Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

Recommended Posts

You've opened up a blank project in Doom Builder or SLADE or you've got a fresh bit of paper in front of you. You're ready to start working on your next WAD!


Where do you start? Do you have a shape or a goal in mind? What inspiration are you drawing on? I'd love to know because I'm struggling a bit to get started with my first projects!

Share this post

Link to post

What comes in my mind atm

Also other rooms or levels from any games (recently, I made a level based upon duke nukem 3D e2l2)...

Share this post

Link to post

Real mappers have to hit themselves in the head with a hammer and make whatever was in their dream

Share this post

Link to post

I start with a storyline and then think about how to fit interesting encounters into it.


Not every map is a success. I have several folders of unfinished or unreleased projects that I never felt became what I wanted them to be at the outset.


I do think it's important to have the mindset that not every attempt will result in a release.

Share this post

Link to post

By studying building plans, looking at the architecture buildings like brutalism. 

Also I play good maps, talk with people around to get inspired. What else? There are plenty ways to get inspiration.

Share this post

Link to post
46 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

Here's a few things that have worked for me. Tried to get as much as I can remember of my creative process down here:


- Think of something I haven't done before or haven't seen before - concept-wise/theme-wise (e.g. an autumnal helltown) or technicality-wise (e.g. a puzzle hub using UDMF).

- Think of a good name for the project or map, that sets the creative gears in motion.

- Pick out some good music for the map(s) beforehand. Possibly listen to it a couple of times before getting started.

- Play some recent Doom releases to refresh my memory on what I love about the game's level design.

- Revisit the work of my favorite mappers to see what they do.

- Scribble out a start room and try and get a feel for how the map's structure should "progress" from there.

- Establish a key/legend for my mapping blueprints on paper so things like doors, lifts, exits, etc. become easy to denote.

- Set a very strict time deadline. Like 10 minutes to get the entire layout blocked out!

- Put on a decent album, and aim to have x amount of it done before the album ends. 


i make like a third of a map which comes from random ideas then never touch it again the next day and make a new wad which has the same fate

Share this post

Link to post
Posted (edited)

map in an atmosphere of despair

slowly decide on what yr unconsciously saying with teh map and build it into a more focused (if still abstract) rant on teh subject

the title has to be really sarcastic or a reference to some lyrics


edit: keep deleting all the gameplay from the map until the last moment and then pack it with comedy elements or novelty encounters or impossibility; standard gameplay is a weird goal


my approach seems like the opposite of jimmy's but that's probably why he has multiple megawads and episodes released and i've made about twenty maps altogether lol

Share this post

Link to post

A few things I do to help with my map making are:


1 - Play other maps (obviously) to see what is good and what is bad.

2 - Quite often I go for walks around where I live so I can take in a few ideas for houses/shops (not much in the way of parks though :l).

3 - Play 3D adventure games. This is mostly prevalent in my TMoD stuff, I REALLY like games like Ty the Tasmanian Tiger or A Hat In Time and quite often I play them to give me ideas (even if I usually balls it up in the process ^_^).

4 - Throw dumb ideas at the wall.

and 5 - I try to keep my maps to a logical theme. Like if I want to make a set of maps around winter than I keep thinking of christmas and winter itself. Same if I wanted a fiery theme or a candy theme.

Share this post

Link to post

I start with a partial sketch of an area and write down as many details about the map as I can before I lose my idea; things like enemy types, textures to use, puzzle or trap ideas, etc.   It all goes onto the first sketch's paper so I can reference it.   Then I start working off of the sketch until I get stuck and then my go-to sources of inspiration are the following:


other people's maps

other games 

places I've been or seen

scenes from movies or television

semi-random ideas for puzzles based on machines I've worked on--specifically the electrical schematics

music and books



If I'm really stuck I find that the answer will come to me while I'm doing something else; usually something physical (like mowing the lawn or walking for exercise) and something completely different from mapping (very important).   It doesn't always happen right away, you have to be relaxed to get the solution.



Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now