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Sir Hattington

Problems when making a wad with multiple levels

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I have a problem where when I'm working on my wads with more than one level I will be working on a later level. But then I will go back to my earlier levels and remake them because they are not as good as my later levels, and when my remade levels are better than my later levels, Ill redo those. And it becomes a cycle of redoing levels because I want to make the wad the best it can be, and I don't want to release something that is not at the best of my ability. But my skill is constantly growing so by the time I make a new level, the older ones seem like garbage and I get stuck in a loop. Does anybody have any suggestions to help me?


All of the revisions to Map01 of Gates (and I'm planning on doing another one!):



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Not sure on what's the best idea but for me, rather than setting the bar at the absolute maximum, I find it easier to set it a bit lower. This mostly helps deal with the stress of seeing the older maps in the wad and thinking "OMG What am I doing? This would look better with X rather than Y". Sure its best to push yourself but try pushing on a per-wad basis, rather than half way through the project. If you did anything big, you'd end up scrapping half of it before you made the 20th map. XD


Just know that you never need to feel like you have to prove yourself and put out literal 10/10 quality all the time. We all make duds and its best to own any flaws your projects have. (In some cases, the "flaws" may even be cute little accidents that makes it more memorable).


Lastly, only really go back through a map if a map needs cleaning. Do some enemies need moving, do you need more health/ammo/armour or less? Try to avoid altering the geometry too much as you can get into a bad habit, like I used to, of changing the level flow constantly when all it needed was maybe 1 less imp in a corridor.


hope this helps! <3

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The general idea behind map making is to reach a desired quality of maps before starting a bigger project like a megawad. 

In your case I suggest to set a "quality standard" for your maps when you see that it takes too much time to further modify them. There is no need to add detail to a map and to spend x hours working on it if you have already reached a decent standard. You can also set your standard while looking to other maps (like "ok, I want all my maps to be eviternity style, or schyte style" for example). What you have to do is, however, set a limit to yourself. The way you use to create this limit is up to you.


However keep in mind that in every wad there are maps that are better or worst compared to other ones, so don't worry too much about that.

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When I have struggles with mapping, I settle few days to study and play maps, which like. Checking how they made those shapes, heights and gameplay helps me visualise my own stuff. I also asked lots of questions here and discord servers when I started my path to mapping. Also, having private testers before you go in public stage helps to improve map quality. There are plenty of doom related discord servers where you can ask questions. For private testers, there was thread for it:


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2 hours ago, Sir Hattington said:

Ihave a problem where when I'm working on my wads with more than one level I will be working on a later level. But then I will go back to my earlier levels and remake them because they are not as good as my later levels, and when my remade levels are better than my later levels, Ill redo those.

That's why the common advice is to release single maps before doing sets.

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If this is the case, then releasing solo maps is good advice. But if you want to do a set, I'd advise a few things, .

  • Let the old maps sit. Be okay with the inconsistent quality. Let the extreme juxtaposition inspire you and show the public your progress. Then, hopefully by the time you've made your 8th (as an example) map, you realize that 6 and 7 are actually not that much worse than 8. That's when you should consider looking at the older maps. Decide if they're savable or you should just cut them and do something else. If you fix up all your previous maps every time you feel your skill has increased, you'll (A) be doing a lot of fixing and (B) be less willing to sever ties with maps that really just need to go. The bottom line is mapping skill tends to grow very fast early on.
  • Don't map in order. Have a little bit of a plan about the direction of the whole mapset. If it's 10 maps, maybe do Map 07 first, then 03, then 06. (Hangar was the last map made for Knee Deep in the Dead.) This will somewhat disguise the fact that you have grown tremendously as a mapper throughout the process. Otherwise you may end up with a crap Map 01 and a solid Map 10 that no one will ever play because they quit after the first one or two.
  • Get feedback before you get in too deep. I feel very badly when I play epic maps or long sets that clearly have seen lots of effort, but they're just not good. So I'd definitely suggest releasing your maps as they finish or getting alpha/beta testers, even if you intend to compile them into a set later on.

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