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Doommarine_maxi

Why Doom 2 level design feels a lot inferior to Doom 1?

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I mean, Doom 1 (at least episode 1) level design is just superb, you can somehow understand where you are, the architecture of the place try to make some sense (atleast a bit) there're some parts with well-placed lights (even some twinkling lights). I wanna say that I can sense some atmosphere going on while playing Doom 1.

But while I'm playing Doom 2 the architecture feels just so bad, so so bad. Everything looks like some random map, I cannot tell where I'm, all these places makes no-sense at all for me and many maps looks really really different from others, and not in a good way. Yeah, it's fun but there's no atmosphere at all, I cannot feel submerged in the game compared from how I feel while playing Doom 1.
 

So my question is, why this happened?.

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I will say the city themed levels felt way off, the game play was there for sure but something just doesn't feel the same.
I think it was just what people were into at id, kinda like taking the philosophy of mappers putting there design choices first and and let people decide if they like it afterwards, it's not a bad thing in my opinion, just not what some people were into like the city levels.
Then again, maybe my lack of sleep is clouding my judgement.

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No idea, but frankly I don't find Doom 2's levels inferior to those of Doom 1, just that they have a very different style that rarely ever tries to be realistic.

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The only time it really aims to be realistic are in the city levels but im afraid those are a little... dated.

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I personally feel that “FooM”, the text-based adventure, was far more evocative and compelling than either E1 or Doom2.

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2 hours ago, Doommarine_maxi said:

Everything looks like some random map

That's because they practically were just random maps. They weren't really trying for any interesting themes or mapping conventions, they just wanted to show off the improved hardware by having bigger, more wide open maps. The maps were closer to standalone tech-demos than they were to consecutive maps in a game.

 

They also made little to no attempt at weapon balance, giving players the SSG on map02 and every single weapon in the game by map08, and the new monsters aren't even used well either. Immediately throwing every weapon in the game at the player and barely making effective use of your new beastiary somewhat ruins the point of including the new weapon and monsters in the first place.

 

With that said, E2 and E3 also check off almost every item in that list:

✓ Smaller roster

✓ No SSG

✓ No coherent theme (although E3's theme is more about being chaotic)

Yet they still manage to be quite fun gameplay-wise and appealing visually, so I guess Doom 2 was just a big ol' missed opportunity all around.

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Only episode 1 stands out. The two Hall/Petersen episodes felt like some lovecraftian Wolf3D, E2M2 and maybe E2M7 aside the maps had zero sense. Episode 4 is a mishmash of "various artists", like Master Levels or TNT. E4M6 stood out design-wise, but it had some awkward gameplay moments like consistent falls to lava pit and sloppy flow (not to mention the almost obligatory secrets to help you out with ammo in pistolstart mode).

 

Doom 2 had some good maps with a sense of place. I really like the bunch from Map02 to Map07, particularly The Crusher. Map11, 15 and 17 from Romero are also pretty sweet, they have that episode 1 feel. But the best part is the final part, Map27 (Monster Condo) for example is a masterpiece of paranoid horror theme, so was Map28 and Map29 with their infernal theme. Sure it had some stinker levels, but I don't see any valid arguments that it's worse than D1's episode 2-4 stuff.

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39 minutes ago, bonnie said:

giving players the SSG on map02 and every single weapon in the game by map08

 

I also remember Sandy (I think?) saying that he was never satisfied with the difficulty of the final game. They tried to balance the game primarily for pistol starting, too bad most people played continuous. Dropping the episodic format of Doom 1 surely didn't help either.

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The first Doom's levels felt more fun, so I guess that makes them feel superior? Doom 2 felt like it took a shot at realism. More browns, more logical areas. More arch-vilves, mancubi and skeles to make it feel worse. It's like they had so much time to construct grander, yet blander levels that it derailed the charm and fun.

 

As for the extremely rushed... they did have a full 9 months to come up with 32 levels. That doesn't seem rushed for the DOOM engine even with the tools that 1993 could provide. Know what is hard and time consuming? Modern 3D levels with modern textures with lighting effects. But hey good ole iD did produce 9 games in 12 months for one year, so if anyone could shit out a game, they can.

 

Anyone wanna try the "make 32 Doom 2 level challenge using 1994 era tools?"

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3 hours ago, Nancsi said:

Only episode 1 stands out. The two Hall/Petersen episodes felt like some lovecraftian Wolf3D, E2M2 and maybe E2M7 aside the maps had zero sense. Episode 4 is a mishmash of "various artists", like Master Levels or TNT. E4M6 stood out design-wise, but it had some awkward gameplay moments like consistent falls to lava pit and sloppy flow (not to mention the almost obligatory secrets to help you out with ammo in pistolstart mode).

 

Doom 2 had some good maps with a sense of place. I really like the bunch from Map02 to Map07, particularly The Crusher. Map11, 15 and 17 from Romero are also pretty sweet, they have that episode 1 feel. But the best part is the final part, Map27 (Monster Condo) for example is a masterpiece of paranoid horror theme, so was Map28 and Map29 with their infernal theme. Sure it had some stinker levels, but I don't see any valid arguments that it's worse than D1's episode 2-4 stuff.

