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hardcore_gamer

What's wrong with simple level design if using boom?

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Or any non-advanced port for that matter.

 

In the past I have sometimes lamented about how advanced ports like Gzdoom are underrated and that it doesn't make any sense to call it's features gimmicky as some people do. However, I have also sometimes noticed another phenomena in which people lament maps for having visuals that are "too simple". This is something that doesn't really make any sense to me. You can't create advanced visuals without an advanced port. Even boom limits you massively compared to something like UDMF in Gzdoom. Some will claim that you can create complex looking details with even just boom but in my opinion such levels almost always look and feel exactly the same as a result of the limitations of boom. The biggest problem with using boom to create complex detail is that unlike gzdoom which allows angled areas and slopes as well as a variety of 3D trickery all geo made in boom can only move straight up and down and that means that there are really just 2 ways to create detail: Borders, and simplistic inserts/bevels into walls. EDIT: Ok also lightning contrasts. And that's it pretty much. Sure, you can play around with sector height variation to spice things up, but fact is that boom can only do so much when it comes to creating complex visuals.

 

Basically my point is, that I don't really understand why some people complain about visuals being "too basic" when the level is being made for boom or basically just anything that isn't an advanced port. It's understandable people might feel this way if somebody made a level for gzdoom and the level just looked the same as most boom wads, but it just seems really strange to me to complain about a lack of complex detail for a wad that isn't even using an advanced port.

 

To be honest, I feel that boom wads should be judged entirely differently from zdoom style wads. Boom style wads should be judged by gameplay and how "clean" the level looks/feels in regards to things like texture alignment and overall smoothness, rather than detail. Zdoom style projects in return should be viewed more akin to a modern style game.

 

Do you agree with my analysis?

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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It's going to be hard to argue about this but I don't think slopes and 3D sectors are necessary for great Doom architecture/visuals. I mean come on, at this point we have good references and this is because they exist that some would complain about simplistic detail in another Boom wad.

 

OTOH I think the gimmicky complaint for GZDoom maps is hard to take seriously I agree, if it was a systematic kneejerk reaction at the slightest eye-candy. You are bound to encounter maps where the author will be a bit too happy to use 3D platforms or slopes for their own good, but nothing here prevents mapping good architecture that isn't gimmicky + why not contributes to gameplay meaningfully.

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After reading your posts I wonder what kind of wads you play, if you play wads at all.

Your analysis of what detail is so shallow if you count only 2 things that are relatively marginal in the big picture when the detail of a level is also made with the architecture, structures, lighting, texture compositions, (sector furniture), things. You don't even need sector borders as creating contrast can also be a way to detail.

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13 minutes ago, gaspe said:

Your analysis of what detail is so shallow if you count only 2 things that are relatively marginal in the big picture when the detail of a level is also made with the architecture, structures, lighting, texture compositions, (sector furniture), things.

 

With Boom's limited abilities, every "structure" you make is going to look very basic. Ditto for "furniture". To be honest, I find most attempts at realistic buildings and items in boom to look rather cringy, because they stand out in such massive contrast with the rest of the world's abstract design. I feel level makers should simply choose a design style and stick with it rather than going with a blended style that just looks inconsistent. 

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9 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

With Boom's limited abilities, every "structure" you make is going to look very basic. Ditto for "furniture". To be honest, I find most attempts at realistic buildings and items in boom to look rather cringy, because they stand out in such massive contrast with the rest of the world's abstract design. I feel level makers should simply choose a design style and stick with it rather than going with a blended style that just looks inconsistent. 

Realism isn't the only way you can make something beautiful. You mentioned abstract design, that's one way. I mean, we are probably threading the same path as any discussion about art here.

 

Edit: Well you are not entirely out of the loop I must add. I don't disagree about consistency at least.

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I wonder who is complaining about vanilla or boom levels looking too simple, because that's a pretty silly attitude and I don't recall coming across such criticism recently. Any one who knows the Doom engine knows that the architecture is always going to be constrained by its 2.5D-ness, even in UDMF.

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This reaches my ear like a bag on non-GZDoom mapping in the guise of a defence of it. Where are all these complaints? The biggest WAD buzz I see around at the moment is Eviternity, which is MBF compatible.

 

I disagree about the two options for detail. It's a reductionist view.  Technically, of course, you are correct -- but to me it's kind of like saying everything's made of atoms and therefore all the same. Is an outset from a ceiling the same effect when it's on a ceiling with a standard flat as with one with a sky texture? I'd say not.  Hell, as a gimmicky answer, I saw a picture of a giant snake rising out of lava in a map here the other day, not requiring a port I believe, you wouldn't see that and think borders, insets and outsets (you might think it looks bloody blocky though). It's certainly harder to create striking and unique visuals without advanced port features, but not impossible.

 

For me, the greatest benefit of advanced port features is not complex visuals  but complex level layouts.  As a designer, you're so hamstrung on gameplay across the vertical axis without room over room.

