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Should I ditch Zdoom/Hexen and just map for UDMF?

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I been mapping for the ZDoom/Hexen format for a little over a decade now. I been reading up on UDMF lately and wanted to know should I convert my maps over to this format, or just stick to what I been doing (If it aint broke, dont fix it approach)?



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Well unless you're stuck with a system that you can't run gzdoom builder on for whatever reason then yes I would say you should use udmf, it has all the features that hexen format has and more and some things that you do in hexen format are easier to do in udmf like slopes, sector light colors/fog etc

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I'd recommend it at least for any new map. For existing maps, I think it's fine to keep them as they are unless you want to use a feature that can only be done with UDMF.

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Seconding Gez. Unless you need a feature that either requires UDMF or would be a lot harder to use without it, there's no need to convert the map. Since none of the existing converters is 100% perfect it always comes with the risk of some stuff getting broken in the conversion.


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The only port I can think of that (mostly) supports ZDoom in Hexen format but doesn’t support UDMF is ZDaemon, but I’m wondering if there are any others.. Regardless, if you’re targeting GZDoom, there’s no reason not to use UDMF.

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I used Hexen format in a project for all of a few hours before making the switch to UDMF. Haven't looked back. If you can map in Hexen, you'll love UDMF. It has the full feature set available to you and no pesky format limitations to deal with.

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4 hours ago, Doomkid said:

The only port I can think of that (mostly) supports ZDoom in Hexen format but doesn’t support UDMF is ZDaemon, but I’m wondering if there are any others.

Odamex, for the same reason as ZDaemon: ultimately derived from an old ZDoom. Zandronum and its predecessor Skulltag do support UDMF.


For non-ZDoom-based ports, Eternity, EDGE, and (k8)Vavoom all support UDMF.


Of course, supporting UDMF does not imply supporting every single GZDoom feature, but the format allows a port to know what featureset is expected and it lets the port choose whether to load it accordingly or abort.

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On 11/16/2019 at 12:21 PM, Gez said:

Of course, supporting UDMF does not imply supporting every single GZDoom feature

yeah. usually, most of the things works, but it is still worth checking if something works the same across all sourceports. yet UDMF is easier to work with (like, you can do some things directly instead of putting special things into a map), and there are some things that simply cannot be done outside of UDMF (at least not without dirty hacks).


i'd say, go with UDMF if your map is not strictly vanilla/boom (or you don't care).

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Having worked with all the formats over the past few months and still working across all three, I've come to some conclusions.


UDMF for new single player maps.


Hexen for new multiplayer maps that I want to be Odamex/ZDaemon compatible.

UDMF for multiplayer maps where I really need the features and am going to town with Decorate stuff.

I'll still use Hexen format when using some Decorate things if I want the map to be easily adaptable to Odamex/ZDaemon.


Vanilla format for a map I want to be compatible with as many ports as possible and don't need the additional editing features.

I'll still do Vanilla format maps with some Decorate things if I want them to be easily adaptable and the Decorate isn't vital to the map.


Whether it's geared towards single/coop or deathmatch, I always make sure a map of mine supports both and that can affect the preference of format depending on what's needed.   I really like how Hexen and UDMF let you flag things for single, coop, and/or deathmatch, vs vanilla only allowing single+multi or multi only.   UDMF allowing you to flags things separately for skill 4 and 5, or 1 and 2, is also nice and allows people to specifically support nightmare better, plus there's the ability to add more skill levels.   Map01 Entryway having all those weapons including TWO BFG's sitting there at the beginning is pretty silly for coop.   Later on when so many maps have a multi-only cyber thrown in places, it's more reasonable to have the same multi-only weapons for coop and deathmatch.


Eternity Engine has Eternity Definitions to do stuff like Decorate, and it supports UDMF but not Hexen format, and ACS scripting with both vanilla and UDMF.   I can quickly adapt Hexen format maps of mine to UDMF.  Whether all ports support needed features is another thing.



I currently play with Zandronum most of the time.   But Lost Souls not behaving like vanilla Doom and infighting the same as most enemies annoys me.   It takes away much of their threat.   I also miss the funniness of them loving walls.


Updating an old map I'll generally leave it in the original format unless I need more editing features.   Then I'll use zwadconv on vanilla maps to make them Hexen.   Maybe it's some older version I'm using, but it adds a certain number unknown sector special to a lot of sectors that were just 0, so I do a quick find&replace for that sector tag to fix it.   Then I select,copy,& paste a whole Hexen format map into a new UDMF map, but there's something with a bunch of a linedef specials that I had to fix most of them though - the trigger type maybe, I forget.


Over 15 years ago, I converted Hexen map01 to vanilla format for all versions of Strife (and recently updated it, fixing a bunch of stuff).   I copy and pasted the whole Hexen format into vanilla format (with old Wadauthor!) and did extensive editing (in DETH) to mimic how the map works in Hexen.   Except I didn't do teleporting in/spawning monsters which a script does after a certain amount of time.


EDIT:  If the map is dependent on extensive 3D sector transfers, UDMF is the only way to go.   Hexen format can do them, but Odamex and ZDaemon don't have that feature and you have to resort to other 3D floor methods.


If just learning to map yourself, I'd say vanilla or Hexen.


If teaching someone to map, I'd say Hexen.

Edited by Gokuma

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