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DooM_RO

The Cacawards or the "What was I THINKING?!!!" thread.

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Posted (edited)

                                                                               image.png.985c1969d63f158a95843ea7d9199967.png

 

Alright people, it's time to talk about the times we should have know better, the times when we done did an oopsie, the times when we shit the bed and then blamed the dog for doing it.

 

In your opinion, what are your greatest level design blunders? Come on, even if you have been doing this for 15 years and won Cacoward after Cacoward there must be some major blunder you have made at one point. So sit back and lets talk and recoil or better yet laugh at our epic, mundane or just plain annoying blunders from when we were not so good at making maps.  Or perhaps some of us were already at a certain level and we should have known better. It could be about gameplay, layout and even aesthetics or music choice. Or better yet, it could be a combination!

 

As for my personal Cacaward, it all started in Joy of Mapping 3, in a little map called Mountain Base Atlas. Now I had been working on my gigantic Retribution WAD for over a few years so I should have known better. The map itself has plenty of challenging fights and I think I did a pretty good job overall but the part where I really done did an OOPSIE was right at the beginning of the map, where I decided to plop two Hell Knights right behind the player start. Needless to say, it seems that one second of reaction time was not enough for most players, leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth or even worse, the temporary (or permanent) loss of sanity. Worst off, I thought I was terribly clever or even mischievous when I decided to just put them there when in reality I just annoyed players and kinda ruined the map for many of them.

 

What about you? What is YOUR personal Cacaward?! Don't be shy! Come on, let's hear it!

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7 minutes ago, DooM_RO said:

                                                                               image.png.985c1969d63f158a95843ea7d9199967.png

 

Alright people, it's time to talk about the times we should have know better, the times when we done did an oopsie, the times when we shit the bed and then blamed the dog for doing it.

 

In your opinion, what are your greatest level design blunders? Come on, even if you have been doing this for 15 years and won Cacoward after Cacoward there must be some major blunder you have made at one point. So sit back and lets talk and recoil or better yet laugh at our epic, mundane or just plain annoying blunders from when we were not so good at making maps.  Or perhaps some of us were already at a certain level and we should have known better. It could be about gameplay, layout and even aesthetics or music choice. Or better yet, it could be a combination!

 

As for my personal Cacaward, it all started in Joy of Mapping 3, in a little map called Mountain Base Atlas. Now I had been working on my gigantic Retribution WAD for over a few years so I should have known better. The map itself has plenty of challenging fights and I think I did a pretty good job overall but the part where I really done did an OOPSIE was right at the beginning of the map, where I decided to plop two Hell Knights right behind the player start. Needless to say, it seems that one second of reaction time was not enough for most players, leaving them with a bad taste in their mouth or even worse, the temporary (or permanent) loss of sanity. Worst off, I thought I was terribly clever or even mischievous when I decided to just put them there when in reality I just annoyed players and kinda ruined the map for many of them.

 

What about you? What is YOUR personal Cacaward?! Don't be shy! Come on, let's hear it!

I made an elevator using a crusher.

it doesnt end good

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Gonna bite here: the entirety of Murderous Intent -- though not in general. Sure, I had a poor perception of space, didn't align my textures very well (if at all) and over-cluttered the details in places. But there is one sin in particular I have regretted since coming back to mapping this decade.

 

Simply put, all the skill 4 monsters were put in without me testing the levels at all. Realising that I perhaps wasn't the most-skilled DOOM player ever, I decided that other people would be a lot better than me, and just stuck the monsters in thinking it would just make things harder. Murderous Intent is therefore designed as a matter of fact for skill 3, which I "renamed" (read: made a new menu graphic for) as "Ultra-Violence", which I in turn replaced skill 4 with "Murderous Intent".

More than a decade later, I replayed to find out that holy shit this was a bad idea. Skill 3 or nothing at all.

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I made a map for the vanilla map project Infernew and only tested in Boom. Needless to say I learned the hardway what the seglimit is.

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Posted (edited)

Revenge of the 90’s, sans a few maps, was one big mistake.

