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not_sure

My first map

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So as I mentioned earlier I'm looking to do an episode worth of maps. I started with a map that's comparable to E1M1 Hanger. There are a few secrets and surprises and would love to know how they panned out for someone who's never seen it before.

 

Just a few notes going in:

-This map is intended for a first time players so expect it to be on the easy side.

-I am using the Doom 2 setup.

-I tested it on GZDoom, but none of the features are mandatory (although mouse look will help).

 

That said, the map still needs some polish. Particularly lining up textures and adjusting the light map, but the mechanics are there.

 

Let me know what you think, and please don't spare my feelings. If something is crap let me know so I can work on it.

 

http://www.mediafire.com/file/3z681w0zo0r9co4/map01.wad

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Definitely a few good ideas in here. I'll just give a few quick pointers.

 

  • Lower and/or upper unpegging is great for texture alignment, especially windows
  • Think about "transition textures." Startan2 - brown96 looks odd. Startan2 - shawn2/support3/metal - brown96 looks much better (kinda like what you do with the ashwall toward the end and the tekgreen in a few spots)
  • There aren't actually any secrets. The sector needs the special effect 9.
  • Could use more obvious shells, I think. Both boxes I eventually found were pretty well hidden.
  • Don't be afraid to split lines and sectors just for the sake of visual appearance. For example, flat 2 and 17 are light flats, but if the grid doesn't line up, go ahead and use flat 19 for the excess. 
  • At least one of your bridge pieces still has the damaging floor effect.
  • Think about different ceiling heights, even within a room.

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The first thing you need to know is that despite what you most likely read, what you tested in is significantly less important than what you format you actually designed your map for (this map seems to work in pr/glboom+, -complevel 2).

When you design vanilla or boom maps but don't test them in at the very least pr/glboom+, you're very likely to miss critical errors, as in this map, where you failed to mark several doors with tags, causing the entire map to break upon trying to use most of said doors.

 

This is bad because not everyone uses zdoom ports, and ignoring that fact will alienate players, since zdoom ports are pretty piss poor for unmodded play

You should probably still mention what ports you tested in, but don't lose any sleep over it

If you desire to start making zdoom-only maps (perhaps for your unity thing or whatever, though that may start slightly straying from doomclone territory), I strongly recommend you hold off on such a venture until you have enough experience to do so. Starting now will only hurt you, as it's more complicated, will teach you bad mapping habits, and will of course alienate players, which will cost you playtesters.

Obviously it isn't your fault that you may or may not have known any of this friend. I just needed to spread the prboom+ gospel.

 

anyways, about the map (besides what mr. hak already said):

I really like how you seem to be living up to your promise of trying everything there is to do when making your level. One of the best ways to get experience early-on is to experiment and go wild with all sorts of different mechanics, triggers, techniques, and styles. You seem to be on a very good start for this as you've already incorporated jumping, secrets, (i think there was one at least) shoot switches, changing sector effects/textures, and light switches, which is a great start. The curvy door near the start was quite spooky though. I liked your use of decorative things as they're an incredibly easy way of filling space and breaking up monotony.

 

i don't really have anything mean to say, besides the fact that the doors are untagged and stuffs, and whatever mr. hak said, save for the shells. i liked where you put the boxes c:

sorry for my lack of words on the actual map

 

-love bonnie

 

P.S. a very very very simple guide to using pr/glboom+:

Spoiler

Just use this little "starterpack" I made for prboom+/glboom+ (they come together): https://www.dropbox.com/s/x3ik8431iwjazdc/prboom-plus-2.5.1.5-starterpack_v3.zip?dl=1

 

Most non-zdoom ports are actually extremely easy to quickly setup, install, and use, but since relatively new players (are you new to just mapping or are you somewhat new to doom in general?) or really anyone who exclusively uses zdoom may not realize this because, ya know, zdoom, I made this nifty thing to pretty much skip whatever setup process there is for pr/glboom+. I also included numerous text files explaining most things you might want to know, as well as .bat files for even easier use, just in case.

 

All you need to do is put your IWADS (doom.wad, doom2.wad, tnt.wad, plutonia.wad, etc.) into the same folder as prboom-plus.exe (NOT the "custom wads" folder!), and you're set.

Just do whatever you normally do with your pwads to play them.

 

That doesn't mean you have to phase out zdoom entirely though, it's just that whenever you're not playing wacky mods, multiplayer, zdoom-only maps, or other games like heretic or hexen (pr/glboom+ doesn't support those), which is likely at least 95% of the time, then you should probably use prboom+ or glboom+. If absolutely necessary, you can try a nice frontend like ZDL (or many others) to manage your pwads, iwads, and ports and stuff.

