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Back to mapping after 15 years

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Hello everyone, I used to do 2d mapping for a few different games as a kid and now as an adult I'm looking to get back into it as a hobby. I am however pretty overwhelmed by the amount of options out there in terms of engines and editors so I'm looking for some guidance.


There seems to be some debate about what editor is best at the moment, primarily between Doom Builder 2 and Slade. Is there a place that lists the pros and cons of each or can someone chime in with their opinion about which one I should learn?


Also, is there a more centralized location that can tell me about the differences between various ports so I can decide what I want to learn to use?


I'd add in closing that Sunlust by Ribbiks and Danne pretty much singlehandedly convinced me that I wanted to get back into doing this stuff, that wad was incredible!



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The most centralized comparison you're going to find is probably the Doom Wiki: https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Comparison_of_source_ports. But if I can summarize:

  • If you want something relatively simple to ease you back in the world of map editing, go with Boom-compatibility (PrBoom+). You won't have to worry about fitting inside Doom's static limits, and you'll get enough options to make interesting maps (like the Sunlust set).
  • If you want something with really a lot of possibilities and aren't afraid of being overwhelmed by options, go with GZDoom and UDMF.
  • Finally, other ports like EDGE, Eternity, Doomsday or Delphi Doom are worth a look too. Since mods made specifically for them are unfortunately few and far between nowadays, you'll be able to stand out more: the niche is less crowded, so to speak.

As for editor. I wouldn't recommend DB2, it's been abandoned for a while. Instead, I suggest looking at its forks.

  • Doom Builder X: DBX, by anotak, is an updated version of DB2, with some additional features and bugfixes taken from other DB forks, but striving to keep a simple, uncluttered interface.
  • GZDoom Builder Bugfix: GZDBBF, by ZZYZX, is an updated version of GZDB by MaxED, which itself was an updated version of DB2 with more editing features, dedicated mostly to support the extended reach of mapping features offered by GZDoom.
  • 3DGE Builder: if you want to map for EDGE specifically, this is your best bet. You can also use it for vanilla or Boom maps, but DBX is probably better in that role.
  • Doom Builder 64: if you want to map for Doom64 EX, this is your best bet. It only supports Doom 64, so you can forget about it if you want to make more traditional Doom maps.

So basically, you have a choice between simple and streamlined (DBX) or advanced and featureful (GZDBBF).


What about SLADE 3? Well SLADE 3 is not just a map editor, it's also and more importantly an archive editor. The map editor part is not as fully featured as GZDBBF or even DBX, but you will need SLADE 3 anyway to manage manage your project: editing textures, adding music, tweaking the game palette, adding custom objects, etc. all that you'll do in SLADE 3. Note that you can configure it to open maps with a Doom Builder editor if you prefer that to using its own map editor.


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