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Major Arlene

How important is it to test maps with mods?

How important is it to test maps with mods?  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. Yes? No? Maybe?

    • very important
      1
    • somewhat important
      10
    • not important at all
      51


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I ask this because I've had several experiences where people will either make maps with mods in mind, or testers will use mods to test maps and/or use on regular play.

I've always been a big believer in (somewhat) vanilla so I've never tested with mods, but I've noticed some mods can break scripting and cause other issues.

So, do you fix maps for mods, or tell people to nix mods to play your maps? Is it something that should be considered?

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Personally I basically never use gameplay mods, not even mostly cosmetic stuff like Smooth Doom. Sprite fixes yes, anything that modifies the actor code, no.

 

That said, in general terms, you shouldn't expect mods to break if you don't do any of these things:

  • Replace actors with variants
  • Use boss special effects (the tag 666/667 stuff, like on ExM8, E4M6, and MAP07)
  • Change weapons
  • Use scripts that directly mess with the player's inventory for weapons, keys, and so on
  • Use scripts that count monsters of a given type for whatever reason, such as opening a door when all are killed

If you do this kind of things, I suggest borrowing the Brutal Doom check from Demonsteele and spawning a gigantic horde of invincible golden noclipping revenants.

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"How important is it?" is gonna vary a lot depending on who's asking. Compatibility with gameplay mods is something important to me, personally, so I test my own maps with mods and try and lend a helping hand on that front when possible, but that's because I make gameplay mods myself and therefore have a vested interest in ensuring my own stuff works correctly. :P

 

Perhaps a more pertinent question is: "Is it the mapper's responsibility to test maps with mods?", in which case I'd say the answer is simply "no."

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I'd only ever test a map with mods if it is designed for said mods in the first place.

 

Given how many mods are out there: Sorry, wouldn't bother to look up what's the current hotness/flavour of the season, and then test maps with all the things, including doing full runs just to make sure it's both playable and doable. Gameplay mods tend to not care that much (if at all) about balance from what I have seen, so why should a mapper care that much about balancing/testing for mod-compatibility then? Let's also not forget that testing with different source-ports is something that may be worth doing as well, and it's most likely a higher priority for certain map-formats than testing for/with gameplay mods would be.

 

Xaser has the right idea, imo. Nothing wrong with trying to get mods to work if possible (without too much hassle, preferably). But for testing the gameplay of your maps, mods should be anything but a top priority.

Also people who "test" your maps with mods that have a direct impact on the core gameplay aren't the most reliable source of feedback regarding the very core gameplay that you were looking to create as far as I'm concerned. A tester's "primary function", imo, is to play the map under the circumstances the mapper has intended. Doing tests with mods is perhaps a nice added bonus, though.

If you want your testers to deliver the kind of information you are looking for, you need to be pretty upfront about what you want them to give feedback on. Sure, they do all the testing for free, but you also gave them an "exclusive access" to your work ahead of time, so there's no reason not to be specific about the things you would like them to look for. It saves the time of everyone who's involved, which is :pogchamp:

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It depends on the goal of the project, I'd say.  If it's something that you intend or expect to be used with mods, then certainly.  If it's something you're open to allowing, but isn't a major goal, then maybe?  Maybe just test Brutal Doom and similar with it?  Or if you're like me, where everything I've made was done specifically without mods in mind, then there's absolutely no reason to test them.

 

Then again, even if you design it for use without mods, in the end, someone is going to skip the readme and try to use a mod anyway.  Without fail.

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2 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

I'd only ever test a map with mods if it is designed for said mods in the first place.

 

This.

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As much as many of us tend to design without mods in mind, the reality is a lot of people do play with them.  While I would never design a map with a mod in mind, if I have the time I do think there's benefit in testing it with some of the big ones. At the very least if you discover there's a game-breaking conflict, you can warn people. So it's not an issue if you don't test with mods (and mappers have every right not to if they're not designing for mods), but I also don't think it can hurt if you do.

 

Edit: Also, bear in mind Doomworld is a rather traditionalist corner of the Doom community. If you asked this over on the ZDoom or Zandronum forums you'd likely get a somewhat different outcome. 

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It would be extremely difficult to balance something for, say, both vanilla play and Brutal Doom. BD gives you new and more powerful weapons, new firing modes, etc. Also, enemies do more damage to you, so you could potentially burn through health faster. I can't imagine trying to balance the difficulty for both of them at once. If you try balancing for these as well as a third, fourth, or even more, I think it quickly becomes very close to an impossible problem.

 

I would advise that you either make a map for a particular mod, or make it for vanilla gameplay.

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Mappers have no obligation in make their maps compatible for gameplay mods as the target Source Port may not even be GZDoom/Zandronum (which is the case of strict-vanilla/Boom/limit-removal maps, and those relies alot in voodoo doll scripting that is very volatile to mods) and players have no right to complain about a map breaking at some point if on their first attempt at playing said map is with a gameplay mod.

 

The culprit is also conditional in these terms, it can be a newbie mapper getting into ACS and doing keylocked scripts by using the rusty if(CheckInventory("RedCard")==1), as it can also be the modder with a NewRedKey replaces RedCard and completely forgetting to provide an updated KEYCONF lump for the new keys or setting the Species in the key actor for example. Most times the problems comes from the mod as most maps are meant for vanilla anyway.

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@Major Arlene Question for you, because I think people are interpreting your question differently.  Are you asking whether people should make changes to their maps to make them mod-compatible, or are you asking simply whether people should test their maps with mods to see whether they work or not (but not necessarily make any changes if they don't)?

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Nah, I only test my maps on zdoom/prboom to the exhaustion and there are still tons of bugs people find. I don't have the necessary energy nor the time to test everything with mods. >.<

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Its always a plus when a map pack is compatible with most, if not all, mods but I'd have to say its not really their responsibility. Especially when their idea is for something different and they want to use custom monsters or other custom assets. Even though it may break compatibility, you gotta love it when they come out with something original.

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