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Wordy
Green Marine


Posts: 44
Registered: 05-13


I'm posting this thread to state my opinion on a topic that has been grating on me for some time, and hopefully see some discussion on the subject in a way which can benefit how wads are made.

Let me first state I have a great degree of respect for all mappers who choose to put time and effort into keeping the Doom community not just alive, but thriving and in a state of continual evolution. My thanks and cheers for every one of you.

My issue is with what I can see as a trend of 'Vanilla wads'. My definition here isn't about compatibility with Doom2.exe (though it is loosely related), but with the creation of 'standard' Doom levels with the Stock textures of the original game.

It drives me up the wall to see talented mappers invest their time into making maps with limited detail and the textures that, honestly, I'm sick and tired of seeing over and over again. I played a lot of Doom back in 1994 and have revisited Doom 1 and 2 occasionally since. If I want stock Doom textures, I'll play the stock Doom. Texture packs like CC4-tex are available and I seriously implore mappers to utilize it, or any other textures that may be available. This doesn't mean all wads must be full of non-stock textures, even something as relatively simple as Ribbik's wonderful Stardate 20x6's purple theme is enough to give a stand-out presence.

Let's also talk about layout. If I see a level called 'Administration' 'Computer Complex' 'Nukage storage' or something else so mind-numbingly tedious that I've seen over and over again then I will simply skip the level. Can we accept that it is 2013, and with the very rare exceptions, wads should make an effort to be 'modern' and learn from the recent improvements in mapping, layout and detail we all enjoy?

I don't think it is enough anymore to make the first few levels of your wad a techbase with roughly 60 - 80 monsters on UV, with the same textures we've seen since 1994 and the limitions of that same engine. Limit shit like that to novelty wads, or at least lets ensure that, as a community, these releases are rare enough to appreciate and are not just a sign of lazy thinking and abandoning originality for nostalgia.

To give an example of the type of 'modern' mapping I enjoy, let me point to Vanguard. Here is a wad that, though tragically unfinished, is marvelous both in its texture usage and in layout. First levels are a mixture of Scythe's punchy game-play, well used textures and wonderful, connected layouts. Later levels merge well done architecture with new texture themes (orange) and slaughter-ish game-play that modern Doomers have come to enjoy as a challenge when well done. Every part of it feels like the combination of original doom game-play and mapping techniques that should be on offer in 2013.

With all this in mind let it be said that I still want 'vanilla' game-play. I'm talking about Speed of Dooms, Vanguards, Combat Shocks not ZDoom's relative extravagance. Doom's game-play is its strongest point, not its textures and not its limitations. Be creative, give us something different to look at. Let me see more wonderful architecture, modern map designs, better textures. These things are important in making me feel like I'm not just playing 1994 maps with the same tropes: run and gun techbases, long winding 'urban' levels and red-rock hell levels.

Am I talking about any wads in particular? Well I could name wads like Jenesis and Reverie which made me feel like I might as well have just been playing Momento Mori with a few exceptions (Alchemy). This may sound unfair, and perhaps it is, I don't claim to put my opinion above the talents of the mappers who have produced these wads, which have proudly received Cacowards.

Let me see Scythe game-play, AV mystery and challenge, Sunder architecture, Scythe 2 episodic texture themes, Vanguard variation and mapping. Let me see different themes backed by wonderful textures. Let me see Doom's game-play done justice by the years of mapping and game-play experience displayed by all the hard work and effort given by its mappers (including those who I have unfairly disparaged) and not limit ourselves time and time again by vanilla design.

This post is not meant to offend, merely raise discussion and hopefully (and selfishly) provide more wads which I and I hope others enjoy playing. All of it reflects only my opinion and assumes nothing on the part of others. I welcome any and all discussion on the topic.

Old Post 06-19-13 16:53 #
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TimeOfDeath
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During the time you spent writing that, you could have made your own map with everything you wanted.

oh poor you.

