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Doge Sword

Are there any blank maps made for you to put in monsters and weapons?

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5 minutes ago, Doge Sword said:

What the title says.

I don't really know what the title says. Do you mean like testing maps or premade empty maps for you to fill in with your own things or something?

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7 hours ago, bonnie said:

I don't really know what the title says. Do you mean like testing maps or premade empty maps for you to fill in with your own things or something?

yes

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@Doge Sword

You have a few options that would be effective for what you want to do.

  • You can take any map and delete all the things out of it. Voila, instant empty map.
  • You can use Oblige generate a map of whatever size and configuration and compatibility you want and just set all the monsters to None.
  • Find an empty map made for the express purpose of being used as a template (yes, I know that was the point of this thread).

Whichever option you use, you can then take your empty map and populate it with things as you see fit.

 

Now, this is the key question. Are you planning on releasing these maps as your own work? Or do you just want empty maps to put in monsters and other things for your own amusement?

 

Let's say the answer is, you're just doing this for your own amusement and you don't want to have to worry about creating the architecture for the map. For example, you have tastes in battles that are probably quite different from most players, so there's little point to worrying about releasing the maps for other players to just complain about. (Perhaps you prefer to fight nothing but cyberdemons and spider masterminds with a pistol and chainsaw, but in an arena surrounded by several dozen invulnerability spheres.) If this is just for your own amusement, then any option for ending up with an empty level will be fine.

 

However, if the answer is that you are planning on releasing these maps, you'll need to be careful. In the case of planning to release the maps, you would probably want to use either Option 2 or Option 3. If you use someone else's map and just change all the things in it, you'll have issues. They may be mitigated if you attributed the architecture to the original author, but you'll probably still run into a lot of people telling you that what you're doing is wrong. So, you're safer with Oblige or a purpose-built empty map. Regardless, you'll need to provide the credit for the level architecture because you only provided the thing placement.

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I would never release a map/mod that is not 100% my own work (except for remixes).  I also suck at mapping or modding so that is why I don't have any maps out there.

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I don't know if many authors do this, but there are definitely maps on the archives that state the maps can be freely reused and re-released. Back to Thunder Road is one example that I know of (and which I have remixed/am remixing). all of Michael Krause's maps are I think also free to be used, which I recently was pleasantly surprised to discover

 

all that aside, most folks start out sucking at making maps, but it can still be enjoyable even at the beginning if you don't concern yourself too much with quality and just have a good time. on days where I don't feel motivated enough to do my own original work, I often will take an existing map that I really enjoy from another author and remix the monster placement, just for my own enjoyment.

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30 minutes ago, Tango said:

all that aside, most folks start out sucking at making maps, but it can still be enjoyable even at the beginning if you don't concern yourself too much with quality and just have a good time. on days where I don't feel motivated enough to do my own original work, I often will take an existing map that I really enjoy from another author and remix the monster placement, just for my own enjoyment.

I have some really good ideas for maps (from dreams) but I have not been able to create these.  I attempted one but I haven't finished it and I jacked up the wad where Doom Builder can't open it.  I will try to get general layouts out there then ask the DW pros to add some finishing touches.

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11 hours ago, Doge Sword said:

I have some really good ideas for maps (from dreams) but I have not been able to create these.  I attempted one but I haven't finished it and I jacked up the wad where Doom Builder can't open it.  I will try to get general layouts out there then ask the DW pros to add some finishing touches.

 

My first statement, which I want to make now before it gets lost in my rather lengthy response is, you'll probably get more out of doing the whole map yourself start to finish (layout, architecture, trigger lines, thing placement, etc.) than to do the first part and then let others add finishing touches. If there are issues with your thing placement, advice you get from those pros will come when they play your finished map.

 

I don't know if you've heard about the Joy of Mapping. I thought it was just a periodic CP where people got together and designed maps over the course of 2 or 3 days with more experienced people to act as mentors. But no, it turns out that there is a Discord server running continuously where people get together and map and mod and submit maps and get feedback. You could always try that. Personally, I find a lot of the banter in the general threads on the channel distracting, but the mapping and playtesting sections are good.

 

Joy of mapping: https://discord.gg/mjgCAHB

 

With regard to your concerns about not being a strong mapper, I'm reminded of an interview I heard on the radio with an author (I don't remember his name). He had written several books and he was talking about his latest book and he said it was the first book he was really proud of. The interviewer was surprised by that and he said (the first two sentences are slightly paraphrased, but the last two sentences are his words), "That's because I'm a better writer now than I used to be. The more I write, the better I get at writing. I don't get better at writing by walking along the beach thinking about writing. I get better at writing by writing."