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I've always mapped in GZdoom udmf (it's just what I started with). However, I recently made a few maps in boom format to check it out and familiarize myself with it. I had no problem creating good visuals and quite enjoyed the challenge of the limitations. It forced me to think about things in new ways. So...yes it restricts the mapper, but not enough to prevent them from making good visuals with a little practice. Actually, the thing I didn't like was not having scripts, which I think enhances gameplay more than anything (when used properly). Also... I have no problem with simple geometry. In reviews an what-not, it should be considered a style choice and not a criticism (unless it is a low/no effort wad...those just suck no matter what).

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Guys what if we designed visuals to be appropriate for the intended themes and goals of our maps

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Clickbait op dissection time:

 

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

However, I have also sometimes noticed another phenomena in which people lament maps for having visuals that are "too simple". This is something that doesn't really make any sense to me.

I'm with you so far. Simple doesn't mean "boring".
 

 

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

You can't create advanced visuals without an advanced port.

Unless you have a definition for what "advanced visuals" are, I'm gonna have to call BS.
 

 

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Even boom limits you massively compared to something like UDMF in Gzdoom.

I see where this is going. Also: DUH! Who would've thought that formats with more features provide more tools.
 

 

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Some will claim that you can create complex looking details with even just boom but in my opinion such levels almost always look and feel exactly the same as a result of the limitations of boom.

Yeah, well, that's just like, your opinion man. I could easily pull a few boom maps up here that will prove you wrong in a matter of seconds, but since you didn't afford your fellow readers the courtesy of providing a comparison between a detailed boom map to a detailed UDMF map, I'm simply not gonna bother. Also, just for the sake of the argument, if you really wanna tell people that for example Deus Vult II maps feel and look the same as maps in Speed of Doom, or Jenesis, then I'd suggest getting yourself a pair of glasses that help you see a bit more clearly.

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

The biggest problem with using boom to create complex detail is that unlike gzdoom which allows angled areas and slopes as well as a variety of 3D trickery all geo made in boom can only move straight up and down and that means that there are really just 2 ways to create detail: Borders, and simplistic inserts/bevels into walls. EDIT: Ok also lightning contrasts. And that's it pretty much. Sure, you can play around with sector height variation to spice things up, but fact is that boom can only do so much when it comes to creating complex visuals.

Ah, I could see that coming from a mile away, it's yet another "anything but UDMF isn't good enough" type of ramble that ironically merely exhibits your lack of expertise when it comes to mapping. Reminds me of an older thread of yours where you were asking "why people don't just use UDMF", as though it was objectively better in every respect. Never mind that that's been incorrect right off the bat as well, since all it took was to simply look at what maps were popular at the time to get a pretty clear idea as to what these supposedly inferior formats can do that players appreciate.

 

3 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Basically my point is, that I don't really understand why some people complain about visuals being "too basic" when the level is being made for boom or basically just anything that isn't an advanced port.

Because even within the boundaries of boom format that you like to deem so "restrictive", maps can look bland and uninspired, duh...

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Wow indeed.

 

I don't even need to have much knowledge in terms of mapping to realize this is BS...

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The screenshots above look like something from Minecraft. They are actually a pretty good example of what I meant when I said that attempts at realism/complex geo makes me cringe when done in boom. Sorry but I just don't see how there is anything aesthetic about ultra blocky architecture.

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Essel's reply says it all, but I can't resist poking...

 

If "advanced" detailing requires udmf/whatever, why do no udmf/whatever maps even come close to matching the visuals of the best looking cl9/2 maps? (eg: parts of sd20x7, miasma, bauhaus, parts of btsx)

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9 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

The screenshots above look like something from Minecraft. They are actually a pretty good example of what I meant when I said that attempts at realism/complex geo makes me cringe when done in boom. Sorry but I just don't see how there is anything aesthetic about ultra blocky architecture.

Funny how descriptive your words are of your own works, which are done in a supposedly superior format. You may not like it, but this is what peak-irony looks like.

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1 minute ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Funny how descriptive your words are of your own works, which are done in a supposedly superior format. You may not like it, but this is what peak-irony looks like.

 

What a way to miss the point. What I was talking about are things like "slopes" made out of squares. In the above screenshots there were attempts at making complex geo that boom isn't really able to do, so instead they decided to just use a large number of sectors with varying height variation, thus resulting in that blocky look. The screenshots you posted look fairly smooth and clean however and do not contain such geo.

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2 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

The screenshots you posted look fairly smooth and clean however and do not contain such geo.

 

They also look boring as fuck.

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1 minute ago, hardcore_gamer said:

The screenshots you posted look fairly smooth and clean however and do not contain such geo.

Yeah, okay, I get it, you're just high on your own farts. Lemme tell ya something about those screenshots that you yourself made in a map that you yourself are building: they're bland, they're crude, they lack detail, and your texture alignment sucks.

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