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MatthewPhillips

Try my Doom ][ 3-level WAD: Thy Wrath Unleashed!

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Posted (edited)

I'm having a huge problem letting go of my .WAD and saying "It's done!", and not continuing to tinker with it. How do you know when enough is enough? Presumably all of the bugs / issues have been sorted out, but I can't stop going in and tweaking stuff.


DOWNLOAD:

THY WRATH UNLEASHED
http://www.gonorthdesign.com/ThyWrath.zip

v31 UPDATE: April 30, 2020 at 11:30am AST



SCREENSHOTS ARE POSTED A FEW POSTS DOWN, THANKS!

Game: DOOM 2
Map #: MAP01, MAP02, MAP03 (3 new levels)
Single Player: Yes, and all skill levels supported
Build Time: 3 months creating the original .WAD (in 1996-1997) and 4 more months (in 2020) upgrading it!
Jumping and Freelook: No, Vanilla Doom!

What are the maps LIKE?:

  • Map01 is massive, and has 3 distinct sections/styles. It was the first map I ever made and at the time I wanted to throw in everything because I wasn't sure if I'd make another!
  • Map 02 is short, very fast and frantic. For quite a few people it's their favourite of the 3 (if you like super fast, shorter maps).
  • Map 03 is medium-sized compared to #1, but still quite "large" and has been redone from the ground-up. Stylistically it's more like #2 but with the larger scope and amount of secrets like #1.

    All 3 maps CAN be played from a pistol start, and were tested that way (as well as tested back-to-back).
Edited by MatthewPhillips

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Personally when your map....

  • has a start and an exit.
  • has clear progression/its genre defined (is your map just a straight trip from start to finish with no backtracking necessary? Is it a non-linear map with occasional key-hunting required? Or is it a cramped 64x64 map with no progression at all?). Once you have clearly defined your map's progression (and the genre of it), the process of creating it will become much clearer.
  • has varying geometry (A map is very hard to be good when all of its sectors have the same floor (or ceiling) height) that tightened to your gameplay.
  • has (ENOUGH!) gameplay. (Enough ammunition? Enough enemies? Are enemies well-placed; or are they just a bunch of dumbasses mindlessly rushing at your face once you (accidentally) fire your gun? Gameplay mostly depends on the layout and overall progression of your map.)
  • has solid texture alignments. Self-explanatory.
  • has (ENOUGH!) solid usage of linedef actions/sector specials.

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LOL Welcome to my world. My map's been finished for two weeks. Still tinkering. Some people are "speed mappers". I consider myself a "slow mapper."

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IMO. Enough is a plateau of quality when further tweaking causes something like overdetail which makes your map look and play ugly.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I was straying into "overdetail" territory.

So I've zipped it all up (to encourage me to stop editing it) and sent it off for approval at archive.gamers.org. 

It's been my project for the last 3 months, editing almost every single day. It's gonna be hard to get out of the habit.

Incidentally: is there another "official" spot where I should be uploading it? Gamers.org have uploaded every file I've sent them but they never respond to my emails, ever. So I don't know if I am being annoying, or if they are happy to do it, or what?



 

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When the project leader says "Billy! Where's your goddamn map?" Somehow this method works even when I'm the project leader...

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Posted (edited)

I don't make Doom maps but i do make Wolf3d maps sometimes. In my case its:

-Are there enough healing items in the level? Is there too much?

-Is there enough ammo for every level of difficulty?

-Is there a clear difference for all skill levels?

-Can the player get appropriate weapons if they pistol-start/get killed?

-Are the enemies fair or is it just 100 SS in the room?

That can apply to Doom very well.

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Posted (edited)

Usually I map until I'm bored then struggle for several hours trying to figure out how to design a final encounter and fit it into the mapflow. Eventually deciding "fuck it" and proceeding to put like 15 Revenants in a room marked "exit." I would not recommend this strategy.

