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  • File name: dm4ish.wad
  • Author: Aardappel
  • Map Size: Small
  • Map Summary: Remake of Quake map DM4 for Doom2 DM. My first Doom2 map and I wanted to do something very vertical, and I had already done a DM4 remake once so this seemed like a nice first challenge. (Excerpted from dm4ish.txt)

  • With the advent of all the new source ports, a lot more features have been brought to the plate of doomers everywhere, making the original Doom seem distant and archaic. Ports such as Legacy and Zdoom sought to change the dominant paradigm by adding features that would innovate Doom's gameplay, namely mlook and jumping. These and a host of other perks have thus encouraged many conversions of maps from Doom's younger cousin, the Quake engine. The author has created a map that follows this mold, which is his rendition of the original Quake's DM4 map into Doom format.

    If you're not familiar with the original DM4, it was a deathmatch map included for play with the original Quake. The layout was very vertical, and took full advantage of what Quake's 3d engine could really do. Since "true" 3d was an innovation back in '96, the map left a great impression on the minds of many gamers through its multi-tiered structure and strange angles of attack.

    Aardappel's conversion seems to fit its name perfectly. The map isn't an near-exact conversion of the original, at least not to the extent that Mike Tawney's awesome Q2DM1 conversion is. Instead, it seeks to capture the spirit of the original through its connectivity, which the author took pains to preserve.

    What strikes me most about this map is that the detail is actually pretty good, considering that this is the author's first attempt at Doom editing. He opted to use rounded corners in rooms and hallways, which is a departure from the original map's square edges. It must have been also difficult to visualize the map in a flatter context, but admirably the level retains the general look of the original. Many of the room-over-room situations have been removed, which is both good and bad. While this makes the map playable through just about any source port, it means that the map lost in the process most of the charm the original had. The vertical aspect of DM4 is what made the map unique, and the removal of that aspect in this map threatens to turn it into just "another level."

    A view of the main courtyard.  Look familiar?. A view of the main courtyard. Look familiar?

    If the sector work and design serve to hide the author's "green" status as a Doom level designer, then the texture work and lighting betray them to a certain extent. The level sports a brown and green theme, which gives it a spartan but sensible look. There isn't much in the way of shading, but is forgivable given the learning curve involved in dealing with complicated sector work. There isn't any texture alignment to speak of either, but most people won't even notice. Then again, experienced level designers will also notice some subtle design tricks at work here. Whenever a hallway connected to another through a set of stairs, a neutral, intervening texture was placed on the wall segments that bordered the stairs. This prevents messy-looking walls that result when certain textures are used, and also means that the author won't have to screw around with y-axis alignments. A very good sign, again considering that this is the author's first Doom map. Unfortunately, texture choices for a few floors and ceilings are a little strange. There is a set of stairs in the main area that have wood siding, but marble surfaces - ouch!

    Power-ups are plentiful in this level. Power-ups are plentiful in this level.

    I still can't decide whether or not I like the choice of weapon placement in this level. Most of the placement is patterned after the original's, so there isn't much to complain about when taking this into account. What really bugs me though is the way the BFG and the plasma gun are placed. The BFG sits on a separate ledge, and requires a jump to reach safely. This within itself isn't bad; it forces the player to go out of his way to get it, and also exposes him to some pretty deadly angles of attack. Right next to the BFG however is an invulnerability. Grabbing it also requires a jump, but it's a trivial thing to do compared to the benefits that the power-up will confer. It's only a one time thing, but in my opinion these two items shouldn't be so close together. Of course, the solution is as simple as turning off jumping, but some players may not like this at all. Compounding things is the placement of the plasma gun, which not only sits out in the open but is accompanied by a neighboring soulsphere. This isn't so much of a problem if the map is played using old deathmatch rules, but when new deathmatch is used - can you say "camp-o-rama"?

    A dark corner of the map hides both good things and bad. A dark corner of the map hides both good things and bad.

    Don't let these faults disparage you from playing this map. The game flow is fast, and leads to some excellent fighting action. As I mentioned previously, the author did a very good job of preserving the spirit of the level through its connectivity, and the results pay off. I had played a game in this map with two other people, who tried repeatedly to grab the BFG off the ledge. What happened was that the match turned into a hilarious game of tag; anyone who dared to take the BFG for themselves would suddenly find themselves getting teamed up on. Needless to say, my buddies pasted me on the wall several times in a row trying to pull this stunt. =)

    To wrap things up, DM4-ish a decent deathmatch level that promises a fair share of thrills for everyone. Using an already tried and tested design as its base, there's no way you can go wrong with this map if you're in the mood for some intense fragging.

    Review by Razorback

    The Doom DM Resource Recommends:
  • 2-3 Players
  • Old Deathmatch rules
  • Play over Doomserv
  • Play against ZCajun Bot
  • Get DM4-ish from Aardappel's Page.

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