P.P.S. i want you to bore me with your game on these forums

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39 minutes ago, bonnie said:

This is bad because not everyone uses zdoom ports, and ignoring that fact will alienate players, since zdoom ports are pretty piss poor for unmodded play

You should probably still mention what ports you tested in, but don't lose any sleep over it

If you desire to start making zdoom-only maps (perhaps for your unity thing or whatever, though that may start slightly straying from doomclone territory), I strongly recommend you hold off on such a venture until you have enough experience to do so. Starting now will only hurt you, as it's more complicated, will teach you bad mapping habits, and will of course alienate players, which will cost you playtesters.

Obviously it isn't your fault that you may or may not have known any of this friend. I just needed to spread the prboom+ gospel.

I don't think this person is trying to map in ZDoom but rather just testing with it for convenience. When people begin to play Doom these days they'll most likely hear about ZDoom first. Also ZDoom ports are not bad with handling non-ZDoom maps (except for the occasional bugs due to engine differences) and they also have built-in compatibility options.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, bonnie said:

The first thing you need to know is that despite what you most likely read, what you tested in is significantly less important than what you format you actually designed your map for (this map seems to work in pr/glboom+, -complevel 2).

 When you design vanilla or boom maps but don't test them in at the very least pr/glboom+, you're very likely to miss critical errors, as in this map, where you failed to mark several doors with tags, causing the entire map to break upon trying to use most of said doors.

  

This is bad because not everyone uses zdoom ports, and ignoring that fact will alienate players, since zdoom ports are pretty piss poor for unmodded play

You should probably still mention what ports you tested in, but don't lose any sleep over it

 

This is nonsensical advice and you should stop perpetuating it. 

 

For a new mapper especially, pointing out which ports the wads were tested in is essential, not just optional, to minimize the likelihood of someone starting an FDA in prBoom+ only to find out that a supposed 'vanilla or Boom' wad only works in ZDoom or better, and wasting their time.

 

Which is an actual problem I've run into several times over the years.

 

Which could have happened here if the OP had misleadingly stated 'designed for limit-removing' ...

Edited by rdwpa

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, not_sure said:

Let me know what you think, and please don't spare my feelings. If something is crap let me know so I can work on it.

 

- The biggest improvement I see would come from treating texturing and architecture as implying 3D structures. There is a lot of 'wallpaper'-style design, with abrupt transitions between surfaces that don't make a lot of sense, and thus look ugly, or where what could be interpreted as a 'panel' or 'border' texture is misaligned anyway. Lots of misalignments and awkward cutoffs in general. Stuff like this is pretty rough looking. 

 

Spoiler

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The curved door is nifty but generally speaking, good fundamentals are a lot more important than individual instances of 'detail'. 

 

- At least two areas could be plausibly marked as secrets: the cliffside cave behind the hidden door ultimately leading to the blue armor, and the imp nest near the exit. Secrets are marked by a sector effect rather than a linedef flag, if you are using an editor where that might have been misleading. 

 

- At the end, it will be interpreted as strange and buggy that the raised platforms are still damaging sectors. There is a 'S1 Floor Raise by 24 (changes texture and effect)' action that is a more appropriate version of the one you are using.  

 

- Some positives: There are attempts at creating a good atmosphere. Exploration is rewarded despite the map being pretty small (lots of incentive to look around for ammo, a decent amount of hidden content). The layout is structured decently, with a good amount of visual connection between areas, with visual establishment of objectives before they can be met (such as the exit, red key door, red key), and with efficient use of space, the player's path looping around through certain areas more than once, paired with some return fights where needed. 

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Thanks everyone for your input.

 

@HAK3180

-I forget that unpeg works with more than just doors. That's a really good tip.

-I think I want to take a day and make some original textures, but yeah the transitions need work.

-I do need to figure out how to mark secrets secrets and make sure they tally at the end of the stage.

-I was worried that shells would be anemic, but at the same time I was thinking of the shotgun as a bonus rather than the primary weapon. I want the players to need to resort to pistol every now and then.

-I'm not really sure what splitting sectors does or what the flats are. Thank you, that's a gap in my knowledge and I will go and fill it in.

-I honestly have no idea how to turn off damage once it's on a sector. I thought that raising the ground and changing texture did it automatically, but obviously it did not.

-Yeah, I was going to decorate the ceiling (along with tweak textures) after I was certain about the layout.

 

@bonnie

Yeah, I totally get wanting to make sure it works on multiple versions, but I really don't want to bog my project down into "version hell". I mean, best case scenario like 20 people actually download and play the "episode". This really is just an exercise.

 

Also, I may make a thread about the clone I'm making, but as a seasoned developer I really do know exactly what I'k looking to do and people tend to be really entrenched in other game ideas that it makes it impossible to present a new idea without showing them the actual game. You can explain things until you're blue in the face about the mechanics, but the second I say "Doom clone in a medieval fantasy setting" everyone will instantly compare everything about it to Hexen/Heretic, which it really isn't the same as what I'm going for.

