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Dubbagdarrel

Things that mappers do that annoy you.

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Exits that aren't signed or don't have geometry/decoration/texturing implying an exit or anything like that really irritate me, press a switch and bam, the level is suddenly over. It's not fun to me.

 

And also, timed secrets that you have to race to from the start at the level, I hate it and it's so annoying especially if it's my first time playing a map.

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4 hours ago, Officer D said:

Lazy level design. Meaning: no height variations, unaligned textures, BSP errors, empty box-shaped rooms.

forgive me but what's a BSP error.

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How about a more positive bent of things that I actually enjoy that some people might not?

 

- Death Traps

Especially in smaller levels or wads with many levels, springing an almost certain death trap on a player can be a really fun mix up in diffiulty and overall feel. There's nothing like almost finishing a level and having 8 chaingunners surround you when you hit what you believe to be the exit switch. As long as the trap is elaborate, inventive or interactable enough and not something like an inescapable nukage pool :)

 

- Not getting weapons/SSG for extended periods

I think it's a hold over of me playing a lot of Ultimate Doom back in the day on the PlayStation, but making the player really work for their weapons shouldn't be avoided all the time imo. Slapping the start of the level with a Shotgun/SSG/Chaingun might be easier, but I feel it's a lot less rewarding. Sometimes having to save ammo, or use the Fist isn't all bad!

 

- Action Starts

Jumping into a map under attack is always fun for me, especially if I've just come from the last map with low health. It becomes a sort of puzzle where you scramble to find health and are blasting baddies as quickly as you can.

 

All of this is not perfect design sure, but I've played some perfect and sterile megawads in my time and there's a sort of invert where the maps just start to blend together when there's no out-there or abrasive designs.

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14 minutes ago, Dubbagdarrel said:

forgive me but what's a BSP error.

things like unclosed sectors, overlapping/crossing lines, and such, i guess.

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3 hours ago, ketmar said:

things like unclosed sectors, overlapping/crossing lines, and such, i guess.

isn't that the stuff that causes slime trails?

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5 minutes ago, Dubbagdarrel said:

isn't that the stuff that causes slime trails?

original slime trails is not something mapper can realistically fix (or even notice), so i don't think that we can blame mappers for those. after all, it is vanilla data structures misdesign (even not a bug per se). it would be unfair to shift responsibility to mappers in this case, i think.

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Swarms of monsters in tiny rooms. Clastrophobic maps are nice but i don't like to be gangbanged every other corner i take

 

edit: Also, lack of reference points and other stuff that makes you walk around not knowing where you are

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Keeping a project under wraps or posting updates without any media. What, you think you're going to take the world by storm with your levelset for a 25-year-old game? Starting with the most jaded internet community this side of Something Awful? More often than not, a public alpha will save you embarrassment over a BOMBSHELL LAUNCH - only to find out later that the mancubus that opens the exit is stuck in a wall.

 

Needlessly self-serving.

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The reason I'd keep a project under wraps is because I'd most probably never finish it. Or even actually get started on it. So why announce something only to disappoint people?

 

But yeah a public alpha when it's in releasable state is always a good idea.

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3 hours ago, Dubbagdarrel said:

forgive me but what's a BSP error.

When a mapper applies broken or impossible geometry causing the game engine to render it with an visual error. It's a common problem in older BSP based game engines and are mostly displayed as HOM effects or just black voids. Nothing you can't fix but some mappers seem to just ignore it.

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On the previous discussion about linearity: I generally find that the more difficult a map is, the more I like it to be linear. I like tough gameplay, but I'm unlikely to replay the same map multiple times. So I prefer not getting cockblocked on encounter Z because I didn't do sections X and Y first and get that secret BFG which makes Z more tolerable. On the other hand, maps with more laid back, classic gameplay, can be more enjoyable when you have the freedom to explore and not get punished for playing the map in the "wrong" order.

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The things that really bug me, are overusing revenants and forcing the player to take damage. I feel like too many mappers just use revenants as a "filler" enemy, when they don't know what else to place. This usually results in very frustrating moments unless the map design compliments having to fight 4 of those screaming bastards at once. I may be slightly biased since I generally hate revenants in their vanilla form.

