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Memerz1

What do you look for in a Doom map?

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Everybody has a different idea of what makes a good map, I've heard some people like completely open maps, where you have to search for all 3 key cards. But I also hear some other people like a more linear "Doom 3-like" map design, where it's just a bunch of fancy hallways. And there's the crowd who likes both. But of course there's more to take into consideration when making a map. Doors, health packs, enemy placement, It's like making the perfect beverage, that everyone can enjoy. But what do you look for when judging a map?

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I won't say what I look for when judging a map because I feel like that's a slightly different question, but what I usually 'look for' is infighting and... not getting hit? :)

Instead of running in blasting my ssg I'll get a feel for the layout, running around the place enjoying the scene while deftly avoiding enemies and allowing them to kill each other for as long as I find that fun (then out comes the ssg). It's kind of like playing 'cats-and-mouse', it's fun dodging them but there's the added benefit of most of the cats taking each other out in the process.

So I guess it follows I look for maps that have spaces that are not too open because then there's less challenge in avoiding enemies but also not too cramped. Less doors are better and not too much health because I want to be challenged. I enjoy having a bunch of enemies sprung on me, but also giving me just enough time and room to navigate them if I'm playing skilfully.

What of yourself, Memerz1?

Edited by mappr

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For me, I like:

- maps where there is just enough ammo so that its JUST beatable without relying on monster infighting. I like it when monster infighting can give significant advantage but I don't like when it is FORCED on the player.

- Intelligent monster encounters (like skillsaw's maps) and not just "fight 100 revenants here"

- Not too open, but not too cramped either.

- Good asthetics (not just the same brown brown and brown everywhere like plutonia)

- Good layout and good verticality (non maze like layout)

 

43 minutes ago, DJVCardMaster said:

if it says "runs on ZDoom or higher" I won't even bother to download it

 

Fair enough. But ur missing on some really good stuff out there.

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5 minutes ago, ReaperAA said:

Fair enough. But ur missing on some really good stuff out there.


Not really, I usually check out some of the big releases, but I don't fancy them, at most.

To be honest never really liked Void.

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Mpas with great layout, doesn't necessarily have to be big, beautiful maps that take advantage of every feature of GZDoom, and maps with smart enemy placement. I really love how Richard Wiles was able to make such challenging maps that didn't have several hundred monsters in them. Although I do enjoy slaughtermaps but don't like when its just hundreds of the same enemy in one huge open square room.

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I love a good flowing layout. Gameplay is very important too. Implemented difficulty levels, proper ammo, health, armor, and powerups, and also enemy distribution. I personally hate teleporter traps (enemies just spawning in to surround you), and also no one wants to have their reward for finding the red key to have to face down 4 cyberdemons with just a shotgun. You also don't want to be able to be killing every single zombieman with the BFG and never run out of ammo, so balance is key.

 

I love detail, but to me the best detail is using textures properly. There is a such thing as too much detail also. To me the key is when the player has finished the map there should be a sense of satisfaction, like they've accomplished something. My favorite wads are also very clean and well-put-together wads with new music, proper mapinfo, and having an overall theme. However I do enjoy community wads as well.

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Nostalgia, classic look, vanilla flavoured or limit removing while staying close to the original concept of Doom. Non linear or linear or a bit of both, no slaughtermaps, clever layouts, interesting fights. Good visuals, altough I don't hold that in high regard, a bland vanilla styled map with good gameplay might be just as fun. I guess thats it...

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If it doesn't run on my Vanilla doom exe in my 1992 computer smoothly with dos input, then I ain't downloading it

/s

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Tight balance customised to my own skill level? Frequenting single digit ammo counts without ever going 0 in everything is a rare but appreciated find. Pcorf's stuff seems to hit the spot.

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@Jayextee haha, very nice. 

 

In addition to tight-ish ammo and items, I look for flow. Which typically means:

 

- level layout is interconnected and you're always moving, arena-corridor-arena bores me quite fast

- arsenal should match the opposition. Baron and up, I'd like to at least have a rocket launcher. Circle strafing meatbags with SSG or god forbid lower? No.

- fighting hordes not armies. I think slaughter style maps are very hard to get right with Doom AI and enemy attacks. Takes a lot more skill to get terrain, monster placement and release timing all working together in this style IMO.

- Mid-small size mostly, I feel more momentum this way.