 

How does this relate to you? The only way you'll get better as a mapper is by sitting down with an editor and mapping. My only advice to you is to get out of your own way and not worry about the following things:

  • Your low level of skill at mapping
  • What you make doesn't seem to look as good as what other mappers make
  • That it takes you longer to make maps that look halfway decent than veteran mappers take to make maps that look way better than you think your maps do
  • That you don't know how to do some of the things that veteran mappers seem to be able to do easily
  • You can't make exactly what you saw in your dreams

This is what I have to say about that:

  • No, you are probably not as good as mappers that have been at it for years.
    • Like anything, Doom mapping takes time to learn and to get better at and the only way you will get better is by doing it. So, stop worrying that you're not as good as them and just make a map.
  • Yes, it will probably take you longer (maybe a lot longer) to make maps than it takes them.
    • I know I'm astounded by seeing what people can churn out in a few hours, when it takes me that long to string together a reasonable set of decently detailed rooms with some encounters built in. Don't worry about how long it takes them, just focus on your mapping. It will take you however long it takes you, and you will get faster the more you do it.
  • No, you don't know how to do a lot of the things that others know how to do.
    • No one starts out knowing how to do everything. That's OK. That's what learning is for. You will learn how to do the things that you don't know how to do as you get more experienced.
  • No, you may not be able to realize your vision, particularly if it was complicated.
    • First, it usually takes time and experience to build highly intricate structures and encounters. Don't get discouraged.

The bottom line is, just jump in and start mapping. Look at maps that you like and see how they did things. Take your time and make an earnest effort. Submit a standalone map to the forum or on the JoM Discord. Take whatever feedback you get. Don't take it personally and learn from it.

 

If you want, also try submitting a map to TimeofDeath's Doomworld Mega Project or scifista42's Doomworld Omega Project. Both are open to everyone, regardless of skill level, so there's a relatively low level of risk. And your map would be one map of many, so there would be less "pressure."

 

You could also try your hand at speedmapping (Abyssal and Pigeon are two speedmapping sessions that occur with general regularity). You may not be able to do much when you first get started, but the tight time constraints can actually serve to be freeing, since you'll worry less about things like detailing, alignment, ultra precise ammo balancing, etc. In fact, other speedmappers know about the issues related to time constraints, so they tend to expect there to be little things that might occur in speedmaps that wouldn't in a map that took longer to make.

Edited by Pegleg : Added links.

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Thanks.  The only reason why I doubt myself is because I can't make doors or switch operated things quickly and without trouble (you'd be surprised how bad the tutorials are).

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1 minute ago, Doge Sword said:

Thanks.  The only reason why I doubt myself is because I can't make doors or switch operated things quickly and without trouble (you'd be surprised how bad the tutorials are).

 

The simplest things can sometimes be the hardest to get over. When I got back into mapping, I found I had forgotten how to make a switch open a door. One thing you can always try is to open a map in an editor and look at how they made that feature (in my case, I looked at E1M1).

 

Basically, for a simple door (if you want pictures, check here):

  1. Make a sector. Call it Sector 1. Make it a 256 x 256 square that is 128 units high.
  2. Make another sector near Sector 1. Again, make it a 256 x 256 square that is 128 units high. Call this sector Sector 2. Move Sector 2 so that it is separated from Sector 1 by 18 units.
  3. Draw a sector that is 128 units wide that connects Sector 1 and Sector 2. This will be your door. Call it Sector D. Change the ceiling height to be equal to the floor.
  4. Set the linedef type of 1 side of Sector D to be Type 1 (DR Open Door). Make sure the front side of that linedef points into Sector 1.
  5. Set the linedef type of the opposite side of Sector D to be Type 1 (DR Open Door). Make the front side of that linedef points into Sector 2.
  6. Make the linedefs that make up the sides of Sector D "Lower Unpegged" so they look like they don't move when your door opens and closes.

The general principles apply if you want to make a door that is shorter than the surrounding room, but the space between Sector 1 and Sector 2 is made up of 3 sectors, two on either side of Sector D, that have lower ceilings. Obviously, the sectors can be any size or shape and the door can be any thickness.

 

For a switch operated something, the key thing to remember is that you need the tag of your linedef (your switch) and the tag of the sector that is activated by your switch must be the same. Otherwise, your switch won't have a reference telling it what sector to make do something. For example, using the three Sector example above:

  1. Say the door is on the east side of Sector 1.
  2. Add a switch to the west wall of Sector 1.
  3. On that switch linedef, set the linedef type to SR Open Door.
  4. Set the linedef tag on that linedef to 1.
  5. Set the sector tag on Sector D to 1. (Note that you can have the door be activated manually as well as switch activated.)

The easiest mistake to make with regard to switches is to set them to the wrong type. Make sure that if you want a switch-activated door, that you set it to S1 or SR types, not W1 or WR types (walkover triggers). Incidentally, walkover triggers work the same way as switch triggers, you just need to actually be able to pass your center of mass over the linedef to trigger it. Same thing with shootable switches.

 

Have you looked at Linguica's vanilla mapping tutorials? If not, they're a 13 section tutorial that takes you from the basics up to a fully playable map.

 

This is the first lesson:

 

 

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