 

I will say that the biggest hang up I have right now is between choosing to do 2d sprites based off of clay models, 2d sprites based off of 3d models, or just 3d models.

 

Clay models are in the lead right now because I can work with clay no problem, and the sprites will look unique, and it sounds like I'd have way more fun making them.

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Excellent first map. Good sense of place in the outdoor area, nice varied design, lots of interesting triggers, some secrets to discover. I bet your episode is going to rock!

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@rdwpa

 

I totally see what you mean with the "wallpaper effect". It really stands out and screams "amateur". Thank you, I will work on this.

 

And yes, I put a lot of thought into how to efficiently reuse space. I'm particularly proud of the Cacodemon/demon ambush at the end of the stage.

 

I think i need to rework the entire platform raising from the slim section though. I will try a different approach and see if I can stop it from damaging.

 

Lastly, it sounds like you missed a few of my secrets.

 

They are (in relative order of appearance):

-There is a box of shells behind the rock pillar when you first emerge from the starting canyon.

-There is a cave that opens with an open command on the cliff in north side of the courtyard that leads to the blue armor.

-If you shoot the wall behind the armor it will open another door leading to another box of shells.

-After you get the key there is another box of shells where the lost souls came out of.

-In the room with the slime and the Sargents on the three platforms there is a door next to the red door entrance that swings around to the top of the platforms allowing you to collect their ammo.

-Behind where the Cacodemon starts is a door that leads to the room full of imps. This can also let you bypass the bridge, although it is a little pointless to do so.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, not_sure said:

Yeah, I totally get wanting to make sure it works on multiple versions, but I really don't want to bog my project down into "version hell". I mean, best case scenario like 20 people actually download and play the "episode". This really is just an exercise.

If it works in vanilla and boom it should work in Zdoom. It's not at all like developing multiple versions at once, so don't worry friend, there should be no "version heck." c:

 

58 minutes ago, rdwpa said:

For a new mapper especially, pointing out which ports the wads were tested in is essential, not just optional, to minimize the likelihood of someone starting an FDA in prBoom+ only to find out that a supposed 'vanilla or Boom' wad only works in ZDoom or better, and wasting their time.

So making sure you don't mistakenly waste a few minutes of your time is more important than the mapper learning from their mistakes?

 

Interesting.

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Hey, quick question: I tried to make sure that my secrets were well hidden, but also make sure that they were fair. If you notice I put "tells" on every secret door.

 

-The cave has a bit of texture spilling out at the base of the door, as well as made the exit visible from the courtyard.

-The door behind the armor needs to be shot and I put a demon in front of it, as well as made the spot visible from the courtyard.

-The passage to the pillars has a lip in front of the door.

-The door behind the Cacodemon is lit up.

 

Did anyone notice these details?

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Here's the video of me playing the map. I missed some parts :)

Very generic "first level", some technical issues like misaligned textures here and there. Contains monster closets, which is good :)

 

 

 

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Thanks for the video!

 

It's fun seeing how others play the level for the first time.

 

Yeah, it's packed full of issues. I'll most likely scrap the whole level and just keep some of the elements for later ideas.

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Played your map in GZDoom 1.8.2 on UV and the first thing I noticed was in the console written "removing 0-length line 650."

Minor thing, just noticed it immediately.

 

I don't have much to add that the other guys haven't already.

It seems rdwpa missed this tiling texture:

j5XIHal.png

The STEP textures look really strange when they tile like that.

 

1KKP9tZ.png

The light flat is cut off here, and it looks like that door is using one of the CEIL flats, which is a little odd.

 

lmQzCvN.png

And rdwpa already mentioned these damaging things.

 

All that said, I thought it was a solid first map. The pinkies released in the bottom of the outside courtyard at the red card don't really do much unless the player jumps down to deal with them (which I did), but everything else seemed to have some sort of purpose where it was. The issues aren't incredibly major and can easily be fixed, so you've got a promising map here.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/22/2018 at 7:18 PM, Aquila Chrysaetos said:

It seems rdwpa missed this tiling texture:

 

My post wasn't meant to provide an exhaustive list of mistexturings. Just examples.

 

Same with the secrets above -- not all of those need secret flags.

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On 6/14/2018 at 6:53 AM, bonnie said:

So making sure you don't mistakenly waste a few minutes of your time is more important than the mapper learning from their mistakes?

 

Interesting.

 

 

Some feedback notes:

 

- It's potentially a lot more than a few minutes.

 

- Even if someone says "vanilla map, only tested in GZDoom," I'll often try it in PrBoom+ or Chocolate Doom anyways, because sometimes I'm in the mood for that. I appreciate knowing what I'm getting into, and the mapper still learns.