I'm naming my post "Administrative Computer Complex Nukage Storage", so I guess you'll just skip it anyway.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:00 #
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BaronOfStuff
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TimeOfDeath said:
During the time you spent writing that, you could have made your own map with everything you wanted.

oh poor you.

I'm naming my post "Administrative Computer Complex Nukage Storage", so I guess you'll just skip it anyway.



Beat me to it.

OP: Quit bitching and get to fucking work.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:10 #
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Wordy
Green Marine


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This isn't about making my own maps (though I wrote this post while mapping so there you go) but about the community and its perspective and opinions on mapping techniques and trends.

If the length of my post indicates anything but respectful interest in these things then that's a mistake on my part, but don't make the mistake of feeling defensive about any of it.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:20 #
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Tarnsman
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Man I'm so tired of fighting these same old monsters, every WAD needs shitty Realm667 monsters shoved in at every corner and I agree we really need to do "modern" layout and detailing in every map, because I love me some hallway crawl and billions of sectors shoved in at every corner. (Remember kids, all you need to do is post a statistics screenshot of your map, because if it has 10000+ linedefs, it can't possibly be bad.) Also I agree, Vanguard is totally unfinished and Skillsaw should go back and just fill the rest up with padding and filler maps so he can get to a full 32.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:24 #
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Memfis
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It is easier to make something typical, unoriginal and boring than something new, beautiful and awesome. Any form of art will always be flooded with tons of bland uninspired works that are essentially the same. People just follow some of the most popular trends and copy from each other. This happens absolutely everywhere. It happened even with breakcore and youtube poop, which were basically about "just do anything you want in music and video editing respectively". In art forms, which very supposed to be very free and full of interesting experimentation, popular trends quickly surfaced and everyone just started to copy them with little to no originality.

tl;dr don't hope that the situation will change even in the slightest

Old Post 06-19-13 17:27 #
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BaronOfStuff
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Wordy said:
This isn't about making my own maps (though I wrote this post while mapping so there you go) but about the community and its perspective and opinions on mapping techniques and trends.

If the length of my post indicates anything but respectful interest in these things then that's a mistake on my part, but don't make the mistake of feeling defensive about any of it.



I'm not getting defensive, I just think it's incredibly arrogant to say what comes across as "stop mapping the way you do, make something that I'd play". Mappers have their own themes and styles that they're comfortable with and within this comfort zone can consistently create well-designed maps of all shapes/sizes that play well. If you're tired of these and want something else, then I suggest that you do something about it yourself.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:30 #
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esselfortium
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Wordy said:
It drives me up the wall to see talented mappers invest their time into making maps with limited detail and the textures that, honestly, I'm sick and tired of seeing over and over again.

I, too, am perpetually befuddled that people would want to invest time into doing things that they enjoy.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:34 #
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Phml
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I like all the wads you mention as great stuff, and lately I don't find myself having any room to complain. The community as a whole seems more appreciative of such wads as ever, and every year seems to bring more and better releases.

Embrace the diversity, play and make what you like and let other people do what they enjoy. Besides, even within a subgenre there's several levels of effort involved and every wad can't be a masterpiece on par with the best stuff.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:37 #
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Antroid
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BaronOfStuff said:


I'm not getting defensive, I just think it's incredibly arrogant to say what comes across as "stop mapping the way you do, make something that I'd play". Mappers have their own themes and styles that they're comfortable with and within this comfort zone can consistently create well-designed maps of all shapes/sizes that play well. If you're tired of these and want something else, then I suggest that you do something about it yourself.



This. Do not assume that everyone (or even the majority) shares your views. People make the wads they do because they want to, because they enjoy the process and the results. We aren't getting paid to do this, so there's no obligation (or point) to churn out uninspired garbage regularly, and most of the content is being made because people like it (even if only the ones who're making it). Sure, people should improve, but not change their styles (unless the style is "bad maps").