 

UAC Rebellion was generally well received as a classic Doomy gameplay experience despite taking advantage of ZDoom features - the biggest complaint was that the maps were too cramped. At the same time, WADs like DOOM Barracks Zone and CoopBuild were really popular on game servers - these wads consisted of maps with huuuuuuuge wide open spaces and a ton of haphazard enemy placement, so I was just like “that’s the new hot ticket, see! Huge wide open maps with nonsensical monster placement that are generally ugly to look at!” and the whole thing was essentially built on that philosophy.

 

The WAD still got thousands of downloads in just a year or two, which was great, but it’s just kind of a shame that what was easily my most popular release was also far and away the shittiest design-wise. You never see it on servers anymore either even though other wads of that same ilk still get playtime, so my whole approach just sucked and did not play out as I’d hoped. I’m still kind of proud of map16 though, just play that one map then delete it for the best experience.

 

About 2 years after release, some event in South America called Revenge of the 90’s started happening regularly and now you can’t even find the YouTube videos of the WAD through google search anymore. The one draw the WAD still had was the cheesy name but now even that is lost thanks to this occasional South American event featuring a bunch of bad music. Salt on the wound, I tells ya!

 

Edit: back in 2015 or so I even left a 0 star review that just said “What was I thinking?” on my own damn WAD, obviously I saw this thread coming! 

 

Edited by Doomkid

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I know I keep mentioning Prayers of Armageddon a lot when it comes to threads like this, but I honestly can't emphasize enough how horrible I think it is.

 

I was a very inexperienced mapper at the time I started working on the thing - I'd been mapping for only a few months, and my previous attempts were roughly equivalent to "wow.wad but with more rooms and maybe a door". And somehow, I thought it was a good idea to make a full, 32-level megawad all by myself at that early stage. And well, the end result speaks for itself.

 

And it's scary to think that Prayers of Armageddon is probably the most (in)famous of my creations, if only because a page for it exists in the Doom Wiki, courtesy of none other than 16-year-old me.

 

It's mainly because of that whole wad that I actively advise against making a megawad when you're still new to Doom mapping. I have first-hand experience. I was young and stupid. I don't want anyone to make the same mistake I did.

 

TL;DR: I was an idiot and made a megawad when I lacked the skills and resources.

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The other day I learned that my secrets could be discovered from the automap. I was like "Holy dumb fuck...". Shows that I'm still a noob to this thing.

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Commiting to mapping in UDMF before finding out that 3/4 of the Doom community doesn't give a shit about that format.

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1 hour ago, Lorenz0 said:

Commiting to mapping in UDMF before finding out that 3/4 of the Doom community doesn't give a shit about that format.

 

I don't get that. It's just a map format. Surely it matters more for which supporting engine you build stuff.

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21 minutes ago, Mordeth said:

 

I don't get that. It's just a map format. Surely it matters more for which supporting engine you build stuff.

I think it's pretty clear I mean GZDoom. I've never even heard of UDMF being used for anything else.

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Yeah, it's not like I'm mad. Had I known about this fanbase split, I'd still choose UDMF. It just seems like a bad thing to do on paper, since you're gonna get a smaller playerbase, no matter how good of a mapper you become. I'm not that bothered tho.

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People who make ZDoom sets often crosspost to the ZDoom forums. 

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Posted (edited)

The first and only Wad I made was too ambitious for someone learning.

 

I wanted scripts, custom content, Boss battles, 32 maps and running perfectly with Brutal Doom.

 

While I'm mostly happy with the end product after many adjustments, I caused a lot of unecessary work and stress as I screwed up the experience for others due to testing only in my personal sorceport settings, using a hd texture pack, dynamic lighting and sound settings. It resulted in poor lighting, the occasional ear rape and some ugly areas. I had to revisit and adjust 6 levels worth out of 9 however the lighting is still quite criticised.

 

The Wad also burned me out of mapping. The literal hours I would spend learning how to do a basic script or a 3D floor was too much for me to commit to a Megawad. I invisioned a unique Megawad for Brutal Doom but I don't see it happening. Hell since the new BD update I would have to fix a lot of scripting and make new Boss Battles.