 

- Design/intention doesn't mean much without testing. Suggesting that people withhold information about their own testing, or to be lazy about their own testing so other people can do it for them... I just don't get what your angle is. Self testing shouldn't be de-emphasized like that.

 

- I have "mistakenly" wasted my time (as opposed to intentionally wasting time? hmmm) because someone designed something for vanilla/limit-removing without saying what they tested in, and I learned from my mistakes: I don't play maps that have that smell about them.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Benjogami said:

I just don't get what your angle is.

Yeah, you made that abundantly clear with your post.

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5 hours ago, Benjogami said:

- Design/intention doesn't mean much without testing. Suggesting that people withhold information about their own testing, or to be lazy about their own testing so other people can do it for them... I just don't get what your angle is. Self testing shouldn't be de-emphasized like that.

 

I'm struggling to unpack this.

 

Of course, I self test. But it's impossible to predict how users will go through it and if they'll catch the secrets or not.

 

The only way to assess that is to have a tabula rasa play it. The moment they know there's a secret you can never undo that. So why would I tell them where they are?

 

I apologize if I'm misunderstood what you meant.

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1 hour ago, not_sure said:

 

I'm struggling to unpack this. [...]

Sorry, we went off on a big ugly tangent specifically about compatibility testing. Testing by others is very useful for all sorts of stuff, but compatibility is something that can be tested fully by the author, if they're so inclined.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Grain of Salt said:

As ever, you win a prize if you can tell us what Bonnie is talking about.

As ever, if you didn't understand something I said the first time, you probably won't get it the second time around. It's not like I'm talking theoretical quantum rocket physics or anything.

But I'll try again, just for you friend:

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When a mapper makes a map, it's vitally important that they mention to players what format it was intended for (vanilla, boom, UDMF, etc.), while what port they specifically tested in can be useful information, it usually isn't entirely necessary in most cases.

The reason for this is that most new mappers and new doom players in general can get very confused about different ports and formats, leading to mistakes on their part. We've all seen it, with probably two of the most common mistakes being mappers making a map for vanilla/boom or something and only testing the map in a zdoom port (like this) and a mapper thinking that "limit removing" means a zdoom-port.

 

This is not their fault. Like with most things, learning the differences between different ports and formats, especially in their testing, must come with experience.

 

If a mapper claims that their map is actually designed for vanilla but they tested exclusively in GZDoom, they need to be corrected, right? Otherwise there will likely be numerous bugs in the map that go unnoticed.

However, if a mapper doesn't mention what their map is designed for and only says that they tested in GZDoom, they still need to be corrected, right? It's just that now, it's even harder to help them because you don't know what format the map is for, which results in significantly more effort than what may be "wasted" by erroneously making a demo for the map only to get softlocked due to bugs (more on this later).

 

If we don't correct the mapper, they obviously won't learn that they need to test their maps in the appropriate ports, and will continue to exclusively test non-zdoom maps in zdoom ports. The longer it takes us to help them, the harder the habit will be to break. I hope this clears up why I believe mappers should at the very least always put the map format in their posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I want to share my small argument for why I (kind of) believe mentioning what ports they tested in isn't necessarily required in a lot of (NOT all) cases:

I want to preface this by mentioning that I really only said that more as a hyperbole to emphasize how much more important the actual format is over the specific ports a map was tested in.

 

It almost always becomes obvious that a mapper didn't test their map in the correct port once you play the map. Of course, there's always a chance that a map may go unnoticed, which is a good reason why they should probably still say what they tested in, so as to prevent mappers perpetuating their incorrect testing, which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

 

However. What @rdwpa said about "minimizing the likelihood of someone starting an FDA in prBoom+ only to find out that a supposed 'vanilla or Boom' wad only works in ZDoom or better, and wasting their time" is ridiculous.

You should be playing the map regardless, because you'll likely still need to point out the various bugs and problems caused by not testing in the correct port, as the mapper may or may not know what to look for or what needs fixing or even how to fix things. Making a demo and getting softlocked will still provide you with such information. If you give in and only play a map in zdoom, you'll still be able to give vital feedback on level design, but you won't be able to help them with their compatibility issues.

You don't particularly need to know what a map was tested in to understand and point out the oddities, either.

 

I also want to mention that I didn't come even remotely close to implying mappers shouldn't test their own maps, as @Benjogami bizarrely tried to accuse me of. That's insanity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Anyways, I hope you understand now. So far nobody has even come close to presenting a valid argument against always putting the format in their map posts, but I'm open to such conversations.

 

P.S. @not_sure don't worry friend, you've done nothing wrong. mister benjogami was just very confused. we love you.

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