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obake

How to Deal with Mapping Sadness

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On 12/23/2018 at 6:00 PM, Doom_Dude said:

I also lost a lot of work I wish I had saved. My Hexen 2 project... I think I just one day deleted it all but that fucking Qoole editor ate some of it too. I wish I had kept the stuff Qoole didn't barf up, even for the sake of just walking around those maps again.

Damn, that sucks.  I remember those screenshots back on one of the internet excursions when I went trawling for any Hexen 2 maps I could dig up from anywhere, and thinking they looked cool but figuring that it was an abandoned project that never went anywhere, still sad to hear how it actually happened.

 

As to the thread at large, I didn't really consider myself to have much of this problem but reading through it has kind of made me realize just how much stuff I put off, especially in the realm of more esoteric stuff, due to thoughts of "nobody will care" / "people will only bash it".  Got to give a particular nod to @Doomkid's bit about the stuff that shows a lot of visible popularity not being the only stuff that anyone out there might want.  Certainly found that last time I went in on a "nobody will even care about this" project in spite of that (not something Doom-based), I got more response out of it than I ever expected.  Guess my takeaway should be that there's no such thing as a "pointless" project if it's something you've got an interest in doing.  What interests you probably interests someone out there too.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah Ettingrinder, it does suck. I was hoping at the least that Razumen would get Ravenhurst finished but I think he got as far as releasing a demo map and that was it.

 

I know one thing for sure. When it comes to feedback, I wish I had never read any of the comments on /idgames. Really it's just awful.

Edited by Doom_Dude

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16 hours ago, Doom_Dude said:

I know one thing for sure. When it comes to feedback, I wish I had never read any of the comments on /idgames. Really it's just awful.

I feel terrible that this was your experience. For me, the feedback I've received, though critical, has also been constructive. Hopefully you'll receive nicer critiques in the future.

 

What are some of your wads? Perhaps I can help provide better feedback. :)

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Posted (edited)

Ahh don't feel too bad. My stuff gets better feedback these days. I just got irritated from re-reading the negative comments on my first release which was called Vilecore, a 32 level megawad made with DoomCad I released in 2000. I already know all the issues with it and I don't mind critical feedback, but when somebody says it's worth nothing, it pisses me off. It also helps that I'm not drinking rum today. ;) Plus I'm fixing it all in a couple projects I'm working on including Vilecore 2 so the anonymous, asshole minority can go inflate some cacos. ;) Thanks tho.

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@Doom_Dude I think there are a couple of demo versions of Ravenhurst out there at least but neither of them more than short couple of levels.  It does seem to be abandoned as far as I can tell.  As far as any Hexen II adventures with real meat to them go I think Fortress of the Four Doors and Mission Pack by Rino (and its sequel) are still the best bets.  There's also that one that Bloodshot is making although that's also in WIP status for now.

 

As for idgames reviews, well, the old idgames review system had major problems due to both allowing anonymous unregistered posting (so anyone could go on and shitpost/troll with nothing to stop them but IP bans, which are an iffy proposition in a world where hiding one's IP is not only possible but something that has a contingent who thinks it's something everyone should do) and there being a twitter-style character limit (so if you wanted to say anything actually thoughtful about a WAD half the time you ended up getting told it was too long).  It's somewhat better nowadays when those things have been removed.

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On 12/27/2018 at 2:38 AM, stewboy said:

However, I'm surrounded all day by other composers. In addition to the other students studying there, every week we get either a professional composer in to talk about their work, or a staff member giving a lecture about a composer too famous to bother to come and talk about themselves in person.

 

I think this is crucial to any artistic or technical endeavour, be it making music or making Doom maps.  Surrounding yourself and interacting with people who you consider to be better than yourself can only improve your work.  I don't mean just playing what they make from afar, but actually talking to them about it.  A finished map can seem overwhelming to replicate the quality of, but the reality is the "making of the sausage" is often far less of a perfect, glamorous process than you might find yourself presuming, and the more you get to see that process the more digestible the process is.  

 

Twitch streamers by mappers are an excellent place to start.  My first exposure to UDMF was watching @Dragonfly working on Skulldash.  It broke a down a lot of the mystery of UDMF and how to handle a giant pk3 project like Skulldash.  You might look at someone like @Bridgeburner56's screenshots and think "how do you even come up with something like that?", but watch his streams and it all becomes much clearer, and perhaps even replicatable.  That's what's so awesome about something like the Joy of Mapping: you can really talk through the process of making something and break it down into smaller chunks, and suddenly the whole process becomes much more achievable.  

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Posted (edited)

@ETTiNGRiNDER I'll have to check out Fortress of the Four Doors and Mission Pack by Rino (and its sequel) since I'm in Hexen mode lately and I never played those.

Edited by Doom_Dude

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LOL @ this emotional support thread! Guys c'mon...

