little insight into where you pictured Sandy/Shawn working on the map? I personally find it a little difficult to conceive of one where the visuals look as detailed as they do here, no matter who worked on what... but I can clearly see the Shawn architecture shinning through alongside some Sandier concepts.

Great effort, and an obvious contender, I think!

Old Post 08-20-12 04:09 #
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Xaser
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Docks is boss. :D


Also, gotta say that I love Lift Service even though it's definitely too detailed for it to be considered id-like. Despite such, it stands on its own as a fun-to-explore map that I'd actually rank among my favorites for this year. Meaning it totally deserves a standalone release, because it rocks. :P

Maybe the basic design and gameplay could be adapted into D2TWID, but that'd require remaking just about everything, and at that point I feel like it'd be detracting from the wad as-is. It's great. :P

Props, Wraith. :)

Old Post 08-20-12 05:08 #
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zodiac
Green Marine


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st.alfonzo said:
Do you think maybe you could give us a little insight into where you pictured Sandy/Shawn working on the map? I personally find it a little difficult to conceive of one where the visuals look as detailed as they do here, no matter who worked on what... but I can clearly see the Shawn architecture shinning through alongside some Sandier concepts.


Sure, glad you liked it =)! My take was that Shawn did the main components, then Sandy tied them together and set the pacing.

I really thought hard about how they collaborated on Bloodfalls as part of puzzling out Shawn's style. Warning, it's long ;)

Shawn's designs tended to be "series of cool rooms", blatantly obvious in E4M8 where it's literally 2 separate sub-areas with 2-3 notable rooms each. As such, he also never let up - a room with no monsters is boring, right? I think Sandy's biggest contribution to Bloodfalls was the opening area, which builds tension with its eerie silence and connects the separate rooms. The blue key warp is similar.

Based on this, I tried to make the core of each area a Shawn Green creation and build the Petersen elements around that. The water/slime areas are the prime examples, with lots of the little hidden areas Sandy used to reward players and more abstract architecture.

They also serve as a breather in the pacing. The start can be tough due to the hitscanners, but reach the water and you reach relief. Later on, the jetty and the nearby "jail" with the soulsphere are almost all Sandy.

The final highrise room and its secrets were more of a true collaboration - I started from the seed of 'Shawn had a cool idea, Sandy helped execute and enhance it'. I get the feeling this was the case with the Blood Fountain/Revenant in Map25, and I remember a quote from Sandy saying they'd always play off each other's ideas at id.

Placement followed those geographic lines. The mixed enemy groups and lifts leading to trouble are all Shawn. Imps on platforms near the jetty or cacodemons rising from the depths were little Petersen touches, as was the skullswitch-on-a-pillar secret nearby.

Lastly, I chalk up the SKIN textures to Sandy. The monotexture areas were starting to look boring, and walls of human flesh seemed like just the thing Sandy would do to spice things up. That in turn led to the ending - a fleshy Pandora's box sealing great evil, but one you must open to proceed!

Old Post 08-21-12 06:17 #
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Wraith777
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@Hellbent & Xaser: Glad to see that 7 days of my life aren't wasted after all :).

But now i just don't know what to do with it. Indeed, it's too detailed for d2twid. Some details could be easily removed but without them map would look inconsistent.

On other hand, it meets all of ID`s standards: vanilla, grid 8x8x8, no autoalign, no realism. So still there is a little possibility that it could be released by ID ;). I'll just wait for judge's final word.

Guess i should at last build my own wad, i'm so hard on participating - always do things too different...

Old Post 08-22-12 21:38 #
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Alfonzo
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A D2TWiD homepage news article said:

The 30th of September is approaching, and a release is not at hand. A combination of deflated interest, insubstantiality and lack of marshalling has left us down but not out for the count. Or so to speak. Strictly speaking, the 30th September deadline was plucked from the tree of wishful thinking before the project had even bolted from the gate, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that we failed to meet it.

Many of the maps submitted thus far are rushing headlong for inclusion, and are of a quality above that which many of us expected. However, because of the relatively small number of maps required to pick and choose between, it is becoming increasingly considered that a different approach to map allocation and assignment be made, should an arbitrary quota not be met by a certain date.

In the mean time, everything shall remain as it is. There are a great many projects going on at the moment and many of them with a similar release month in mind. We'll have to re-evaluate our position after most of these expire before any drastic alterations are made.

Best of luck to those still buckling down on maps for this project. I know I still have a couple that need doing!

A minor setback. 'Tis but a scratch! I think that it'll pick up again come the end of the year.

Old Post 09-01-12 06:27 #
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purist
Senior Member


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Interesting. I was only wondering about the release recentley.

Perhaps sumbissions could be structured so existing maps good enough for the final product get labelled 'acceptable' and fit somewhere in the lineup (not necessarily their intended mapslot if there's multiple acceptable maps for one slot and there are gaps that can be filled nearby). Where a mapslot is full you block off further submissions until all gaps are filled.

When all gaps are filled instead of maps being labelled acceptable they get labelled 'definitive' when they are definitely going into the final megawad. All other mapslots become available as a competetive process again until all 32 are definitive.

Old Post 09-01-12 13:31 #
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Glaice
formerly Mr. Chris


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I will be passing on this opportunity due to less enthusiasm and other things (Brutalized IWAD maps project)

Old Post 09-01-12 16:32 #
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Xaser
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purist said:
Perhaps sumbissions could be structured so existing maps good enough for the final product get labelled 'acceptable' and fit somewhere in the lineup (not necessarily their intended mapslot if there's multiple acceptable maps for one slot and there are gaps that can be filled nearby). Where a mapslot is full you block off further submissions until all gaps are filled.

When all gaps are filled instead of maps being labelled acceptable they get labelled 'definitive' when they are definitely going into the final megawad. All other mapslots become available as a competetive process again until all 32 are definitive.


This is more or less what I've been doing with my personal copy of the compiled wad (yeah, I'm doing it again D: ). Maps that are 'maybe's get stuck in with the rest of 'em though their slot tends to get swapped often when something better comes along. Still, even with all the good stuff and plausibly-good stuff (along with two unfinished but promising maps), the numbers still total up to less than 30 maps (not counting the secret levels ATM). Meaning we could still use some more community muscle. ;)

Old Post 09-01-12 19:30 #
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