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Looking for advice/criticism on my first DOOM wad.

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Hello. This is my first forum post. I am looking for advice/constructive criticism for my DOOM 2 wad. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place for this type of thing, if it is not please tell me and I will delete this post. I would also like to know if there are other websites where I can share my amateur DOOM wad. This is also my first custom map/mod ever.


Download: https://www.mediafire.com/file/u57v0glqm74ce9l/RON.wad/file


It was created in about 3 days, I'm not even sure. I have no life and don't sleep much so it's all a blur.


It uses the GZDoom (Doom 2) UDMF format. It was intended to be used in GZDoom (latest version) with no mouselook, jump, or crouch, but using these things shouldn't impact gameplay anyways so do as you please.


There are 2 secrets, they should be very easy to find (misaligned textures/turn back at start). Feel free to dissect the map in whatever editor you use.


This was fun to make and I'd like to make more, but I also don't want to post crap. It would be awesome to make a total conversion one day. Actually a total conversion was my first idea, until some guy told me "Don't try that, and don't put a cyberdemon in your first map", which I thought was funny.


But yeah let me know what you think. Is the theme consistent enough? Is the flow of the map DOOM-like enough? Is it balanced? Too easy? Let me know, let me know.







Edited by InfiniteRedPill : Added images. Shortened post.

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Thanks for making this map. Here's my advice/critique:



1. The map is way too easy, especially when if you find the starting secret with the SSG. I'd say that the starting door secrets sorta been done to death but that's person preference. This map could use like 3x the amount of enemies IMO.


2. Mishmash of textures and areas. I don't see a theme to the map, it's different rooms connected by grey brick corridors. There's a tech base but then there's a marble room. You also used a yellow key light as a structural texture and that's confusing (unless it's a secret I somehow missed).


3. Most of the map is quite under detailed. There's big sections with the same wall texture and ceiling/floor flats with detailing to break it up or make it interesting. This is very noticeable in the grey brick areas. I liked the indented face in the red key room, you need a bunch more stuff like that (but maybe not indented as much). Try adding some lights or adding some borders. Borders can be overused if used carelessly but they can really add depth to your map.


4. There's some copy pasting done and it's quite obvious.


5. The rooms are (almost) all essentially square. I can see you rounded the edges out but they're still basically squares.


6. The doors don't make any sounds and there's no music. I'm not sure if this is a design choice or if they were incorrectly made in UDMF.


7. Relating to the map being too easy; there's little variety in the combat. The only real variety I saw was when the chaingunners attacked along with cacos in the red key room.


8. Does this map need to be in UDMF? I don't recall seeing anything (maybe 1 slope?) that meant this needed to be in UDMF. It'd be better to have it be vanilla or boom so it can be played in more ports. I don't mind using GZDoom but I'd much prefer to use prboom+ or Crispy Doom.


9. You should include screenshots of the actual map rather than a GZDB overhead to the post.



I hope I don't come off as overly critical. I appreciate you taking time to make the map.



Here's my playthrough:




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Thank you xvertigox, really thank you. I have pretty severe anxiety/social issues and my heart sank when I saw the reply notification, but you were very helpful and polite in your response.


Firstly, I reuploaded the WAD file to fix the missing music and sounds, this was due to me screwing around in Slade3 and making a mistake.


"1. The map is way too easy, especially when if you find the starting secret with the SSG."

The SSG secret was actually a last minute change, it was originally just an early chaingun. It was a stupid idea that I will change back.


"I don't see a theme to the map"

I understand. I kinda tried for a theme, which was just supposed to be generally dark and spooky, but was also kind of experimenting with different textures since it is my first map after all. Keep in mind I am considering updating this map, it will ever be perfect due to it's amateurish design but maybe I'll upload a second link to this post. Maybe the first link will be the original, the second will be the updated version, if that's a good idea. If so this will probably be done another day.


"Most of the map is quite under detailed."

Man I tried, I was actually pretty proud of the detail for the most part. I think I need to raise my standards quite a bit and take more time on detail. Like I said I haven't played much Doom, mostly the original, so I'm used to seeing the low-detailed environments of the original episodes. I'll take some time to play other wads to remind myself of what I should be aiming for, yeah I should have done that in the first place but my enthusiasm got the best of me.


"There's some copy pasting done and it's quite obvious."

Yeah a couple times I did copy paste. I'll avoid it in the future. I made this map in about 2 extremely long sittings so my tiredness shows through, especially in those crappy hallways.


"The rooms are (almost) all essentially square. I can see you rounded the edges out but they're still basically squares."

I stressed out quite a bit about symmetry, as in, I know Doom isn't about pure symmetry and I tried to avoid it. Nowadays everything is symmetrical in all kinds of design and it's a bad habit when it comes to Doom levels. I feel like I didn't have much inspiration to go off of, once again I need to take a step back and become more familiar with Doom level design.


"Does this map need to be in UDMF?"