Edited by Egg Boy

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It helps to not think of "done" as a finish line but more like a general zone. There are some minimums -- playable, looks good, bug-free, clear progression, etc. Anything that falls in the zone beyond those is, strictly speaking, "done."

 

But within that huge zone there are many additional things like detailing, speedmapper friendliness, etc. Some are tradeoffs and others just take time.

 

The constraints of your project will determine where you land in that zone when you call it done.

 

Of course there will be many points you could have called "done" within the zone without any noticeable change in the final product.

 

Past a certain point, polish is just polish.

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1 hour ago, JadingTsunami said:

speedmapper friendliness, etc. Some are tradeoffs and others just take time.


I hadn't considered "speedmappers". Although I've replayed each of my levels from various parts, often just starting with a pistol and seeing how far I can get with way less guns and ammo than you would normally have at those points.

The final section of Level 3 that I've been spending the most time on can be done with just a pistol, if you're willing to zoom by the enemies and the final boss stuff. 

I don't find that to be very fun, but yeah.

 

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23 minutes ago, MatthewPhillips said:


I hadn't considered "speedmappers". Although I've replayed each of my levels from various parts, often just starting with a pistol and seeing how far I can get with way less guns and ammo than you would normally have at those points.

 

Oh, I realize I made a typo, that should say "speedrunners", but you get the idea I think.

 

Speedrunning is a sport in its own with sub-categories like any%, UV-max, Tyson, pacifist, ...

 

Whether or not you optimize your map for such activities is a choice within that "zone of doneness" I talked about.

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2 hours ago, JadingTsunami said:

Whether or not you optimize your map for such activities is a choice within that "zone of doneness" I talked about.

 

Aren’t speedrunners usually trying to finish an existing level as quickly as possible, using what’s given?

 

Or do you mean somehow setting up my

map so that it can be done as quickly as possible? Not even sure how that works TBH.

 

For example, there are sections where you have to wait for a tall wall to lower, and that’s on purpose. 

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I'm about to finish a map myself

 

Still need to add deathmatch starts and multiplayer stuff

 

I always map in UV and later go through and set the other difficulties

 

Then I play it a few times until I have a successful run where nothing pissed me off at any point

 

Then I consider it done

 

 

Post it here and see what ppl say

 

Good times

 

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Let me know when you figure it out... 

 

I usually finish maps area by area, completely fleshing one area out before moving onto the next so for me that means stopping once I make the exit and ensure everything is hopefully balanced. That said, my levels are generally completely or mostly linear, making that approach a lot easier than if you make completely open-ended maps, something I DO need to get better at. 

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Posted (edited)

Screenshots... you got it!

LEVEL 1

LVL1_A.png


LEVEL 1

LVL1_B.png

LEVEL 1

LVL1_C.png

LEVEL 1

LVL1_D.png





LEVEL 2

LVL2_A.png

LEVEL 2

LVL2_B.png

LEVEL 2

LVL2_D.png

LEVEL 2

LVL2_E.png






LEVEL 3

LVL3_A.png

LEVEL 3

LVL3_B.png

LEVEL 3

LVL3_D.png

LEVEL 3

LVL3_E.jpg

LEVEL 3

LVL3_F.png

LEVEL 3

LVL3_G.png


LEVEL 3

LVL3_H.png

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Each map I do has its own lore, base idea, main objective and a track to hear in order to get inspiration.

 

So, let's say I'm making a level based on a jungle for this example.

The lore would be as simple as: "You was exploring the mythical jungle of X with your exploration squad and when the night fell you all went to sleep on their respective tents.

Next morning you wake up on the same jungle, but something feels off and you are nowhere close to your squad, knowing that being far from each other is dangerous so you decide to put your feet on the ground and start exploring this mysterious place to meet with your squad again."

 

We have that set, now the base idea was that this level is set on the nature, we need a good layout that resembles the best to a jungle.

I am done with those two things, there's not much I have to twek here, right?

 

The main objective is exploring the place so you can find your squad again and either continue exploring together or leave as soon as possible, the track can vary and I'd obviously go for something that sounds the closest to a jungle level, no matter what game or media is it and no matter if it can sound "childish", if it inspires me, it works.