I, for one, usually dislike completely new texture sets (although especially if it's all recolored and otherwise modified stock textures) and level of detail that gets too high above vanilla (slightly higher is fine), and I didn't care in the slightest for Vanguard or Stardate 20X6.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:38 #
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Wordy
Green Marine


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Memfis - I agree, and I hope that through some discussion this can be averted in what is otherwise a very creative and healthy modding community.

BaronOfStuff - Don't mistake sharing my own opinion for arrogance. To some extent this is about my own personal preference, I disparage no one for thinking differently to the way I do and I respect all mappers and the effort they put in (as I stated in the OP). If my opinion is something enough other people share then that's enough for me. If not no harm done either - stimulating discussion on the subject is healthy and through it I hope that it helps a community I care about shed some light on what they do and how they do it.

To Antroid - "All of it reflects only my opinion and assumes nothing on the part of others. I welcome any and all discussion on the topic."

Old Post 06-19-13 17:38 #
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Eris Falling
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Wordy said:
'Administration' 'Computer Complex' 'Nukage storage' or something else so mind-numbingly tedious that I've seen over and over again then I will simply skip the level.


What a coincedence. I'm about to start on a project, and the first level is set around Administrative offices on a deep space installation.
Go on then, give me a name.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:39 #
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Wordy
Green Marine


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I'm not here to tell you how to map, only to share my opinion on mapping and generate any discussion around it. I wish your project the best of luck.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:41 #
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Antroid
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Wordy said:
To Antroid - "All of it reflects only my opinion and assumes nothing on the part of others. I welcome any and all discussion on the topic."


Earlier, Wordy said:
Can we accept that it is 2013, and with the very rare exceptions, wads should make an effort to be 'modern' and learn from the recent improvements in mapping, layout and detail we all enjoy?


Honestly, your first post reads not like you want it to but like you're just plain looking down upon people who enjoy vanilla wads with stock textures.


Eris Falling said:


What a coincedence. I'm about to start on a project, and the first level is set around Administrative offices on a deep space installation.
Go on then, give me a name.



Name it after a song and make sure the name has as little to do with the level as possible. People will love it! :D

Old Post 06-19-13 17:43 #
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schwerpunk
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EDIT: Name it Niggy Tardust. Not sure if that word is offensive - never heard outside of that song...

I've been meaning to make use of some of the CC4 tex for a while now, and there are some real nice ones in there. Same goes for Freedom. Although in both of these cases most of the textures are simply reimaginings of the original art assets. I'd make my own, but, you know... talent is required. :P

Wordy, I think where you see stagnating, I see perfecting. Practice makes perfect, you know? Anyway, some new textures are alright, but 90% of the time I'm sure the stock textures would work just fine. Are you sure you aren't just getting bored with Doom mapping in general? I still get a kick out of building a set of inter-connected rooms, but I won't deny that I feel burned out every now and then, and need to take a break from Doom.

It happens. Maybe that's what happening here?

Old Post 06-19-13 17:44 #
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Jayextee
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Your handle there ain't just a clever name.

It is however, incredibly arrogant to think that just because you don't like Vanilla megaWADs, nobody else does. I love that shit. If you don't, there are always going to be alternatives (OTOH Back To Saturn X is a current and high-profile one).

The beauty of this scene is there's (almost) something for everyone. Conversely, there'll always be something you don't like too.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:49 #
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Ribbiks
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peace, love, and rainbows.

this isn't a competition, the trending popularity of various doom-wad subgenres doesn't inhibit the creation of new content in others.

play what you like, map what you like, and try not to get too jealous when the table across the room in the doomworld cafeteria is having fun.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:51 #
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Tarnsman
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Back to Saturn X IS a vanilla megawad.

Old Post 06-19-13 17:52 #
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Tarnsman
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schwerpunk said:
EDIT: Name it Niggy Tardust. Not sure if that word is offensive - never heard outside of that song...


REALLY? You're not sure if NIGGY TARDUST is offensive? My Little Sister Can't Be This Retarded!

Old Post 06-19-13 17:55 #
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Jayextee
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Tarnsman said:
Back to Saturn X IS a vanilla megawad.