Honestly, I have no idea. When I decided to make a map I spent about two days looking for resources to learn the absolute fundamentals on how Doom works on a technical level, everything I found was either poorly worded teenage YouTube tutorials for Doom Builder or very advanced explanations for specific questions, most of which were from this forum. I found a thread where someone was asking about configurations, how they were different and how they affected compatibility, I couldn't understand anything they were talking about and neither did the OP. Someone eventually said "Just use Doom 2 UDMF, it's the best" so that's what I did. This has actually been my biggest problem. I didn't grow up with Doom, so this is all mostly new to me. I eventually did find great resources for (GZ)Doom Builder, Slade3, stuff like that, but only as far as basic map making and the programs GUI's go. I would like to know more of the technical side of Doom, so that if a problem comes up I can have a much better chance of understanding the source of the problem and maybe even figuring it out myself instead of blindly Googling things. I have loads and loads of questions and am generally confused by everything I read. I feel it would all make more sense if I could just understand the absolute basics, and what I mean by that I don't even know exactly, that's how un-knowledgeable I am So yeah, it sucks trying to learn all this from scratch.


Oh god I just discovered the "quote selection" feature... I've never used a forum before so I apologize for not using it earlier. Oh well.


2 hours ago, xvertigox said:

You should include screenshots of the actual map


I'm working on this right now.


Anyways thanks a lot once again, you were very helpful. I'm gonna keep on doing my thing and trying to learn this. It's been very fun so far (when things work :P).


One more thing, you didn't pick up the chainsaw! It triggers a 3 Pinky ambush, nothing special but hey I tried to keep things spicy lol.

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Some positive takeaways:


- The action was mostly brisk and well paced for the (non-secret) weapon load-out. I've played plenty of beginner maps that make you chew through way more inert meat than this with the single shotgun in similar layouts. I mean, that is a low bar, but meeting it is far from a given. Here there were a few quieter rooms that keep you active but ultimately moving in search of more bloodshed. (That contrast is a common device in well paced stuff.) There is also a 'free' secret SSG, which deals with the cacos and pinkies in short order.


- Structurally you have done some stuff that even more experienced mappers sometimes don't: optional key door with goodies, that loop to the exit. Again that doesn't seem like much, but most maps are surprisingly 'conventional' as far as structural experimentation. (By the way, it's a good idea to mark your exits, if you aren't using some construct associated more unambiguously with an exit -- I was surprised the map ended there.) 


Other stuff:


- I noticed a door that didn't open via 'use'; it's good practice to not use a texture that is seen on a existing usable door. YK strip on the UAC panel is weird. Especially given the optional RK door I returned here expecting something and it was just a time-waster. 


- Re 'detail', if you have a simple room with not much structural interest and break up walls and floors with 'detail', you still have a simple room with no structure. If you check out a lot of good-looking stuff of modern vintage, much of it uses a mode of design that allows for rooms to look very far on the way to 'complete' after texturing alone, without much detail. Then it seasons to taste with detailing. I'm a bit of a broken record on that, but I think it is useful for beginners to grasp that approach before the 'obligate high-detail' approaches where everything looks bland until you do a lot of work. Because the value of architecture and structure is seen in all modes. So the main culprit here is the rooms and (even more so) the layout itself, with a lot of room-door-room connections. Also, don't tryhard in avoidance of symmetry. Excessively symmetric layouts are usually bad, but it is quite common to use symmetry as an intermediary step between, well, 'nothing' and a completed, more complex room. What I saw in this map is fine in that respect. The map breaks out of its 'centrally situated doors in the same spot in every room' gait quite quickly. Just remember that there are more axes of symmetry than just down the middle!

Edited by rdwpa

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Wow thanks rdwpa!


That was loaded with good advice. Man I'm getting a lot of flak for that yellow door texture next to the chaingun, lol. I knew it was weird but didn't think it would be a big deal. It's understandable though, thanks for the feedback.


2 hours ago, rdwpa said:

By the way, it's a good idea to mark your exits


Oh no I forgot! Trust me I was planning on it. *facepalm*

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As for which game configuration to use, if you just want to learn the basics, I would suggest you target "limit removing ports." This means almost anything will run your wad, but you won't be limited by the infamous visplane overflow, among other vanilla restrictions. So you would set your game configuration to Doom 2. Things will look quite different, but the simplicity might be welcome. Basically, you'll make "theoretically vanilla compatible maps," except you don't care if they get too detailed. 


Now if you do want to dive into more fancy stuff right away, and I'm not necessarily discouraging that (though some would - it's kinda the immersion vs. building blocks debate), then perhaps UDMF is the right choice, but understand that utilizing its most advanced features will render your map unplayable on all but the most advanced ports. Boom format is kind of a best of both worlds; you can do a ton with it, and PrBoom+ is the de facto go-to port around here. 


Regardless, I would recommend attempting true vanilla mapping at some point.

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