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MetalDoomGuy

The Romero Tricks

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I watched a video recently saying that Romero had created Doom's levels from E4-E1, all backwards. Does anyone else use this trick? And if so, Is it ideal?

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32 minutes ago, MetalDoomGuy said:

I watched a video recently saying that Romero had created Doom's levels from E4-E1, all backwards. Does anyone else use this trick? And if so, Is it ideal?

I don't know how accurate that statement is. I also don't know quite what you mean.

 

Do you mean that he created the maps sequentially backward? As in, he built ExM8 first and ExM1 last?

  • He didn't make any of the levels in E2 or E3 and only 2 levels in E4. If I'm right about it, he made E4M6 before he made E4M2, but I don't know if that was purposeful. Of his E1 maps, he made E1M1 after he had made the rest of them, for the express purpose being that would be the first map anyone saw, so he wanted to be able to bring to bear all the skills and tricks that he had learned to make it the best introduction possible. I think that's a reasonable approach if you're making mapsets--you don't want the introduction to be of low enough quality that people are dissuaded from playing the rest of the mapset just because of a poor initial impression.

Or do you mean that he built the exit room first and worked out from there?

  • If that's what you meant, I had never heard that before. It reminds me of something that I've heard authors say--that they never start a story without knowing how it will end. In that context, I can understand building the climax of the level first and then working backward to build everything up to that. Whether that is ideal is a personal question that will vary from mapper to mapper. I can see advantages to doing it that way, such as if you have a large arena in a particular place and you want to ensure that you will have the space for it within the level where you want it. But I don't know that designing the final set of rooms first is necessarily better than any other way of designing a level. Personally, I don't do it that way. Again, that's just personal preference.

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1 minute ago, Pegleg said:

I don't know how accurate that statement is. I also don't know quite what you mean.

 

Do you mean that he created the maps sequentially backward? As in, he built ExM8 first and ExM1 last?

  • He didn't make any of the levels in E2 or E3 and only 2 levels in E4. If I'm right about it, he made E4M6 before he made E4M2, but I don't know if that was purposeful. Of his E1 maps, he made E1M1 after he had made the rest of them, for the express purpose being that would be the first map anyone saw, so he wanted to be able to bring to bear all the skills and tricks that he had learned to make it the best introduction possible. I think that's a reasonable approach if you're making mapsets--you don't want the introduction to be of low enough quality that people are dissuaded from playing the rest of the mapset just because of a poor initial impression.

Or do you mean that he built the exit room first and worked out from there?

  • If that's what you meant, I had never heard that before. It reminds me of something that I've heard authors say--that they never start a story without knowing how it will end. In that context, I can understand building the climax of the level first and then working backward to build everything up to that. Whether that is ideal is a personal question that will vary from mapper to mapper. I can see advantages to doing it that way, such as if you have a large arena in a particular place and you want to ensure that you will have the space for it within the level where you want it. But I don't know that designing the final set of rooms first is necessarily better than any other way of designing a level. Personally, I don't do it that way. Again, that's just personal preference.

Well from what I had heard He started with the spider Mastermind fight first, and went on to create each map before that kinda like 10-9-8-7-6-etc

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Posted (edited)

i'd love to know what video this is because i've been seeing that idea pop up here and there and it basically completely contradicts everything we know about Doom's development. In particular e2 and e3 were all the work of sandy petersen, and a fair number of those maps were started very early in the project as e1 maps. One thing Romero has said for certain, in one of the videos where he plays co-op with someone (IGN and double fine have done these videos, trying to remember which one, it's one of the two...) is that E1M1 was one of the last levels created, but he didn't imply he started from the later levels and went down. hmm

 

ed: this is a little redundant with pegleg but the question of where this come from still stands. I hope it isn't something colossally stupid like the "doom isn't 3d" video

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55 minutes ago, MetalDoomGuy said:

I watched a video recently saying that Romero had created Doom's levels from E4-E1, all backwards. Does anyone else use this trick? And if so, Is it ideal?

 

Never heard about that. Source link?

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1 minute ago, MetalDoomGuy said:

Well from what I had heard He started with the spider Mastermind fight first, and went on to create each map before that kinda like 10-9-8-7-6-etc

 

What? I'm not sure where you're getting your information from, but it sounds suspect to me. The only map he made that had the Spider Mastermind in it was Gotcha! and I don't think that was the first map he made for Doom 2. It could have been, but I don't think that was on purpose, since the maps he contributed to Doom 2 are scattered around the game.

 

I think the first map he made for Doom was E1M2, not E1M7. Sandy Petersen wanted to make E1M8 (since it was the "boss map"), so Romero didn't even get a chance to make a boss map until he made Tech Gone Bad in 2016 (and that shouldn't be taken to be a representation of what he would have made in 1993). Of the original (non-Episode 4) Doom levels, the last one he made was E1M1; that is true.

 

By the way, when I saw the thread title, I thought you were going to talk about the design rules that Romero either documented or that have been attributed to him. 

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Well I had heard a long time ago that he made the first level last. That way you're used to the tools by the end of the project and you want to put your best foot forward, especially in the shareware days.

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He did definitely make E1M1 last, that's well known.  Could it be this is an incorrect extrapolation of that?

 

 

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1 hour ago, MetalDoomGuy said:

 <VIDEO>

heres the video I don't remember exactly where he said it though

 

OK. I watched the video. The second half of the video talks about Romero's rules and at ~19:15 or so, the author starts to talk about how Romero found it effective to start at the last map and work backward so that his level design got better and better until the last map he made, which ended up being the first level of the game, was the best. So, I can understand where your thought comes from, because the author of this video clearly says it. Where the author of this video got that remark must be, as Bauul pointed out, an incorrect extrapolation of Romero's statements that he made E1M1 last.

 

I suggest you watch the Devs Play series with Romero playing Doom and talking about it with JP Lebreton (Part 1 is below, but there are 11 parts total). The video of Romero playing Doom with IGN isn't bad, either, but I personally prefer Romero and Lebreton because it's two professional game developers talking about game design and related matters.

 

Incidentally, in Part 2, he says that one of the golden rules of level design is to finish the first level last. He actually started E1M1 rather early.

 

 

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On 10/2/2018 at 2:29 PM, geo said:

Well I had heard a long time ago that he made the first level last. That way you're used to the tools by the end of the project and you want to put your best foot forward, especially in the shareware days.

 

That one especially seems sensible, to start with the last level backwards and work your way to towards making the first level last. Not necessarily in an exact order, but to make sure that you know everything you want the game to possibly have by the end and then systematically remove them as you go to ease it in.

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