It is, aye. But OP seems to be allergic to using the stock textures, and Dr. Jay prescribes this as the tonic. ;)

Old Post 06-19-13 17:58 #
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Egregor
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I tend to agree with you Wordy. I am twice as likely to play a quality WAD if it has custom material. If the WAD doesn't look quality, vanilla or otherwise, I skip.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:08 #
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Jimi
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Maybe Vanilla is popular because it can be played on any Doom engine. And if it's also minimal/no custom content it's a smaller download and more likely to work with some other custom content or gameplay modifications.

And what does level names matter. Even if it's a boring name, it could still be a good level, or a good name, but bad level.

Last edited by Jimi on 06-19-13 at 18:33

Old Post 06-19-13 18:25 #
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schwerpunk
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Tarnsman: Stop making making mountains out of accidently epithets. I'm not even going to call you out for using retarded as a pejorative. Obviously I offended at least one person here, so I stand corrected.

Anyway, I can't think of anything else. Maybe 'Au Privave?' Old jazz standard. Even speaking French, I have no idea what privave means.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:25 #
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myk
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Wordy said:
Doom's game-play is its strongest point, not its textures and not its limitations.
If the gameplay is the strongest point, then using the stock textures or the original limits are not a problem, because one wouldn't dismiss a WAD just because it doesn't involve texture novelties or because it limits to vanilla specs, like some of the rather standard (by your definition) WADs you praised, such as AV and Scythe.

Using the original textures or the original limits are ways to get creative, just like using or drawing new textures, mapping within a 32 unit grid, within a certain time, and so on. Using limits to enjoy or enhance creative processes is predictably common and is a healthy part of design. Proportionately, there are as many shit WADs that attempt to do new or "creative" things as "standard" ones and I think trying to pin the issue on having to do with vanilla or limits is bullshit or in the best of light a matter of taste and nothing you're going to teach anyone much about.


Tarnsman said:
Back to Saturn X IS a vanilla megawad.
Yeah, and unlike the Boom WAD Wordy criticized in his attempt to blame vanilla mapping.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:29 #
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Khorus
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I've made two vanilla Doom megawads (one each for D1 and D2).

I've also made two Strife projects, one of them ZDoom only. Because I don't give a shit if anyone even plays what I make, I just make what I want to play.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:35 #
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Tarnsman
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schwerpunk said:
Tarnsman: Stop making making mountains out of accidently epithets. I'm not even going to call you out for using retarded as a pejorative. Obviously I offended at least one person here, so I stand corrected.


I'm not offended, just amazed that someone had to question whether "Niggy Tardust" might be offensive to some people.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:43 #
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Touchdown
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Haha, reactions to this thread were even more predictable than I thought. :)

I don't play vanilla stuff. I like custom textures, BOOM features and good level of details. I don't mind custom monsters as long as they fit (Unloved).

Old Post 06-19-13 18:46 #
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Tarnsman
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You can have custom textures and good level of detail in Vanilla.

Old Post 06-19-13 18:50 #
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hex11
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If you're bored of the stock textures, make yourself a custom texture PWAD that replaces all of them with others you like. You can even do the same with music, sounds, sprites, etc. Nothing's stopping you from experiencing vanilla maps in an altogether different way.

Old Post 06-19-13 19:13 #
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Feniks
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My take on this is that people just want to make and play Doom maps, not Quake ones or something completely different. Thankfully, a lot of Doomers still enjoy Doom in its rough, "untainted" form. I mean, what's the point of enhancing visuals, adding new effects and so on, if it never measures up to modern shooters in this regard? Of course, it is possible to add more variety to Doom while still keeping it simple and retaining the retro feel, but relatively few mappers have done it well as of yet.

Of course I don't mind custom textures, as the stock ones might get a bit repetitive after some time. But I like when they still look like part of Doom in a broad sense. For example, Plutonia 2 did it perfectly.

Old Post 06-19-13 19:17 #
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