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jeroa

realistic vanilla?

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in theory how much like a real place do you think vanilla maps could ever hope to feel with just custom texturing and clever mapping? what kinds of environment would lend themselves more to such an approach? and wich ones would probably be less succesful?

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I've done some work on revamping many of the maps from both Doom 1 and 2 over the last few years, and one of my design "rules" is to add an extra element of realism.

 

So far the maps which have proven most amenable to this are the city levels in Doom 2, particularly Industrial Zone, Downtown, Suburbs, Tenements, and The Courtyard. If you can imagine the city levels in Hellbound except with custom textures, that's kind of the look I'm going for. There are also a lot of influences from real life architecture I've seen in person and on-line (I've been looking at a lot of pictures of both New York and various cities in Texas, the latter in honour of where the game was developed), on TV, etc.

 

Other maps which have proven relatively easy to make more realistic are the darker, more industrial-like tech maps, such as Underhalls, The Waste Tunnels, The Crusher and the earlier Shores of Hell levels.

 

As for maps that are difficult to make more realistic, the hell levels are the obvious ones, particularly the more surreal maps (hello Sandy Petersen!). Obviously you can look at real life caverns, canyons, etc for rocky environments, but when it comes to demon-made buildings that's a bit tricky, as that sort of architecture has never really existed except in the odd movie.

 

One map that's proven surprisingly hard to make more realistic is Doom 2 MAP01. Despite working towards the clear goal of having this level resemble an airport terminal and looking at lots of photos of airports on-line, most of it is currently still looking very "game-like".

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I have seen some amazing examples randomly on forums.  https://www.moddb.com/games/doom-ii/addons/doom-2-pre-rendered-lighting-demo really shows what's capable, unfortunately vanilla Doom has an incredible amount of limits, a source port like GZDoom would allow more tweaks for realism.

 

I think lighting should be first and foremost.  Lighting makes the place seem more alive, more used.  The rtlights mod seems to change sector lights to act as brightmaps.  Also PBR materials and limited light in the map would add some realistic maps to textures.  With a flashlight on the player you can see your lights reflection in the PBR maps, this gives a real sense that your character exists in the world.

 

For geometry I've found a few maps that had relatively realistic design and impressed me very much.  Doom Tribute and Extermination Day for brutal Doom.  Neither we're vanilla maps though.  But with some of the designs from those 2 mods you can make a vanilla map seem realistic.

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15 hours ago, jeroa said:

in theory how much like a real place do you think vanilla maps could ever hope to feel with just custom texturing and clever mapping? what kinds of environment would lend themselves more to such an approach? and wich ones would probably be less succesful?

Realism and vanilla don't go hand in hand, especially not without custom assets. If you use custom assets, then you are still limited by visplanes, among other "hard" limits that come with the format that is vanilla.

 

If you wanna do realism, you will need to go for maps that will inevitably target GZDoom in case you plan on building "large". Smaller maps you can maybe do in limit removing formats/ports, but that's pretty much it. Besides, realistic places don't lend themselves well towards gameplay, as most realistic places are jam-packed with doors, corridors, and all the other stuff that is best avoided if you plan on ending up with a map that flows well, and doesn't come across like an office building or something.

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It depends what kind of real place you're trying to emulate, I guess. Suspended in Dusk feels pretty realistic.

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1 hour ago, CrbnBased said:

I have seen some amazing examples randomly on forums.  https://www.moddb.com/games/doom-ii/addons/doom-2-pre-rendered-lighting-demo really shows what's capable, unfortunately vanilla Doom has an incredible amount of limits, a source port like GZDoom would allow more tweaks for realism.

 

LOL, that reminds me of my Cornell Box WAD. https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/92263-cornell-box/

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When i play, i feel like i'm inside the game, i forget about outside world, so levels looks very realistic to me. I'm 2D anyway.

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I'd say the Knee-Deep levels are the closest to being realistic. Particularly levels 2, 3, 6 and 7 are at the right scale of research installations with humans working.

 

DOOM's limited 3D mapping, heavy use of remotely controlled and timed machines and lack of good outdoor detail fit best with exploratory installations like what we'd expect on alien worlds (of which E1 is part) or any inhospitable Earth locations.

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