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Gabenslair

What are your think are the worst aspects that can be in a doom level?

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I was listening to an album titled "The Most Unwanted Song" which took the "worst" aspects of songs and stitched them together to create a frankenstein's monster of a song with screaming kids sponsoring Walmart, Scottish pipes playing over a rapping opera singer, and cowboy harmonica. 

 

Mock 2 the speed of stupid did something similar but it dominantly made fun of amateur maps in the 1990s (was it made in the 90s?). I'm talking hitscan heavy maps that are nothing but linear Fireblu startan2 grades of horror. 

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Repetitive tasks and visuals, lack of surprises, textbook design.

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1 minute ago, Memfis said:

textbook design

What do you mean by "Textbook design"? I haven't heard of that term before.

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Symmetry in monster placement, texture misalignment, use of only one monster type in an arena environment, close quarters cyberdemon encounters, too little resources for the enemies present, Baron spam, lack of secrets or too easy secrets, linearity in maps other than the first.

 

I do realise Depths has almost all of these and that I'm a massive hypocrite, but who cares.

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15 minutes ago, Novaseer said:

Symmetry in monster placement, texture misalignment, use of only one monster type in an arena environment, close quarters cyberdemon encounters, too little resources for the enemies present, Baron spam, lack of secrets or too easy secrets, linearity in maps other than the first.

 

I do realise Depths has almost all of these and that I'm a massive hypocrite, but who cares.

Where's nothing wrong with linear maps to be honest. Same with close quarter cyberdemon or baron of hell fights. If you know how to draw places and make map interesting to look and play, these things can provide good challenge even if map linear as heck. 

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Once upon a time there was some .wad named "My 6 year old son made this .wad" It has a lot of the worst aspects of .wad levels. Enemies you can just run around. Ugly walls, ugly floors, needlessly long levels with zero complexity. Yet all 5 levels were beatable. If a 6 year old didn't make those levels they'd be terrible and not just bad.

 

Beyond that? Terry .wads are the worst.

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2 hours ago, Gabenslair said:

What do you mean by "Textbook design"? I haven't heard of that term before.

Basically it's when I feel like I've already seen all this before and the author just copied Scythe 2, Lunatic, DTWID, or whatever without putting his own heart in his work.

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For me these problems are going to be:

 

Confusing layout, overuse of a certain enemy or enemy type, texture misalignments, cryptic progression, very controlled fights with no sense of danger to them, mandatory secrets, garbage visuals, and resource starvation or the polar opposite of it.

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3 hours ago, Gabenslair said:

The Most Unwanted Song

Why am I enjoying this a lot

 

45 minutes ago, geo said:

Beyond that? Terry .wads are the worst.

Just out of curiosity and with no malicious intent, have you ever actually played a Terry wad? I'm not talking the troll shit that deletes your homework or the shit that Aquarius199 plays in packs of 8, but the actually meaningful stuff that required a lot of effort and was put together by a devoted team of people? E.g. UAC Military Nightmare or B4NM. Some ideas in wads like that can be absolutely genius.

Unless you're some sort of Doom nazi that requires that all wads have 3 new palettes, 1400 unique textures on each level, perfect setpiece encounter pacing and 37000 sidedefs per map while remaining Boom-compatible, you could totally enjoy stuff like that.

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3 hours ago, Gabenslair said:

What do you mean by "Textbook design"? I haven't heard of that term before.

 

They emphasize a passion for artifice over art. They are clinically interesting but celebrate someone or something else's character as opposed to the author's own.

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Hmm.. for me:

- Grindy incidental gameplay where you are strongly encouraged to kill everything instead of just being able to skip these fights. (which is worse when there's Demon's, BoH and HK spam)

- Long fights that can be solved simply by camping.

- Traps after every item and/or switch you pick up, especially when they add nothing to the experience.

- "tight-controlled design": Bars that traps the player and you have to hit a number of switches to exit the area, and other similar design features.

- Fighting mid-tiers with anything lower than a Rocket Launcher (SS is fine as long as you don't spend most of the time with it)

- Arch-villes being released/spawned after you kill a lot of monsters. It's not really bad, but I feel it has been quite overused in the last mapsets I've played.

Edited by Deadwing

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Icon of Sin as a Final Boss, people who still use it as a Final Boss need to try something different, it was cool for the first few times but it gets tedious.

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Deadly floor-drop traps (suddenly surrounded by chaingunners + revs (esp used multiple times in a map)).  Also, maps that kill you for having the wrong weapon ready when going through a teleporter (or when the floor drops).

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3 hours ago, Novaseer said:

 Baron spam

 

Oh, how do I love this term!