 

A lack of epidemic brown and lack of symmetry are also appreciated.

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Interesting. I played this one wad where there were so many Arachnitrons that I had to save-scum a little to get through it. Yeah, I don't really like wads that drown you in monsters, and call that difficult. I'd prefer dodging like 15 fire-balls from multiple Imps while juking around Pinkies, than deal with something like cheap hit-scan when I'm at 3% for most of the map.

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Lots of optional paths ... dead ends. I don't think Doom lends itself that well to linear level design; a major part of the fun for me is getting lost and "unraveling" a map, so to speak.

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- Exploration. The map must have optional paths as molten said.

- Secrets

- Memorable music. A good music is sometimes more important than aesthetics according to me

- Simple but good details with cleverly used textures

- The weirder the better concerning the progression. The mapper must not only use doors and lifts.

- I love vanilla tricks. I feel better each time I see a 3d Bridge.

- The greater the compatibility , the better. I'm not fan of Umdf maps. Boom is ok. Vanilla and limit-removing are best.

 

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I really hate reloading in mods unless the gameplay is built around it.  I feel like a lot of new modders put in reloading because it’s an easy thing to add and makes you feel like you’ve made a significant change, never mind the fact that it kills the pacing and gets in the way of combat.

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Oh, you know, the usual things. Good looks, not too high maintenance, a good personality...

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Memorable maps. There is a tons of wads available and played, but not so many of which I can positively recall and even get inspiration for my own maps.

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- Atmosphere

- Architecture

- Realistic layout

- Secrets

- Arch Viles (sometimes)

- Original music

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If

- The music fits with the overall gameplay

- The monster placement isn't predictable and if there's good enough variety

- It provides a challenge

- It has a thoughtful, cool design with a good flow instead of trying to look cool on the automap

- It provides enough ammo and isn't stingy with the guns

 

Personally, I'm more of a fan of 'cramped' designs/layouts like those of Kama Sutra.

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I prefer Wads that aren't ridiculous in terms of difficulty, i.e. wave upon wave of monsters and nowhere to run.  Give me a good maze without super convoluted puzzles and a lot of unique rooms and corridors to explore.  Oh, and don't make me spend the whole level with the pistol as my main projectile weapon.  It's not that the pistol is weak, it's just that it's boring.

 

Doom's enduring strength has always been that it's not constrained to being linear in any way, from how you navigate the level to how you fight your battles.  That gives it an edge over modern games for sure, so when modders make it look, sound and feel more modern, I applaud that as well.  Vanilla tricks are great, GZDoom tricks are better.  Combine them and you get brilliance.

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I like levels that don't make me feel like I'm on a guided tour, or that use original game elements in a new way that blows my mind. if you're focusing on making efficient, traditional, modular level design that loops you through a bunch of encounters then let's just say the music had better be really good

 

there are already a really high number of solid-but-unsurprising levels with decent combat and textures etc. i'd rather see experiments even if they fail

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That I get some sort of entertainment, minimally. Lots of genres/concepts do it: fancy adventure, pure carnage, community sets, Eternal Doom allies, fast 'n furious action, set piece fights, occasional meme, odd gimmicks like chainsaw-only, hitscan hell, UDoom in all its essence, claustrophobia (as long as movement isn't severely corrupted by detailing), etc. Not everything is up my alley: platforming on thin sticks, anything requiring over 60% of luck, progression via fake/non-hinted walls, instapops all over the place.

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The nearest medpack because chances are I got blindsided by some random projectile that just so happened to hit for max damage.

 

In all seriousness, I love to see innovation. It's why I started Iconography, and why segments such as the rising floor section in Depths' XMAP05 exist in my maps. I want people to create the most interesting, varied experience they can produce.

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- I hate huge open areas where you can barely see the enemies at the distance

- I really like close encounters

- I hate maps that don't allows me to jump

- I love verticality and different floor levels

- I really like maps with different themes, like egyptian, mayan, snow mountains, greek temples, lost churchs, etc.

- And more variety of textures, please...

 

I think my three last opinions are a little controversial, but here we go:

 

- The map has to be beatable in 20/30 minutes (more than 30 minutes i will lost my focus and get bored)

- I hate slaughter/arena maps

- And I also avoid maps with custom enemies/weapons because you can't use your favorite mod of enemies/weapons with it.

Edited by Tribal

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