 

As to my other pet peeve, which is forcing players to take damage, thay just seems like a cheap way to add urgency or lazy design to me. Like forcing the player to travel over excessive amounts of damaging floors without any environment suits or a way to avoid them. Like, why can't they be a hazard instead of a vibe check to your health bar? Is an environment suit or two really that hard to place down? I dunno, I just don't understand why the player should HAVE to take damage to progress.

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14 hours ago, Bucket said:

Keeping a project under wraps or posting updates without any media. What, you think you're going to take the world by storm with your levelset for a 25-year-old game? Starting with the most jaded internet community this side of Something Awful?

yes.png.8f55a53fc644cc41a5b2b72b76d18c33.png

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On 12/5/2019 at 1:21 AM, Officer D said:

BSP errors

 

Aaaah BSP errors. Back in the day, my worst nightmare. Other than DEU of course.

 

Are BSP errors still a thing? I would have guessed they wouldn't have been a thing since the 90's. 

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On 12/4/2019 at 7:16 PM, Spectre01 said:

I generally find that the more difficult a map is, the more I like it to be linear.

Yes I agree 100%. This has been one of my design philosophies for a long time. Although it is possible to make a really hard map nonlinear, it's pretty hard to do it right in my opinion.

 

As for things that annoy me, I don't really find anything that annoying, just the classic item placement where you are forced to pick it up.

 

Now unpopular opinion: i dislike incidental combat. I would much rather play a map where you go through a series of setpiece arenas than play one of those maps with annoying, hard to reach, sniper enemies. I like it when a fight lays all the cards out on the table for you and you have to develop a strategy to beat it. I hate inching forward, alerting monsters one at a time, and slowly progressing through a level. I want to play something that forces me to use skill, movement, and strategy. I like fights that make it apparent what space I have as well. I don't like when you can let out a bunch of monsters, and just run around the rest of the level. I like lock-ins (shocking, i know).

 

I'm an outlier, though. Mappers don't take me seriously.

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44 minutes ago, Arbys550 said:

I'm an outlier, though. Mappers don't take me seriously.

 

 

Feel free to change this in your mind to "most mappers don't take me seriously", I found your post insightful. I try to take anything I can from negative or joke posts if there are some, even silly responses can usually have a kernel of wisdom to take away. The contents of your post were rational and thought-out, huh fancy that.

 

I don't really like the fact that 'linear' has sort of become a bad word, all map layout styles have strengths and weaknesses, and linear doesn't necessarily mean just going in a straight line with no optional areas. As a mapper it's always a concern what kind of freedom of movement the player has in a level, and it's much easier to make a focused experience if the player doesn't have 600 ways to get to the end of the map. I used to design with huge layouts in mind but lately I've been asking myself "how do you make linearity interesting"

 

To answer the topic there's not a whole lot that annoys me about custom maps except well-established gameplay errors like pickups in front of switches and decorations catching player movement. Anything else is up for grabs, I usually try to judge maps in a vacuum without comparing it to other stuff, which can be difficult of course, but to me gameplay takes the most important spot ahead of anything else. 

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33 minutes ago, reflex17 said:

Feel free to change this in your mind to "most mappers don't take me seriously"

 

Oh I didn't mean it like that. I meant it like a warning to new mappers reading my post. As in:

 

"Mappers: don't take me seriously. This is just my opinion."

 

Not like:

 

"mappers nowadays don't take me seriously"

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7 minutes ago, Arbys550 said:

 

Oh I didn't mean it like that. I meant it like a warning to new mappers reading my post. As in:

 

"Mappers: don't take me seriously. This is just my opinion."

 

Not like:

 

"mappers nowadays don't take me seriously"

 

OH lol fair enough

 

mappers - don't take him seriously

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Mapper releases something with no specified format that was "tested with GZDoom". Don't make me guess what sourceport I need to use to make the map work, please.

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I only use one, LZdoom. If that doesn't work, then I'm not playing the wad.I just don't want my computer filled with multiple source ports. I design with Zdoom format only anyways. I love the ability to use flats on walls among other things.

 

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When the most new mappers don't give a f- about lighting. I mean come on, it's a good stuff for your map design 😐

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I agree with the OP. If I spend more time running circles around the map than actually fighting demons, I'm usually having a bad time. 

