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kristus

Why I hate the term "mapper".

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Posted (edited)

Doom has maps, not levels, so people who make maps for Doom are called mappers because they make maps. I view mapping as an umbrella term for the whole map-making process, which includes level design as just one of the steps. That said:

13 hours ago, TheMightyHeracross said:

 

They aren't? I thought "E#M#" stood for "episode # map #"

The M in E#M# officially stands for Mission.

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Am I the only one who read E#M# as musical notes? 

 

Like, "e sharp m sharp". 

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That symbol has so many names: pound sign, sharp, hashtag, and number sign, which is the intended meaning here.

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1 hour ago, Empyre said:

That symbol has so many names: pound sign, sharp, hash, and number sign, which is the intended meaning here.

 

FTFY.  :)

 

A "hashtag" is specifically a hash followed by a searchterm.  

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On mercredi 2 janvier 2019 at 3:04 PM, Empyre said:

The M in E#M# officially stands for Mission.

WTF, where is the source for that?

 

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5 hours ago, Gez said:

WTF, where is the source for that?

 

I don't remember where I read it. Isn't it in the manual that comes with the game? I read it a long long time ago and I was surprised that it was Mission, not Map. If something is interesting to me, I remember it, even decades later. Where I got that information was less interesting than what it said, so I don't remember where.

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On 1/2/2019 at 12:04 PM, Empyre said:

Doom has maps, not levels

What are you smoking?

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I remember people referring to the maps as "missions" as well actually in (iirc) various early Doom geocities/etc sites with guides that had just been written by fans and stuff. I don't know of any official sources that call them missions but I also vividly remember seeing them referred to as missions here and there, particularly when I was first trying to learn how to map. I'm glad that term fell off the radar, it never felt right to refer to maps as "missions", the term kind of implies you've been given a specific directive about what to do before entering the map which is obviously never the case in classic Doom.

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I usually call them levels when they are 2D games and maps when they are 3D games.

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Creating levels for an existing game isn't make anyone a level designer. That needs more skills, for example a pro has to see his work with the eye of the player, and he should be aware how his maps are played, and won't make them only for his own fun (although good inspiration definitely helps). He has to understand the player doesn't know his map by heart, doesn't know where the secrets are, won't find the way out of a confusing maze.

 

A level designer needs a vision, a style. Mappers (if it's a term for amateur), who sometimes imitate the pros' work, are not creating their own style, but copying the stuff they saw in the game they imitate. The result will be lesser. Good example was DTWID and D2TWID, which was a fun imitating project, but you know, the real thing comes up with something fresh like we saw in Romero's 2 modern maps. Pros know their styles by nature, and they are thinking about their next idea and how they manage to adapt it into the game.

 

Pros usually work in team. With more mappers on board, there should be an agreement on style, and how the levels progress. When everyone is just doing his stuff, the end result can be like those many (sometimes popular) megawads with too many authors. Also,many times the pro and the musician work together well, what is fitting to the created level, what isn't.

 

Pros or level designers don't mishmash up styles of various games. They add new stuff very carefully to the existing game, don't add weird stuff like Blood enemies. Those were made for a different game and different purpose.

 

People like Romero, the Casalis, The Castle, Allen Blum (from Duke 3D) and others are professionals and that can be seen on their work. They create everything with their own audiovisual style, add their gameplay narratives, they build their maps with the player's eye etc etc. Many mappers do fine or sometimes even great work, but I can't see too much levels out there that could be sold in a pro game. Well, TNT and Master Levels were sold, but that was a different era when the game was fresh, and the competition was weak.

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Posted (edited)

come on guys don't be pedantic, from the manual:

 

25CHMRq.png

 

and fun fact: the ultimate doom manual also uses a picture from doom 2 to demonstrate the automap (at least steam version does)

 

3sabqbp.png

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Quote

The word "level" or "mission" refers to the scenario you find yourself in, also called an installation, a building, or even a map. 

 

from p.45 of The Lost Episodes of Doom.

 

Interesting how it is "even a map."

 

Christen Klie even uses the term mission in his commentary for some of the levels.

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Every time I sit down to make a map, I spend 3 seconds thinking of an encounter I want to design, and anywhere between 4 and 20 hours trying to get DB2 to make it happen. I think that qualifies me as a mapper.

 

P.S. The process usually ends with me deciding that my encounter is dumb, and a map with just one dumb encounter is even dumber, so I delete it all.

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It seems like what kristus is saying is that "mapper" is more synonymous with "cartographer".  Whereas "Level Designer" is what you do when you are creating an adventure rather than just creating a graphic representation of a map that already exists.  If the number of syllables is what you need to go down "cartographer" already has 1 fewer than "Level Designer".   Then if you still are unhappy with the language "map author" may yet still be more appropriate, bring the syllable count down to 3.  You could also use the terms "architect" and "engineer" and still sound intelligent keeping the syllable count at 3.  Going down to 2 with "mapper" is less fitting I do think because if you say it out loud and don't enunciate the word well, people may thing you said "napper" which does actually frequently happen as my building sessions can run into the wee hours of the morning and I fall asleep in a bowl of some kind of sugary kids cereal.  Also, "mapper" seems a little bit of a basic term to describe the art form, yes art form (see Bridgeburner56's maps) we have created here.  Whenever I tell people I "map" for "Doom" I say that I make maps for the game and I don't assign one word to the design process.  

 

All in all I guess I agree with kristus and will be removing "mapper" from my vocabulary unless all I'm doing is drawing maps on a pad.

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It's interesting to see how important this seems to be for some people. There are words that older generations consider rude where the younger ones don't bat an eye and vice versa, I feel this is a similar thing.

 

When you are a single person that creates fully playable levels / missions / maps / thingamagibs and you are referred to as a mapper, the word has a different meaning compared to when you are part of a team and the person responsible for creating the level geometry and nothing else.

 

I see a parallel with how some people tend to divide programmers into categories like programmer, scripter and coder when to me there's not a big difference, the rules and tools differ and that's about it.At the end of the day I couldn't give two shits about how someone else refers to my profession. In the end it comes down to punching the keyboard to make shit happen which is how I explain my job if people have no clue what it's about. My main gig at the moment is web development and if some people refuse to call me a programmer because of that, I couldn't care less. Insisting on being called a certain thing reeks of ego to me, just replace it with 'majesty' and see how ridiculous it sounds.

 

I guess what I'm saying is: when you know you're good at what you do, why even care what other people choose to label it as? Just let your work speak for itself and it will distinguish you from the rest regardless. If people think you don't deserve a title and it bothers you, prove them wrong. It's fun when people underestimate you and you have an opportunity to show them they're actually the ones full of shit and take their ego down a notch.

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On 1/2/2019 at 5:57 AM, pc234 said:

I prefer Maper, because I like maping.

 

you cant mape the willing

 

just saying

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