 

For this, I have regret and despite being proud of it I also resent it.

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Posted (edited)

Thinking I was hot shit for making a cross-like section in my first real dabblings in mapping that weren't scribbling out designs on graph paper.

 

781704228_ash2ashmap2(editarea)at2019_04.0800-15-42.602R3050.jpg.2091eb7c0ab3487e36ea97033df759ef.jpg

 

To be fair, it was made with WadAuthor back in 2008 (I wasn't aware of Doom Builder's existence yet), and I did have the good sense to realize the level sucked. Bland texturing, nonsensical level design, nearly flat, terrible monster placement, "secrets" that were perfectly hidden... but to be fair, this is hardly complete, either. I also sensed that it sucked and wisely stepped back away from editing WADs for a bunch more years. (Indeed to this day, aside from my work on the GEC Playstation Doom project, I haven't released a WAD of my own.)

 

Only good choice I made was the music: A MIDI version (that was actually really damn close to the original) of this song.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Dark Pulse said:

Thinking I was hot shit for making a cross-like section in my first real dabblings in mapping that weren't scribbling out designs on graph paper.

 

781704228_ash2ashmap2(editarea)at2019_04.0800-15-42.602R3050.jpg.2091eb7c0ab3487e36ea97033df759ef.jpg

 

To be fair, it was made with WadAuthor back in 2008 (I wasn't aware of Doom Builder's existence yet), and I did have the good sense to realize the level sucked. Bland texturing, nonsensical level design, nearly flat, terrible monster placement, "secrets" that were perfectly hidden... but to be fair, this is hardly complete, either. I also sensed that it sucked and wisely stepped back away from editing WADs for a bunch more years. (Indeed to this day, aside from my work on the GEC Playstation Doom project, I haven't released a WAD of my own.)

 

Only good choice I made was the music: A MIDI version (that was actually really damn close to the original) of this song.

 

 

Now I feel like grabbing my 3DS and playing Super Castlevania IV.

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Posted (edited)

Announcing a Doom 1 remake project, with barely passable level design skills, ambitions, and jack shit to incentivise the "GZDoom exclusive!" tag or be considered a partial-TC in the first place. The 101 of how not to announce a project.

Also using the names "Doom 1 Reloaded" and "Resurrected Nightmare" sheesh (inb4 "isn't this recurring nightmares? sgtmarkiv fanboys), that's giving me nightmares, and Max Payne (character not the game :P)-esque cringing.

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Posted (edited)

I've already railed at my old maps elsewhere, but the one bad map I regret the most was my entry into Newdoom's "2 Sectors" contest.

 

I was still very unexperienced with Doom mapping, but I was like "Well, what can you possibly do with 2 sectors? Surely not much!" Joining multiple sectors into one was pretty much the cleverest mapping trick I knew at the time. I proceeded to make a cramped cave map, consisting of a few rocky platforms separated by deep nukage pools (with demons inside them, so hopefully you've got infinitely tall monsters turned off!) for about half a minute of gameplay.

 

Even I could see it wasn't the most ingenious map in the world, but hey, surely the 2-sector limit didn't allow for anything more elaborate anyway, so nobody should complain right? Then I started playing other people's entries and realized they were light years ahead of my own effort, using techniques that would never have crossed my mind. Not surprisingly, I got last place...

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Here's my annual Cacawards:

