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ZALGO

How can I motivate myself to make my first Doom map?

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As the title suggests I have so many new ideas for how I want to design a level but every time I start I end up going full writer's block and never come back to making that map again. It has become a problem for me since I have been trying to become a mapper for quite a while, I just can't seem to get the motivation to pull it off.

 

So for all you new and old Doom mappers, could you impart some wisdom on how I can get motivated into making my first map. I personally like designing complex maps that tease the player into trying to find an exit or secret through gates and I like the idea of building the player up into a boss fight and all that (all that I'm describing is what I put on paper). I just need to know how to find the right mindset to do it.

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My first map Ive ever put out was 2 days ago, so this should be semi relatable

 

My advice would be to do a community project. There are many that pop up that are to a certain theme so you can come up with an idea fast. Your not fully committed and you only have to make 1 map. 

 

To get to the right mindset I usually just play music I like before and during my mapping. Also in your mind telling yourself that you can do it helps too. Dont beat yourself up for a woom looking bad because most likely its just your mind telling you it is. I thought my map for the Isolation community project wasnt too good but it was well received, so it could always just be your mind trying to put you in a bad mood cause some people think a first map has to be bad. That would be my advice.

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Look at others' projects/maps, stare at the images and analyze them thoroughly for a few minutes, then think to yourself: "Goddamnit what am I doing? That could be me!" then take out your editing program (Ultimate DooM Builder on my case), get yourself a few ideas or a point of reference to start (For example, the starting area could be on the middle of a blood well, within a pentagonic(?) lobby full of corpses of those who worshipped someone (You) and blahblah), then use that point of reference so you can make a map that flows well with the theme, onthis example based around cultists and maddened dudes that see you as their "Leader" but for not-plot reasons still want to kill you.

But you can't just go there and map forever, no, there is something I ALWAYS tell to those who need inspiration or anything:

 

May those words of wisdom engrave in your mind forever, mortal:

 

 

 

Listen to music bro.

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I was in that same boat back when I was new to mapping - and to some degree, I still am. I'd work on a map for one day and take a month-long break at worst while waiting for inspiration to strike. But with my latest mapping effort, I've taken it upon myself to break out of that nasty habit. While I still let my mood dictate for the most part when I boot up UDB, I do strive to do so as often as possible.

 

At any rate, my approach to mapping on my latest mapset is what I can only call "stream-of-consciousness" mapping. That is to say, I come up with things on the fly as I work on the map(s), albeit while striving for visual/thematic consistency. It does have its downsides, but it has also worked wonders when it comes to my own mapping philosophy.

 

It may not necessarily work for you, but you won't know until you try. Keep in mind that you don't have to smash away at a map every day and for hours on end. Sometimes, 15-20 minutes of work in the span of a week is enough. You should still let inspiration, rather than need, guide you.

 

Also, I second @Archanhell above in that listening to music while mapping helps.

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Dont think you need to have an idea how the entire map is going to unfold from the get go, creat an area you would love to see in doom, then room by room expand in a way that seems to fit the mood you are going for, i find most my ideas come while building, so just try freestyling to unlock your stream of conciousness if you are stuck in a state of writers block.

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On 3/27/2020 at 4:54 PM, ZALGO said:

I have so many new ideas for how I want to design a level but every time I start I end up going full writer's block

Having "many ideas" is the opposite of writer's block, isn't it?

 

I'm guessing you are trying to create those ideas in a doom map and it just doesn't turn out very good, so you get demotivated to continue building the thing you were trying to build.  That is often what happened when I tried to map, plus I discovered that I really have no imagination for designing maps, more or less why I created a program to make maps for me :)

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My advice to literally any mapper, regardless of skill, experience and history with mapping, is to make a speed map. Set yourself a timer or alarm for 2-4 hours time and sort yourself out a nice MIDI and/or some resources. Maybe note down the theme or gimmick you'd like to try and implement.

 

That way you stop thinking about polish, what's "good enough" and other excuses to not actually make something, because if you're going to finish the map in the time limit, you've not got time for that stuff. It's why, after making something silly like 170 maps over the years for all sorts of ports and projects, I still get a bit excited about community speed mapping sessions. There's a challenge there, and it's a fun one that won't turn into an indefinite slog of a project like most megaWAD-making attempts do. Plus you might like what you come out with anyway, and can always build on it later.

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Sometimes you just not in the mood

 

I made three maps this year

 

Working on a fourth one and I haven't felt the need to even touch it

 

But I know sometime I feel like doing it again

 

Maps are better when you're inspired

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15 minutes ago, Clippy said:

Sometimes you just not in the mood

 

Maps are better when you're inspired

This , when inspired and motivated, then the possibilities are endless.

Without the inspiration everything can seem like a choir, and sometimes overwealming.

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