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Rhainfall

What are some tips that you would give for a newcomer who wants to make their own maps?

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Heya, so I obviously am a new blood when it comes to building maps on Doom Editor. So far, all I've done is mess around here and there, figure out what works with this new wad that I'm trying to make. I was wondering if any of you fellow map makers will give me some tips? So far I know:

  • Don't make it a Terry WAD, literally the most dickish move I can make.
  • Don't make it anything like DOOM 2's city levels, most atrocious level design (eh, there's some good ones here and there).
  • Know what kind of WAD I want to make (Whether it's a slaughtermap, something for beginners, something hard for the veterans, or basically make something as good as one of the levels of Plutonia ,etc.)

I'm also trying to experiment using different textures with my wad, but I just don't know how to load them.

I've been also looking at the different maps of Ancient Aliens, Eviternity, and anything made from popular mappers like skillsaw, Dragonfly, and xaser for inspiration.

Listen, I know for a fact that it's going to be a long shot for me to make anything as good as those guys, and I'm probably in over my head thinking I can make something cacoaward worthy right from the get-go. Nonetheless, I hope anybody here can give me some pointers to help me make something enjoyable for everyone to play.

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Posted (edited)
  • Install an editor.
  • Watch tutorials.
  • Play some maps.
  • Start drawing some basic lines. Get familarize yourself with linedef actions and sector specials. 
  • Don't idolise mappers too much. Just map however you wanted.
  • Don't set your eventual goal too high at first (e.g make a Cacoward-worthy one-man 32-map megawad). This will lead to evident burnouts or complete waste of your time. Start small (1-6 maps miniwads) and try mixing stuff up (e.g working on a community project and your ambitious project at the same time).
  • Start by using stock resources - don't try to bother with custom ones yet.
  • Ragequit because you can't even make a door or hit some shitty mapper's blocks.
  • Repeat until you feel confident enough. This can last up to a year, depending on your talent.
  • Tease some screenshots on Doomworld for motivation (and probably feedbacks on layout)
  • Complete your map. Yay!
  • Post your first map on Doomworld for feedbacks and perhaps encouragement. For best results, follow the pinned "New to posting maps? Read this first" thread in this subforum. " Your map will, inevitably, either play medicore, looks mediocore or both. (This means even if your map looks like MAP13 but plays good, people won't complain.) And your mapping skills will continue to be like so, unless you listen to feedbacks and improve.
  • (Stage 2, once your skill get a little bit better, participate in a community project.)
  • Repeat again, and profit - you will be a good mapper. 
Edited by TheNoob_Gamer

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I'll repost this from other thread.

=======

 

I'll keep this short as possible.

 

Here are my tips:

 

- Lower your standards, especially if you are a beginner.

- Don't compare yourself to highly experienced mappers.

- Think of a theme of your map or wad. (classic, atmosphere, smaller maps... etc)

- Don't force yourself.

- Don't map for recognition or you'll feel stressed out.

- Draw maps on paper if that helps.

- Mapping takes time. Keep that in mind.

- Don't give up because you never know.

 

 

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As a beginner, your first goal is to get used to the editor and what you can do with its tools. Also, you need to learn how to combine textures, create consistent layouts, focus on specific themes and create engaging fights: You'll need to experiment a lot.

 

My opinion? Focus on a set of 10-15 maps and, more importantly, focus on short maps, levels that can be concluded in 3 or 5 minutes maximum so you don't have to worry with more complex stuff. Your first maps will probably suck, so keep them short and focus on getting used with the environment, which is at first more important than creating good stuff.

 

Use stock textures and use similar wads as for reference such as the IWADS or stuff like DTWID, Ultimate Doom custom wads, etc.

 

Keep mapping, learn step-by-step how to use teleporters, lifts, steps, etc, you don't have to use it all once in one map. Experiment a lot, try different concepts, map on paper before if you feel you don't have any ideas opening doom builder.

 

Getting concepts might be hard at the beginning, so it might be nice to make a list of cool but simple concepts, so you have something to work with, for example (even if these are things that were done before):

 

- City level with a central plaza

- Techbase with lots of acid and sewers.

