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How to get started on DOOM Mapping?

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Hello people! Been lurking these forums since 2015!


I´ve got into Doom through Doom 3 (Yeah, yeah I know). Been playing the classic Doom titles since 2010 I think. I´ve replayed the classic dozens of times since then and have also play several mods for Ultimate Doom and Doom 2.

However, I want to become creative and start building my own Doom Maps. Here are my questions:

- What is a good editor?

- What port should I use for mapping?

- Are there any good tutorials you can recommend?


Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

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The first thing to learn is that there are two types of editors, a map editor to construct the architecture and subsequent features such as line specials, adding monsters, weapons, decorations, scripting, etc. and a lump editor to edit the constituent parts (lumps) of a map.


Map editors are Slade3, GZDoom Builder - Bugfix, Ultimate Doom Builder, Doom Builder X, Eureka, etc.

Lump editors are, really only Slade3, unless you count it's older incarnation LumpED.


To learn the features of Slade3 see the Slade3 WIKI.

To learn UDB see the included Reference Manual or read the Doombuilder Guide which was written for the now unmaintained Doombuilder2 but is still relevant.


The next step is to differentiate between mapping formats:

vanilla DOOM format (VDF) which targets the DOOM engine features, which are rather restrictive. 

BOOM format (BF) which expands the capabilities if the VDF.

GZDOOM (Doom in Hexen) format (DiHF) which introduces the feature set of ZDOOM, which is different from both, VDF and BF.

That feature set matured over the last 20 years mainly through requests by mappers, such as a whole slew of special lumps.

GZDOOM (Doom in UDMF format) which drives forward the capabilities of the editing features.


While a lot of people will say to learn VDF first, I stand by learning UDMF right off the bat, starting with simple maps and progressing from there.


And always remember:


Depending on which mapping format you choose, there are several engines:

for vanilla DOOM format

  • Chcolate Doom
  • PrBoom+ 
  • etc


for advanced formats and vanilla format

  • GZDoom
  • ZDoom
  • QZDoom
  • LZDoom
  • Crispy Doom
  • Eternity
  • EDGE
  • k8vavoom
  • etc


As for tutorials:







check videos by various authors on Youtube 


Good luck with your mapping adventure.

Edited by Kappes Buur

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On 2/14/2020 at 9:16 AM, RiZen said:

- What port should I use for mapping?

If you're impressed by the design and style of the original DooM/2, you will probably enjoy creating maps for vanilla (or, as you referred to it, "classic") DooM. If there are mods you enjoyed, and which you'd like to emulate, you can learn how to map for the relevant source ports.


For those that have never worked with a map editor, I would recommend learning the basic features of creating map geometry and actions first. These principles apply regardless of which source port you wish to use. Under the term "basic features" I would list:


1. Rooms, corridors, pillars

2. Stairs

3. Outdoor areas

4. Doors and windows

5. Lifts/elevators and rising/lowering floors/ceilings

6. Switches


Aside from geometry, there are aesthetic considerations but you can work on those once you're comfortable with the mechanics of creating the shapes and actions of your map.


Mapping in vanilla DooM format generally simplifies the process of creating basic geometry and actions, as fewer options need to be considered. By the same token, mapping for vanilla DooM creates restrictions, some of which could be fairly severe. As you get more experienced you'll discover the limitations (and creative ways of working around them).

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There are some Youtube tutorials that are a great help when building maps. I recommend them (no matter the uploader, just search doom builder tutorial).

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