 

 

It's also one of my most disliked things in map design. Such a waste of shells and rockets. :D

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Eye-piercing textures, ear-bleeding music/sound effects, Giant empty boxes, Tiny boxes cramped with so many cyberdemons their hit-boxes clip into each other, Archviles, Textures being 110% yet gameplay is worse than Sonic '06 on drugs (the bad ones as well) and over hyping.

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Just now, DynamiteKaitorn said:

Eye-piercing textures, ear-bleeding music/sound effects, Giant empty boxes, Tiny boxes cramped with so many cyberdemons their hit-boxes clip into each other, Archviles, Textures being 110% yet gameplay is worse than Sonic '06 on drugs (the bad ones as well) and over hyping.

So... DSC?

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Some things that I don't like (with some explanation):

  • Mandatory secrets.
    • In other words, a secret that contains a <key, switch, etc.> that you have to get in order to progress in the level.
      • Bonus points for that mandatory secret being ridiculously hard to open (for example, you have a shoot-able switch (even better if it's not obviously a shootable switch) that opens a hidden door on the other side of the map that you already cleared and have no evident reason to go back to).
  • Terry wad-esque nonsense.
    • By that I mean things like:
      • crude language (things like "Santa's here to rape your ass!")
      • seizure-inducing lights
      • instant kill enemies with ridiculously high hit points (bonus points if they're a picture of someone the mapper doesn't like or something silly like a sailboat)
    • I don't mean the parts of terry wads that look well-made and reasonable.
  • Rather non-intuitive secrets.
    • If I cross this line, a door back near the beginning of the level will open, which will lead to a room with a switch in it that opens the locked door up on the ledge of the room that I walked through five minutes ago.
  • Hard to uncover secrets with little payback.
    • Say you have that secret that I just described and the locked room (the secret) contains 1 armor bonus or 1 clip.
      • If there's a secret-inside-a-secret with a bigger payoff, that is more forgivable.
  • Inescapable pits that don't have damaging floors.
    • Bonus points for inescapable pits that look like they might contain something, thus tricking you into jumping into something from which the only escape is to shoot a rocket into the wall you're standing next to.
      • Inescapable pits with damaging floors suck, but, as ToD would say, "They're an environmental hazard." I can appreciate that sentiment.

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1 hour ago, kmxexii said:

I feel that this is needlessly reductionist and implies the same sentiment I saw during some of the DTWiD projects where virtually every aspect of the Doom community's level design could be abstracted away into a derivation of something seen in the original Doom or Doom II. Even if we are nothing more than a product of our influences then we are still machines capable of fabricating novel experiences through the combinations of these influences and are thus greater than our sum. Whether or not an author is "authentic" (to themselves, I assume?) is immaterial to me. "Textbook" products are still largely filled with a passion for level design, whether it is for a person or an ideal, and thus still showcase their human element in their displays of love or standing as testaments to the agony that is often involved in making PWADs.

To be honest, I was making more of a quip than an argument (maybe I was quoting Einstein on Doom mapping?), but I'll bite. I find memfis' argument, and to a point your defence of it, to be a slippery slope that forbids inspiration by previous generations, so I went for the "all art is derivative" trope. Should we reject skillsaw's vanguard, because its earlier parts resemble Alm almost (heh) too much? What about gusta's padawan pipicz? Just to be clear, I'm perfectly fine with calling out obvious copycats on practicing pure mimicry, but throwing the word "textbook" around feels to me like the concept of "mapping schools" following a popular and "working" trend is somehow wrong. And I'll die first before I see memfis' nihilism take over the matters of taste debate.

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1 minute ago, dew said:

To be honest, I was making more of a quip than an argument (maybe I was quoting Einstein on Doom mapping?), but I'll bite. I find memfis' argument, and to a point your defence of it, to be a slippery slope that forbids inspiration by previous generations, so I went for the "all art is derivative" trope. Should we reject skillsaw's vanguard, because its earlier parts resemble Alm almost (heh) too much? What about gusta's padawan pipicz? Just to be clear, I'm perfectly fine with calling out obvious copycats on practicing pure mimicry, but throwing the word "textbook" around feels to me like the concept of "mapping schools" following a popular and "working" trend is somehow wrong. And I'll die first before I see memfis' nihilism take over the matters of taste debate.

 

Mapping schools was nothing bad until two certain assholes had to ruin it for Doomers. Of course, I don't even know if that one kid made a map of his school, due to not all of the maps being leaked. That's all I will say.

 

Also, when the entire map is nothing but STARTAN2, FLOOR0_1, and CEIL1_1 is pretty much an indicator that it's shit.

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5 minutes ago, crazyflyingdonut said:

 

Mapping schools was nothing bad until two certain assholes had to ruin it for Doomers. Of course, I don't even know if that one kid made a map of his school, due to not all of the maps being leaked. That's all I will say.

I don't think that's what he meant...

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