- Hellish shrine with a central outpost in the middle.

- Storage area with lots crates

- Heavy scientific techbase

- Lava cracter

- Castle in a mountain

- Outdoor green field with a central river.

- Underground techbase 

- A castle with main circular rooms.

- Industrial area with high height variation.

- Tight Hell fortress over a lake

 

Map a lot, and once you feel secure with mapping, start creating something more "serious".

 

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I'll give the same piece of advice I always do: start small.

 

Aiming for a full 32-level megawad right off the bat is only doing yourself and your work a disservice. I learned this the hard way.

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1 hour ago, MFG38 said:

I'll give the same piece of advice I always do: start small.

 

Aiming for a full 32-level megawad right off the bat is only doing yourself and your work a disservice. I learned this the hard way.

 

Basically what I was going to say. The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) principle works so well here. You're not making the next Project Brutality or Back to Saturn X or Hell Revealed or whatever with your first project; it's best IMO to work on a modest-size limit-removing map (so you're not paralysed by the choice of extended linetypes and actions, but at the same time you're not constricted by the harsh mistress that is vanilla detail limits) to get to know the ropes. Experiment with texture usage; your first map will typically be kinda awful, so here's the place to just try whatever whacked-out shit may or may not work. Try each kind of action (door, lift, crusher, etc) to get the hang of how tags work (which is pivotal for the technical side of mapping). Experiment, experiment, experiment! See what works, and what doesn't.

And then when it's done, do it again with slightly more of a focus on what you enjoyed doing or thought you did best at. Repeat as desired.

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Posted (edited)
  • Read any and every tutorial you could find. There's an entire forum section for that. 
  • Play some Doom WADs first, gradually learn the quirks of Doom engine.
  • Start mapping for limit-removing, so you won't have to deal with the visplanes and extended types of linedefs.
  • Start small. If you make a 32-map megawad, you'll be burnt out and/or make a crappy cubic thing. 4 maps is a good start.
  • Don't aim for majestic detail a la Eviternity. Eviternity was obviously made by a mapping veteran.
  • But don't make empty cubic D!Zone levels either. By all means, add some visual flair.
  • Don't use custom resources yet. Normal textures are enough.
  • Mapping should be fun. If it's too much of a chore, either play more Doom to warm up or do something else to distract yourself.
  • Experiment a lot and you will eventually find an inspiring concept. Write the concepts down.
  • Don't delete your maps. Leave them in a folder somewhere for reworking.
  • If your concept was already done somewhere else, make it anyway. You could do it differently.
Edited by Kut

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Try to break your own maps. Find bugs, errors or glitches and try to see why it goes wrong and see if you can fix it. Quite often you can easily miss an obvious error that you don't instantly think of.

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Posted (edited)

    I am also a newbie mapper, and really I cannot add any more to what people said above. Maybe a couple of observations from a fellow newbie?

 

1) You will be slow. Initially. I mean, I still am, but it is going quicker as I map more.

2) Do not be afraid to outright delete or remove parts of your map. I started on a cramped techbase, and felt that I 'had' to have a big slaughtery fight. I made it,     played it, and realized it did not fit. Afternoon of work, I deleted it. Did not fit.

3) As a counterweight to above, do not delete too hastily either, or in other words the environment needs not be too perfect. Some people just see the geometry, where vertices ought to be from the start. Me? I have to rearrange a lot.

 

    Anyway, once I release my map, I may have to write up a post about a technique I discovered to 'generate ideas', to break trough a mapping block.

 

P.S. Maybe I was too hasty in saying 'delete part of map'. What I meant to say was that sometimes parts of a map can subtract from the entire experience.

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Do some speed mapping so you can get a couple levels Completed it will boost your skills and confidence.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Deadwing said:

- City level with a central plaza

- Techbase with lots of acid and sewers.

- Hellish shrine with a central outpost in the middle.

- Storage area with lots crates

- Heavy scientific techbase

- Lava cracter

- Castle in a mountain

- Outdoor green field with a central river.

- Underground techbase 

- A castle with main circular rooms.