 

I'm done with those four things, but what you exactly ask is "How do you know when your map is done?", and here's where the fun starts.

When I have the four main things done I start with an interesting, both visually and gameplay-wise, starting area for the player where depending on the gameplay I aim for, can have some items or be empty of resources but still have good visuals and space to move.

 

On this case, I'd make a small place clean of trees with a circular shape, maybe some logs, a gun and some ammo, this part of gameplay is 'important', but not always the highest priority.

My maps need to have sense on the layout unless I aim for a more abstract gameplay and visual style, as well I need it to be completely balanced both from the player view and the enemy view

 

A jungle level would have a decent quantity of ammo and all, scattered around on human-made structures, because it would not make sense if it was just scattered around like nothing, right?

Now, the enemies would be demons, and here I take a lot of time, more than mapping itself even.

 

I know I am done exactly when both the main four things and the starting area led me to shape a good map layout which on this case is completely natural, with a balanced amount of resources on one or more difficulties, with weapon locations that make sense and communicate to the player of a good progression, which at the same time tells them from now on the difficulty will increase to make it equal for both the player and the enemies.

 

The enemies need to be balanced too, and with this I mean both the enemies used and the placement, doing this takes some time but I usually do it while mapping and all.

 

So yeah, that's all~

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Posted (edited)

When I make a map, I often record a uv-max demo on it.  I think I completed my map when I finished my demo without any reproach.

 

If there is a problem, I stop my demo, I fix the problem on doombuilder, I redo my demo and so on.

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With regards to detailing, I think the law of diminishing returns applies so I usually just stop when I think I am getting to the point of detailing not being worth the time it is taking. The same can be said of gameplay tweaking I suppose.

 

It is worth noting that players will generally not notice micro detailing when playing, so it is a good idea to try and focus on the bigger picture of the map aesthetic, cool looking vistas generally get noticed and appreciated by players. 

 

Ultimately it is your own choice when to stop, but I will say that with experience you will get a better feel on when your own stopping point is.

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Screenshots look cool, but wouldn't you rather want to start a new topic for that WAD instead mixing it up with your "when is it done?" topic?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Loomis said:

Screenshots look cool, but wouldn't you rather want to start a new topic for that WAD instead mixing it up with your "when is it done?" topic?

 

Didn’t want to be greedy. I’ve started maybe 3-4 threads about my WAD in the last few months, had some forum members stream a play through,

and offer feedback.

 

I feel like I could just keep editing it every day for eternity but I had to put it down for good lest it start to take over all of my free time.

 

if anyone gets a chance to play please let me know!

Edited by MatthewPhillips

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3 hours ago, MatthewPhillips said:

 

Didn’t want to be greedy. I’ve started maybe 3-4 threads about my WAD in the last few months, had some forum members stream a play through,

and offer feedback.

 

I feel like I could just keep editing it every day for eternity but I had to put it down for good lest it start to take over all of my free time.

 

if anyone gets a chance to play please let me know!


You seem to suffer the same sickness i have and also a lot of people: Excessive Perfectionism!

When you start to spend a lot of time on a single map, take a look to Scythe by Erik Alm, Revolution! by Thomas Van Der Velden, Kama Sutra by Gusta & Method, or Suspended in Dusk by Espi.
Then do what i do: let yourself go and start to cry in sorrow for never achieving that simple and perfect way of mapping with a ton of details but not an excessive amount of them. Then you will have two options, return to your map and try to un-detail it, or release it as it is. Your time spent will never be to waste, but is sane to learn when to end things. 

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You should put your download link in the original post, or better still create a new thread

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25 minutes ago, Horus said:

You should put your download link in the original post, or better still create a new thread


Not 100% sure what you mean.

Do you mean the first thread I posted about my .WAD? I've done 3-4 I think.

Is there any way I can delete them all and just create a new thread that has my screenshots + final download link?

 

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