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ryot

Is there such thing as a too big of a level?

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I have been working on this level for probably over a year now and i just want to know if it is time to stop. Im not just adding for big sake but i dont know if it will be too big. the size is making my stage pretty buggy too so thats fun.

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Posted (edited)

If your map extends beyond +- 16K on either the X or Y axis, you are at risk of strange bugs.  I learned this the hard way myself.

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Well, judging by map plan, most corridors could be cut and rooms merged and map size would drastically lowered. If you add rooms for sake to add them, when yes, it's time to stop and put exit and let that map go. Better smaller and well managed than big and repetive walking-shooting-repeat simulator. 

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If you're hitting engine limits/quirks like @Empyre has mentioned then it's too big. If your level is so big that it's not fun to play then it's too big. Has anyone playtested your map and given you feedback? I get the feeling that you should have made 2 or 3 maps rather than 1 big one so it might pay to cut it into chunks and tweak them to be their own thing. That's just going off this post though, I don't really know what your plan is so I could be totally off but that's my gut feeling.

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It's not so much that the map is too big, it's more that there it inefficiently set out. By bending corridors you will A) improve the player's experience by creating more varied architecture which in turn will lead to more varied (and therefore better) gameplay and B) reduce the total map area which has an impact on port performace. Looks like 80% of the total mappable width and anything over 10k away from the center of the map will start to negatively impact game performance, regardless of port. Big is not a problem. Massive standalone maps are fun imo (Cybersky XXX1 is one of my favourites) but they need to not be straight line shooters.

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At some point, the game is going to slow down, and all the tricks in the world won't save you from that. Is your PC super fast?

 

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9 hours ago, ryot said:

I have been working on this level for probably over a year now and i just want to know if it is time to stop.

I hope for your sake that you had an enjoyable time making that map, because, judged solely on the layout, if this was made in a vacuum all this time, then there's a pretty high chance it'll backfire in some way shape or form.

A few reasons as to why that might be the case:

-Corridor fest! Meaning little to no interconnected areas, and awful lot of running with very little in the way of diversions
-Lots of "shoot stuff in front of you", with little to no finesse at all.

-Boxy rooms with very little in the way of interesting features, "biggest offender" (quite literally) being the large box south-east of the map.

-Several dead-ends, which either suggest backtracking through empty areas which is usually boring, or teleports to a different section which in turn can make the map feel like several smaller maps jumbled together into a large amalgamation.

 

I suggest you stop working on the map whenever you finished whichever section you started most recently, and either release it, or compare it to other maps to see where your mapping abilities are situated, preferably both. As a general rule of thumb corridors are usually a necessary evil, because at times you just can't fit 2 rooms next to one another with a simple door inbetween. With that said, if it feels like a third of your map takes place in seemingly featureless corridors it might end up being rather a dull experience, which will only get magnified by the sheer size of the map. Corridors just don't offer much variety in terms of gameplay, regardless of how they're shaped.

As for size in and of itself, there isn't really anything like "the objectively ideal size for maps", but there are certainly technical limitations you may run into eventually, such as performance issues and glitches.

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8 hours ago, Empyre said:

If your map extends beyond +- 16K on either the X or Y axis, you are at risk of strange bugs.  I learned this the hard way myself.

I'm guessing by bugs you mean when monsters can somehow attack from from afar with a melee? I've ran into that plenty a time.

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8 hours ago, Empyre said:

If your map extends beyond +- 16K on either the X or Y axis, you are at risk of strange bugs.  I learned this the hard way myself.

What kind of bugs, may I ask?

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If the map is wide enough, you can get coordinate overflows, which result in stuff being able to teleport from one side to the other like in PacMan.

 

Distances between two points are also vulnerable to overflow. If a monster is very far away from you, then this overflow can result in the engine thinking the distance between you and it is negative. Which doesn't make sense logically, but the engine will accept it, and yes that can cause things like getting melee attacked from afar.

 

On the other hand, hitscan attack may bizarrely fail as if they hit a solid wall in certain places, despite a lack of obstacles.

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Posted (edited)

Yes. In my opinion Doom's gameplay formula doesn't work very well for maps that drag on for longer than 5-10 min. Once maps get bigger than that, the odds of the player getting lost increases very greatly and he is also more likely to get bored since a level is unlikely to stay interesting if it drags for 40-60 min. imo a level should be short and sweet similar to the levels in the original Doom games. I like Doom because the short but fun levels means the game lends itself well to a "jump in and play some levels" style of play, where as knowing a level is huge makes me not want to invest the time required into playing it.

 

EDIT: Oh, you mean too big as in technical terms? I thought you were talking about gameplay :/

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IMO, a map is all about getting some concepts/ideas  together and experiment with that. Some of these ideas can be repeated and usually the rule of 3 is something to be considered.

 

A map starts to get too big when these ideas start to get old, giving a feeling a "filler" to the player, or for some reason the map goes for a totally different idea that you feel that it could have been broken in two pieces?

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9 hours ago, Empyre said:

If your map extends beyond +- 16K on either the X or Y axis, you are at risk of strange bugs.  I learned this the hard way myself.

 

Yep X16384 Y16384

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I imagine if it was a slaughtermap.
 

1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Yes. In my opinion Doom's gameplay formula doesn't work very well for maps that drag on for longer than 5-10 min. Once maps get bigger than that, the odds of the player getting lost increases very greatly and he is also more likely to get bored since a level is unlikely to stay interesting if it drags for 40-60 min. imo a level should be short and sweet similar to the levels in the original Doom games. I like Doom because the short but fun levels means the game lends itself well to a "jump in and play some levels" style of play, where as knowing a level is huge makes me not want to invest the time required into playing it.


But I like puzzles on maps by Jim Flynn =)

Though such a big map in OP can be divided onto smaller maps, even an episode.

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My suggestion: Splits sections of your big map into smaller maps ala Dues Vult.

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if you are making a map in udmf (GZDoom) i think its a bit more stable? I'd have to test it for my self of course. but what you could do if this map size is a must, use GZdoom / Zdoom line / wall portals, and put the playable area closer together the automap might look a little messy but gameplay wise, it would be rather seamless.

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If running through all of episode 4 of Ultimate DooM in one run feels shorter, maybe it's time to call it quits with expansion to a map.

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