 

Bad /idgames reviews are great! Usually the person is jealous, has a personal gripe, decided to be a trollolol that day, or is mentally diseased (lots of them about)! Laugh at them, hohoho!

 

If you can't take the peasants jeering at you and throwing rotten vegetables you might as well keep to yourself whatever steaming pile you were planning to subject us all to.
 

The safest way to not be let down is to have extraordinarily high standards so that you know all of the possible criticisms before they appear. Be your own harshest critic - I am and will always be. Mapping for praise is contemptible, praise will come when you release something of quality that you yourself recognize to be different and striking and ingenious. I get more dopamine from recognizing various successes in vitro than I do from anyone rating my stuff post release. Those come after the fact and are nice but they mostly confirm what I already know, both positive and negative.

 

Back in the good(?) old days trolling was the norm and millennial fefe's were crushed hourly... and it was worse on IRC. ;)

...

...Where's Darknation? He would set you all straight.

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I think calling it “sadness” may be a bit of an exaggeration because I wouldn’t describe it as sadness but as a mix of fatigue and frustration, for me at least.

 

I think there’s a lot of merit to being your own harshest critic, you’ll definitely make better stuff that way, but sometimes being too critical can stifle your progress and that’s when it’s time to say fuck it and just make what you like. I also agree that mapping for praise is contemptible, it’s the ass backward approach.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, iori said:

LOL @ this emotional support thread! Guys c'mon...

 

Bad /idgames reviews are great! Usually the person is jealous, has a personal gripe, decided to be a trollolol that day, or is mentally diseased (lots of them about)! Laugh at them, hohoho!

 

If you can't take the peasants jeering at you and throwing rotten vegetables you might as well keep to yourself whatever steaming pile you were planning to subject us all to.
 

The safest way to not be let down is to have extraordinarily high standards so that you know all of the possible criticisms before they appear. Be your own harshest critic - I am and will always be. Mapping for praise is contemptible, praise will come when you release something of quality that you yourself recognize to be different and striking and ingenious. I get more dopamine from recognizing various successes in vitro than I do from anyone rating my stuff post release. Those come after the fact and are nice but they mostly confirm what I already know, both positive and negative.


While I agree that mapping solely for approval from others is probably not the best approach, I don't think not giving a shit about what anyone says about it is the best approach either. Mappers will always get better if they receive actual constructive criticism from their peers and are receptive enough to it. Of course, there's a difference between actually good feedback and calling someone's map a "steaming pile", but that much should be obvious. I'm definitely my harshest critic, but that can often be to a fault since it's very easy to discourage yourself and get caught up in only the negatives. Holding yourself to that kind of standard I think is only going to make you think that you'll never be good enough; that is, if you're actually not an arrogant blowhard and think that every single thing you make is gold and should be worshiped, but I think most people around here are actually more humble and helpful than that ;p

 

2 hours ago, iori said:

Back in the good(?) old days trolling was the norm and millennial fefe's were crushed hourly... and it was worse on IRC. ;)

...

...Where's Darknation? He would set you all straight.


Yeah, man. It's almost like being a contemptuous dicksnot to people is looked down upon or something.
 

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This was the first feedback I received after releasing Dark Encounters.

Spoiler

Unfortunately this turned out like most GZDoom map sets that people make.

I could only play about the first three or four maps before I simply got bored of playing. Maps generally consisted of very large, open areas (or very small for some maps) jammed pack full of monsters. The layouts of these maps were bland and often linear with a ton of useless and ugly looking 3D floors and slopes. Limiting yourself to Doom 2 textures only also didn't aid you since Doom 2 has some of the worst textures out there.

...and then, a few LONG weeks later...
 

Spoiler

 

This one is a gem. This is my first comment in this forum after browsing and enjoying it for years.

I have invested at least 15 hours of gameplay into Dark Encounters using BD v21 and GZD v324. Honestly, I was sold on the first level. The placement of weapons, ammo, monsters... everything is very well done. The levels can become massive and sprawling, but I only found myself running around not knowing how to get somewhere I needed to be a couple of times.

Lastly, the architecture is, in my opinion, simply incredible. As much as I love running through hordes of ambushing monsters blasting countless rounds with a chaingun and seeing my screen filled with red and green, I also have a great appreciation for attention to detail in architecture. You did a great job of keeping the levels very interesting and dynamic in a way. I never found myself getting bored with what I thought (I hardly ever read descriptions) was a megawad made from levels created by a group of devoted people who truly understand the original game.

 

What did I learn?...People have very different tastes. Make what you enjoy playing.

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On 12/23/2018 at 3:48 AM, obake said:

I would also ask other experienced members how they've overcome mapping sadness, too.

 

Honestly, I don't experience it.  For me, other people's stuff being great is something to celebrate, because it gives me something great to experience.  I might think  "Wow, I wish I had done that", but the emotion associated with that thought is admiration, not sadness.