 

 

Well said. DoomII has some classic maps to back up its legacy. Map11 is one of the levels that I love playing around with when testing a "new" PC(newly acquired old 486/586 stuff actually).

 

McGee's maps have a nice compact/industrial/abandoned feel to themt with the updated, more earthly/realistic, style rendering it different to the original Doom's(with METAL-, BRICK- and TEKGREN- being THE textures establishing DoomII's, in parts, more organic approach).

Edited by _bruce_ : grammar/wording

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28 minutes ago, Nancsi said:

The two Hall/Petersen episodes felt like some lovecraftian Wolf3D, E2M2 and maybe E2M7 aside the maps had zero sense.

I can't agree with that. E2M3, E2M4, E2M5 all have strong senses of place too IMO.

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I really don't understand how people can say that Doom 2's levels are inferior to Doom's in any way, shape and form. 

 

Doom episode 1 is so boring when it comes to gameplay and theme.

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1 hour ago, DooM_RO said:

It's uglier but plays better.

 

This. Doom 2's levels play better than doom 1's E2 and E3.

 

(Also none of the doom 1 levels have anything on doom 2's map11)

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Say what you will about Doom 2, but barrels o'fun and dead simple were two of the most memorable doom maps, for me. I may be biased though since I have played doom 2 waaaay more than the original doom. 

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I have no idea why it feels that way to you. You will need to look deep into your soul to discover what is broken.

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Doom 2 got some stinkers but it really isn't that many. (I'd argue those are The Factory, The Courtyard, The Citadel & Nirvana, but your mileage may vary) The entire first episode is solid all the way through, with plenty of memorable locations. Doom 1 makes a bigger impact mostly due to the nostalgic effect, but Doom 2 is the better game.

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I will just quote a old post of mine:

Quote

As for the mere gimmick, the larger space that Doom 2 provides often consists of largely empty areas, making the game boring. The earth levels also feels sort of unfun, no real thought was given to their texturing. It largely consists of brown textures that was overused. Especially The Chasm where the brown textures is really overused.

 

The Pit looked rather dull, and there's an area that would look better if the ceiling was a sky.

The early version of the Refueling Base looked better. The Downtown level emphasises too much on bricks.

A real solution to the low detail of Doom 2 would be to increase vissprites limit enough so that Doom 2 has good detail and yet still good performance, something id software didn't do.

And another one:

Quote

Both gameplay and visual appearance matters to me. A map that has good gameplay but ugly visuals would be bad, at least for me.

I prefer Doom 1's much better visual appearance and gameplay and Doom 1 E4's better hellish graphical appearance and gameplay despite difficulty.

 

Also, I think that TeamTNT and the Casali brothers gave good thought about texturing when designing their maps. They are surely hard but has good visual appearance.

But TNT : Evilution loses its betterness when you get to Map20 and later.

And I am still able to enjoy them but not on the level of TNT : Evilution where maps are much more enjoyable than usual.

 

And for this reason I prefer John Romero's maps alongside TeamTNT maps. I am arguing that Doom 2 is ugly because they don't have good futuristic appearance and maps like the Industrial Zone look like they are castles when Doom 2 is supposed to take place in futuristic timeline. Doom 2 Reloaded designs each and every map from scratch so that they actually resemble city and futuristic landscapes.

Plutonia is the real Doom 2.

 

Doom 2 texturing and colors gets boring in The Factory and later as they have really empty larger spaces that looked empty of any sign of dead humans.

 

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Some maps were gimmicky, but tbh most of it is pretty good.

From the hated Inferno episode, I really really love maps 26 to 29, for example. Most of City levels plays well too, with Downtown and Courtyard maybe being exceptions.

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Oh, thank goodness that there is a such kind soul like you, who was brave enough to make another, definitely not discussed 1 billion times before, topic about absolutely life urgent problems like: "why is X such hot garbage/I think X is worse than Y/why people can't make good wads for me to play", man, 5 more of these, and doomworld will probably collapse right into the black hole from a such overwhelming enlightenment and positivity.

 

 

 

But jokes aside, I have nothing against you, OP, (in fact, the way you formed your opinion is definitely alright, and you are pretty polite and definitely not mean spirited (so far), compared to some other folks, so, huge respect for that) it's just this whole thing is kinda getting old at this point.

Edited by BioRenegat

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Unoriginal thread aside, I never found Doom 2’s level design that bad. There might have been about 1 or 2 levels that I didn’t like, but other than that I still loved the city architecture and open-ended environments. In fact, huge maps with city-like design are one of my favourite things in Doom wads. I just think it looks cool.

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2 hours ago, Gez said:

I can't agree with that. E2M3, E2M4, E2M5 all have strong senses of place too IMO.

 

They all felt like the same mishmash of whatever to me. E2M6 is actually better than those, as it's a really frightening level, more like a preview to Monster Condo.

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Well the reason is that this poster only appeared in doom 3 threads.

 

8 hours ago, Xyzzy01 said:

Why?

 

Why another one of these threads?

 

And this is the end of this thread.

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