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Doomkid

Mapping regrets?

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One of the really important lessons I learned from my original 8 map release of Bloodicide (among many things) had to do with how I put maps together. My least favorite levels -- and what seemed like the least popular -- were the two maps where I basically merged a collection of random bits and pieces I had previously made, which I really liked, into single maps. My initial thought was, "Well, all of these ideas are fairly solid separately, together they must be great." No. The maps just became medleys of clashing designs, tones, feelings, (etc.) with very lousy flow -- for the majority of it, I just had to rely on teleporters taking you to the next chunk, because their fundamental designs simply didn't mesh.

 

The lesson for me here was, make a map with a single premise / over-arching design. Start from scratch (or 1 idea at best) and just build the map into its own single, cohesive, and hopefully unique entity. That way, there's at least a better chance that the map will feel more "organic" in its layout and gameplay, and hopefully make it more enjoyable.

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3 hours ago, RonnieJamesDiner said:

One of the really important lessons I learned from my original 8 map release of Bloodicide (among many things) had to do with how I put maps together. My least favorite levels -- and what seemed like the least popular -- were the two maps where I basically merged a collection of random bits and pieces I had previously made, which I really liked, into single maps. My initial thought was, "Well, all of these ideas are fairly solid separately, together they must be great." No. The maps just became medleys of clashing designs, tones, feelings, (etc.) with very lousy flow -- for the majority of it, I just had to rely on teleporters taking you to the next chunk, because their fundamental designs simply didn't mesh.

 

The lesson for me here was, make a map with a single premise / over-arching design. Start from scratch (or 1 idea at best) and just build the map into its own single, cohesive, and hopefully unique entity. That way, there's at least a better chance that the map will feel more "organic" in its layout and gameplay, and hopefully make it more enjoyable.

I have a WAD named "Umbra" which is a 12 map episode I will NEVER release because it started out great then turned into a complete cluster fuck. However, it has (in my opinion) some great set pieces that I had designed. So I keep the WAD in my documents to take those from and paste into my newer maps some times.

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I regret not having too much time to sink into this hobby as of late. I've come to enjoy creating maps that others get to play and enjoy for themselves. 

 

Most recent regret is not applying enough detailing to my Hydrophobia map. Much of the critiques stemmed from lack of detailing due to overuse of BigBrick.

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Not mapping for my own Eagle Sessions often enough, making me seem like I'm only there to have my name as project lead - which anyone can do - and not engaging in creating fun maps along with the community. I learned a lesson there. 

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My only regret. is not finishing what I start. I have so many concepts on my Channel. but I've moved on when i get insired by something else.

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My Community Chest 2 map. It has cool visuals, nice ideas and quite some neat tricks (for a 15+ years old Boom map; rotating ceiling fans before they were cool!). But the progression... it's a shitshow of a switch hunt, with switches incoherently opening doors, lowering - or raising - floors etc. It's in such a dire state that I couldn't fix it even if I tried to. I have absolutely no clue how I could have thought that a progression like that is acceptable.

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I don't really regret anything. Sure there are things I'd do differently in hindsight but mistakes and past experiences are to be learned from, built upon. If I am happy with what I am making now why would I regret the path that has led me here?  

 

Mapping is an endless journey. Hopefully one you enjoy 

 

Spoiler

Well that was a bit existential

 

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3 minutes ago, Crunchynut44 said:

Pretty much every map of every WAD ive ever made because they are just not that good.

 

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Hands down, my biggest regret goes all the way back to 1996 and Map09 in Realm of Chaos, because I force the player to find a secret door as part of mandatory progression, which is a majorly unfair thing to do. It was the kind of thing that happened in the '90s, and to some extent even today, in the category of "cheap difficulty." Although the clue is rather obvious -- a huge vertical misalignment -- I have witnessed players humping every inch of the wall except that one. This has undoubtedly resulted in many players failing to complete that map over the years, and also in many others giving up on the megawad itself if they decided not to clip through the walls. If so, that design flaw impacted the entire mapset.

 

Indeed, the reason I started making Realm of Intensified Chaos, which is a radical update of my original maps for that project, is because I wanted to atone for Map09 and remove that design flaw. This is what you call wallowing in guilt. ;D

 

From time to time I've thought about fixing the problem in the megawad itself, and uploading an updated version, but I never did because it's so damned old, and also, at the time, I wasn't in contact with any other members of The Macintosh Team. That has changed, and I'm now in contact with Rob Berkowitz, the de facto team leader, so I could put it to him. However, there's another consideration -- there are 73 speedruns of this megawad at DSDA, including 3 for Map09. Fixing its design flaw would break those speedruns, so I'm very reluctant. What do you all think?