- Industrial area with high height variation.

- Tight Hell fortress over a lake

 

Map a lot, and once you feel secure with mapping, start creating something more "serious".

And do not forget the obligatory crate mazes!

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Just remember that is perfectly okay to make maps, which don't feel right, looks chaotic or don't look as intended in your head. It's all part of learning and I wish that someone told me that earlier. It won't define your skills, you can always improve and learn all from it as long as you ready to do that.

 

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I would also strongly suggest joining a Discord server. Dragonfly's Doomworks,  Jimmy's Joy of Mapping, and Bridgeburner's Hellforge are all full of new and experienced mappers alike who are more than happy to give you help and advice instantly and easily. 

 

Discords like this are also a perfect place to share your early creations rather than officially "release" them on something like DW. You can have people give feedback in a smaller setting and can iterate and play around much more freely. As a new mapper, one of the fastest ways to improve your mapping is to watch / get feedback from people playing your maps, I'd definitely recommend not trying to become a mapper in isolation if you can.

 

Down the line, community projects are also a great way to get your name out there without the pressure of your own standalone release. Keep an eye out for Jimmy's next Joy of Mapping event in particular. 

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I literally started a map last week for the first time in about 20 years. This thread is very useful!

 

The handful of crappy ones I made back in the day are long gone, but this one is well on the way. Definitely I will bear the tips above in mind.

 

Here are some taster screenshots:

 

963415777_map2020-04-19162716.png.026ac6733fe99d7308bf0d27391125b0.png 

 

The blue bunks area:
Screenshot_Doom_20200419_162059.png.02e22a119c1c3fcaff3272ab58bf4f6d.png

 

Cacos guarding outdoor exit area in south of map:

Screenshot_Doom_20200419_162216.png.f2ea6416993370c2597161b3a5bfe975.png

 

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Posted (edited)

An actual tip would be good...:

 

I found that taking time to align the same textures on neighbouring linedefs properly greatly improves the overall impression of a room. Here, because of the steps, the brick texture looked disjointed until I aligned textures properly on all the vertical linedefs behind each step. It looked 'ok' before I did the aligning, but properly aligning so the textures married up correctly made a big difference:

 

Screenshot_Doom_20200419_161940.png.4b6250098fcfef0ca6c21611c6667dd6.png

Edited by smeghammer

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On 4/19/2020 at 11:21 PM, Pechudin said:

And do not forget the obligatory crate mazes!

 

As long as they are interconnected so you can explore throughout them and make sure you add tiny crates and little crates to act as steps to climb on top of normal crates or wide crates.

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Make what you want to make, in the format you want to use from the get-go. There's no point learning the original Doom v1.9 engine limitations and functionality if you're only interested in making GZDoom maps that use modern features. Likewise, if your one goal in life is a vanilla-compatible megaWAD with your name stamped proudly on the TITLEPIC, I'd start learning that format and only use modern engines to test what you've made works as intended, or at least doesn't break too badly.

 

Other than that, make sure your technical stuff functions well. Your own visual style will emerge over time and with practice, but a switch that doesn't work will need fixing. The rest is all personal preference and flavour.

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Posted (edited)

I don't want to give too much advice knowing that it will be very subjective. But I could give just one:

 

Becoming a "good" mapper can take time as well as to master perfectly the subtleties of the builder. On the other hand to make levels funs and which are played well is fortunately with the range of everyone.

 

For the newcomers who are afraid to make a new map, I want to say that I  sometimes had a lot more fun on amateur maps or even on "my first maps" than on maps made by experienced mappers.  Beginner maps tend to have a weird level design, but I find it interesting. They often tend to show their creativity without taking account of the reception by other players. It's kind a good thing for me.

 

So roughly speaking, make maps, you'll improve with time concerning the aesthetics, layouts... Don't afraid to make shit. Shit maps can be fun. Everyone can make a fun map.

 

And , I don't agree with OP. City levels from Doom 2 are neat. These levels mainly have a lot of verticality , which is a thing a lot of mappers tend to forget.

 

Edited by Roofi

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