 

It may help that I know a lot of people in the creative arts, and that's not a career you can stay healthy in if you feel resentment or sadness over the successes of others.  

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1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

I think calling it “sadness” may be a bit of an exaggeration because I wouldn’t describe it as sadness but as a mix of fatigue and frustration, for me at least.

 

I think there’s a lot of merit to being your own harshest critic, you’ll definitely make better stuff that way, but sometimes being too critical can stifle your progress and that’s when it’s time to say fuck it and just make what you like. I also agree that mapping for praise is contemptible, it’s the ass backward approach. 

 

Generally that's the time to take a break and come back to it later. Sometimes weeks to months.

 

37 minutes ago, Sparktimus said:


While I agree that mapping solely for approval from others is probably not the best approach, I don't think not giving a shit about what anyone says about it is the best approach either. Mappers will always get better if they receive actual constructive criticism from their peers and are receptive enough to it. Of course, there's a difference between actually good feedback and calling someone's map a "steaming pile", but that much should be obvious. I'm definitely my harshest critic, but that can often be to a fault since it's very easy to discourage yourself and get caught up in only the negatives. Holding yourself to that kind of standard I think is only going to make you think that you'll never be good enough; that is, if you're actually not an arrogant blowhard and think that every single thing you make is gold and should be worshiped, but I think most people around here are actually more humble and helpful than that ;p

 


Yeah, man. It's almost like being a contemptuous dicksnot to people is looked down upon or something.
 

 

My post was mostly tongue in cheek, but there is value to being told to pull up one's trousers and get back to it. Not giving a shit when appropriate. Many maps are subjectively steaming piles, not that I'd ever review them as such. We have others to do that for us ;).

 

I've released at least one steaming pile under an old alias, and still have several from over a decade ago that I sit on, probably for historical reasons. I remain grossly dissatisfied by many of my releases, but never to my own psychological detriment.

 

Trust yourself more than anyone else. You already know what is right and wrong when you play other's maps, apply that 'review' to your own as well.

 

In my early days I used to look at the /newstuff reviews and be in awe of the Wad of the Week screenshot, but I would never feel like having a 'cry' over them. I would definitely wonder how to create such a thing, how ponder how to get there from where I was, but never be discouraged by someone else's good work.

 

Maybe an overall lack of confidence from people comes from overall inexperience coupled with Too Much Internet, maybe some nature vs. nurture swinging to the latter, who knows?

 

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I just have a few things to say.

Mapping is supposed to be a hobby, and if you're stressing out over your "hobby", either:

1 - Mapping is not for you 

2 - You're not contempt enough with yourself, and that's more to the personal side of everyone, and you might need to fix that.

At least that's what I think.

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I figured something out.

 

There's a few base mapping themes, i believe. You can go for hellish themes, medieval themes, tech themes, etc. You gotta map in what you think is best for you. And it doesn't matter if your theme doesn't fall in the categories of hell, tech or medieval at all.

 

I found my mapping style because i got inspired by skulldash' vibetech map, which has all the neon lines and all. I personally enjoy mapping in that kind of theme, and that kind of theme only (for now). Map in the theme you think you like mapping in, and you could choose to specialize in it, or just to expand the themes you map in the more experienced you get..?

 

You don't map because others like it, you map because you like it. I figured it out now.

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Wanted to provide another perspective on this topic regarding Mapping Sadness. It took me a while to understand but I think it's sometimes hard to realize that when we look at some amazing maps out there, that we enjoy playing, we don't consider the possibility that the creator faced challenges and self-doubt. If we play a great map, the mapper must have been confident, greatly talented and had everything figured out from the start. This is not the case and actually a fantasy. We are aware of our own flaws, but not of everybody else's flaws or struggles as a mapper. Perhaps some of the mappers we idolize had a hard time as well, and were not confident of their own creations. This video on Impostor Syndrome might help to summarize, hope it helps:

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

"healthy ways to get noticed and receive recognition."

This is the issue. If the creation of your art is predicated on this you will not be happy and you probably won't make anything good, you'll burn out and give up before that. The best way to get noticed is to make something good. You just keep trying. Dragonfly and whoever else didn't release a Cacoward worthy wad right out the gate.

A lot of the sadness comes from comparing yourself to others. You just have to recognize that, that it's fine other people are better and more popular than you, because as I said before, your goal shouldn't focus on being better than other mappers or being more popular than them.

 

On a slightly different note, my quick fix for mapping sadness is a good puff of weed. Gets me over the hump when I really love the idea of mapping but can't bring myself to.

Edited by hella knight

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The only competition is with oneself. The one of being able to improve with each new map, until finding a own style ... at the same time helping those that are the same, my problem is free time that I have to play or make things ... and I know that to make a map for a player takes hours between creation and testing (I made a pack that went unnoticed) so I ended up making levels for deathmatch and replay them countless times

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