  • 2005 - Making a gigantic, heavily detailed map (Warpzone) and having it as the secret level of a megaWAD of way smaller, beginner efforts (Scourge). I fixed this in 2006
  • 2006 - Crowded field, but White Light in it's entirety has to be the winner
  • 2007 - That fucking crusher at the end of Community Chest 3 MAP18. I fixed this by giving the player more room to get under it for it's inclusion in Persephone
  • 2008 - Despite this being the year I released Justice - Infernal Mechanics with the laughable sword sprites and single-room gimmick that uses 357(!) tags, this is also the year that ZPack came out... So the rocket splashing into the centre of a relatively cramped room that you need to go through is the stand-out
  • 2009 - Released Fragments of DAC 2009 despite having accidentally checked the multiplayer-only flag on the crucial chaingun at the start of the second map...
  • 2010 - Rather than finishing a proper map using the expanded White Light resources, I ended up just retooling White Light with them to make the 2010 edition
  • 2011 - Releasing the "Tactical Chainsaw" even though I totally meant to call it a "Ballistic Chainsaw"
  • 2012 - Cyberdemons at the end of Community Chest 4 MAP13 are, in hindsight, not a great idea. Letting TGH put in a secret that turns those podiums (that need to be platformed on) into crushers that stop when you get under them is a proper fuck up.
  • 2013 - Gleefully joined ZDCMP#2 very late in development and set about making a large non-linear hell area despite having no familiarity at all with UDMF, then-current GZDoom or anywhere near enough time to make a good go of it, single-handedly delaying development, I suspect.
  • 2014 - I believe this was the year I made a steaming pile of shit for ASS7 )sensibly withdrawn) whilst verbally abusing a newbie over Skype (I then took a break from ASS because of perceived bad standing)
  • 2015 - Only one map released this year... So landing the player in a damaging sector from a teleporter that they're then forced to fight in before being able to unlock an exit. Felt Plutonia enough to me...
  • 2016 - Releasing the original attempt at a 512*512 map in the demo for what is now Triacontathlon. A horrible, cramped affair
  • 2017 - Speedmapping in UDMF. It didn't go that badly, but still... Why?
  • 2018 - Initial draft of DBP05 had the player walking into a room with a Cyberdemon on an alter and Revenants on ledges at their flanks. Said Revenants eventually were replaced with imps and the room was made to be teleported in and out of by the final release. Alternatively, attempting to make a ZDoom megaWAD in a month was a pretty dumb idea that deservedly bogged down and became stillborn
  • 2019 - The year is still young, but the main "WTF damn guy?" thing for me is the belief that I'll bother mapping anything at all...

 

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Man, you guys are awful tough on yourselves. Having released any map puts you way ahead of my total of 0 released maps. You don't get good without making mistakes, and you don't move forward without releasing your work.

 

Even if you think your map sucked:

  • There are people out there that will probably have fun with the map.
  • You may inspire someone to build a new map based on what they experienced in your map.
  • You get to learn and develop your own style.

There's no need to cringe over past releases. Release a patch, or, better yet, make a new map! I am jealous of anyone who's released maps!

 

Regarding UDMF: With time and effort, UDMF will gain support from more ports.

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Having released only 1 map so far, I still managed to screw up in some places:

- Automap not cleaned up

- Created vertices like there‘s no tomorrow and not using the map analysis tool, thus probably having hundreds of linedefs shorter than 1 mu, overlapping vertices, etc. 

- Amateurish enemy placement

- Non-working Monster teleport

- A huge area with reflective surfaces resulting in 5 fps for some and not even bothering to change it or maybe improve it. 

 

That being said and in regards to Kb1‘s post; the artist is always his biggest critic and it‘s understandable that people are tough on themselves. Which is good, I think, because only by taking a long and hard look at your work can you actually improve. 

 

I feel that my second map is already way better than the first and has basic but neccessary improvements like a cleaned automap, actual thought put into encounters, etc. 

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18 hours ago, elend said:

That being said and in regards to Kb1‘s post; the artist is always his biggest critic and it‘s understandable that people are tough on themselves. Which is good, I think, because only by taking a long and hard look at your work can you actually improve. 

True. But you don't have to admit it :)

 

No, a thread like this is good - it lets people know that they are not alone in the pursuit of perfection. But most people won't notice a lot of the little issues highlighted in this thread. It's not unlike a band playing a gig: The musicians in the audience are the only ones noticing when the band misses a beat or a note. Everyone else just enjoys the show.

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I submitted two maps to MAYhem 2012, and no one complained.

 

Then the DWmegawad Club played it, and they were more opinionated.

 

I commemorated the event in a community jokewad a couple of years later.

 

M12_DMC.png.f346446fcc18a77e9535cae0c9c6e27f.png

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