Currently stuck in Deus Vult II map21 trying to access the middle area. I've watched multiple YouTube videos where those barriers just go down for them. I open the map in an editor and it's a complex machination of Boom dolls I can't decipher. 

I wish I could just assume it's a bug and idclip through, but now I'm intrigued! Maybe it is fun sometimes, in between the frustrating running in circles. 

 

On 12/2/2019 at 5:40 PM, Vorpal said:

I hate when mappers put a shitload of effort into a map and then self deprecate..

 

This is a good rule for life in general. Calling your own work crap literally helps no one, and prevents people from being honest in any advice/criticism they give. 

This is easier said than done, of course. But it helps to be cognizant of the habit.

 

On 12/2/2019 at 11:02 PM, Steve D said:

because I've seen players walk right past keys in my maps, even though their POV was on the item, but somehow it didn't register

 

Whenever I record an FDA of a map and watch it back I see myself do this all the time lol

 

edit: i finally opened the middle area in DVIImap21. Very weird sequence but i'm sure there's a hint somewhere in the map i missed

Edited by DuckReconMajor

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There’s some really insightful stuff coming out here, and all I have to contribute is “when the ceiling above downward stairs is too low so you bonk your forehead against it when you run down them”

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7 minutes ago, DavidN said:

There’s some really insightful stuff coming out here, and all I have to contribute is “when the ceiling above downward stairs is too low so you bonk your forehead against it when you run down them”

Like the secret tunnel on the left after the lava drop in e4m6. Takes a few attempts to make it down there. I've also seen this cleverly used as a type of lock-in. The player is able to go down the stairs but not back up. Or was it up but not back down? Hmm.

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Mild gripe here not something that really matters it's just annoying, D_RUNNIN as your maps music. Like come on there's plenty of MIDI sites out there, I know it's hard to choose sometimes but I just like to hear what people pick, always interesting to me. My next one I'm thinking of putting in a midi version of Vanessa Mae's "Contra Danza", she's a violin player that I really like. There's only one WAD where I left it D_RUNNIN, and that's my WAD "Sizzle" it take almost an hour and a half to beat so I couldn't really find anything that wouldn't get old to hear after a while, so it was like why bother. But I'm getting off track here. I love custom music in maps, such a let down to hear D_RUNNIN. I think picking music for your WAD is one of the funnest things about editing. Don't get me wrong, D_RUNNIN rules but come on custom music can change the entire tone of your map.

Edited by Dubbagdarrel

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On 12/4/2019 at 4:21 PM, Officer D said:

Lazy level design. Meaning: no height variations, unaligned textures, BSP errors, empty box-shaped rooms.

 

I guess lots of people recognize themselves in this. Myself included. 

 

Now back on topic - the only things I really hate is tiny narrow ledges and combinations of cyberdemons and pain elementals. (Fear from Scythe and Post Mortem come in mind here.) Revenants as well, but I'll say it again - I see them as a necessary evil. The game without revenants is sometimes pretty boring. Doesn't change the fact 80% of my deaths are to these skeletons with bazookas. I still remember how a homing revenant missle chased me all through the outdoor area of TNT 13 and whenever I tried to trick it to hit a wall, it kept on seeking me. And I was at 13% health. Back to pain elementals, what I hate most from them is when they spawn at the other end of the map and are awake, so until you get them, the level already is full of lost souls. Post Mortem comes in mind again, last time I played it at some point it was so full of lost souls, that the pain elementals couldn't attack more! 

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Probably my least favorite thing that shows up fairly often is doors that require a faraway switch to open, but look just like a normal door that should be openable right away. Romero did it once on E1M7, but some people use that a lot. DOOR3 is kind of exempt since in iwads it's unusable most of the time, but with all the BIGDOORs it's really just annoying. Personally, when it comes to remote doors I prefer to go with something vaguely maybe-doorlike, like BRONZE2, SHAWN3, TEKBRON, WOOD5 or WOODMET. In particular, WOOD5 and SHAWN3 can fit particularly nicely with actual door textures to make doors that can only be opened from one side. It's hard to say why a bunch of skulls would be a key factor in the openability of a big wooden square, but it just seems to make intuitive sense.

 

The other serious annoyance is when items, especially health and armor, block the pathway or a switch. Come on! Fortunately that's not as common.

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