 

One thing I would like to correct is the release date on the text file. It says 1999, but that's the release date of the v1.4 bugfix. The actual release date for v1.0 was October 31st, 1996. Halloween night, appropriately enough. That's been bugging me for years.

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My biggest regret was never getting into Doom mapping. I started around 1996 with the Descent editor then moved on to the Build editor and before even getting into Doom, games like Quake 2 and Unreal came to the market and Doom pretty much lost all my interest. Later on, I tried modern editors (Crysis, Amnesia, UEd 3 & 4) but got overwhelmed with all the new things I would have to learn. So I remained with UEd 2.0. In the late 2000's Doom was reintroduced to me with all the great community projects. Sadly at this point I already had given up learning new editors. However as a rookie coder, at least I have done a little with Doom, so that's cool I guess.

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This isn’t a regret about my own mapping, but I think it half counts: I left shitty, non-helpful, low-score reviews of some earlier wads by both MTrop and Nic Monti. I seriously doubt either of them remember or care but it’s somewhat ironic as they have made some of my favourite SP maps.

 

I saw Sir Hattington leave feedback while in a shitty mood in that 5spiders thread and just thought “oh yeah, I’ve done this before..”. It’s something people forget to acknowledge, but your mood while playing a wad is almost as big a factor as the quality of the wad itself when it comes to reviews.

 

I’ve seen more prominent reviewers leave shit feedback while they were in a shit mood and it’s a shame for wads to get a bad rep just because someone with a loud voice was being a sour skittle the day they happened across the wad.

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18 minutes ago, Doomkid said:

your mood while playing a wad is almost as big a factor as the quality of the wad itself when it comes to reviews.

and your attitude towards the author too. that's why i never write reviews (besides being shitty doom player, that is ;-).

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2 hours ago, Doomkid said:

 Your mood while playing a wad is almost as big a factor as the quality of the wad itself when it comes to reviews.

This definitely happens to me. What's happening in my personal life always spills over into my thoughts about a map i'm playing and taints my perception of the map.

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My biggest regret..

 

Some of my maps (well it's actually 2 published under seperate CPs) are too easy and has unbalanced design quality in a hindsight.

 

Now i have a thought on doing a plutonia successor (not sequel) with all those chaingunners and evil traps or some shit.

 

Probably going to regret about it later but it has to be done.  

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In terms of mapping, I don't have many regrets.

 

I started mapping in 2010 in nearly complete isolation from this community, and I largely consider that a good thing. I was aware of the Cacowards and many of the more prominent PWADs and mods, yet somehow the forum that tied those things together was nonexistent from my perspective. I made some truly terrible maps, and I really don't think I would have fared well had I made any of them publicly available. The negative reaction I'd expect those maps to have garnered probably would have dissuaded me from mapping altogether. In my early days I adhered to some pretty bullshit design principles, and I surely would regret employing them had any of those maps been released when they were made. Most of my mapping skills are self-taught, and I eventually taught myself that maps consisting of large warehouses full of lost souls and pain elementals are not fun and do not deserve to be split across multiple maps throughout the MEGAWAD. That is something I actually did, thank god I never released it publicly!

 

By the time I found this community, my skills as a mapper had evolved to the point of some level of competence. I'm confident that I can put together something that at least a few other people can enjoy.

 

I guess my biggest regret would probably be that I don't map enough anymore, I'm at the point where I can make alright maps but I rarely have both the time and motivation to map at the same time these days. I try to contribute to at least one community project a year though.

 

I did discover how to make effective voodoo-doll scripts on my own, something I'm quite proud of. Though there aren't many places I can use that knowledge, given the nature of most community projects.

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16 hours ago, Doomkid said:

[...] your mood while playing a wad is almost as big a factor as the quality of the wad itself when it comes to reviews.

 

This is definitely the truth, and while I tend to leave commentary via the DWMC rather than reviews, I do try to be aware of my own mood and circumstances when leaving that commentary, acknowledging those days when I'm not in the proper headspace to give a level the consideration it deserves, or that "I didn't like this level," for whatever reason, isn't the same as "this is a bad level."

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