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Roofi

What's your opinion about 3D bridges?

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800px-Requiem-map13-bridge.png

 

(Screen from Requiem map 13) 

 

 

Hi all!

 

At the moment, I'm playing Hell Revealed 2 and I've made a little reflexion about these tricks that can be done in vanilla format that are the 3d bridges.

 

Basically, this trick works with an invisible sector that goes up and down instantly to simulate a bridge. By the way, one of the two bridges in the screen is not a 3D bridge, but it just  to illustrate.  So I'm not talking about things that can be done on gzdoom or other very advanced ports.

 

This trick has been popularized in Likka Keranen's maps for Requiem as well as other old school megawads such as HR2 and Kama Sutra. Newer mappers tend to do it less, for various reasons.

 

I would like to know your point of view on these quirks, either as a player or as a mapper. Do you pay attention to these things or do you find them totally useless? Do you like it or not? Do you find them ugly or pretty?

 

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Posted (edited)

3d bridges to me are almost ok if their setup is correct so I don't fall under them when I'm above and always can shoot enemies under it when I'm on the lower ground.

 

In multiplayer 3d bridges is just annoying stuff. E.g. your friend goes under when you stay above and you're instantly lowered to the ground

 

(I wish if there was 3d floor support in demo-friendly source ports like PrBoom+ so that the problem of building a bridge will be solved)

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I find vanilla 3D bridges to be ugly. That lift "clunk" sound whenever you walk under them is somewhat annoying and they break horribly in multiplayer. Thing bridges or true 3D bridges are totally fine since they work really well.

 

It was an awesome trick in the pre-sourceport days, but the thing that prevented me from ever using them was how badly they break in co-op.

Quote

I wish if there was 3d floor support in demo-friendly source ports like PrBoom+ so that the problem of building a bridge will be solved

I agree, I see no reason PrBoom+ couldn't support thing bridges. Odamex is a good example of a port with vanilla demo compatibility and support for bridge things. They require Hexen format mapping to have their Z height changed though, so that may be a big hurdle in implementing them.

 

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I used to think they are cool and have used them in some early maps, but they are really a relic of mapping from 10+ years ago and feel dated at this point. People generally use more elegant solutions now.

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In vanilla style maps I think they can be good, but only if they're implemented properly and not carelessly like some kind of showcase.

My general rule is: if your map doesn't need a 3D bridge, then why include it?

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They're ok. I don't care too much about them, to be honest, although it was definitely a cool trick back in the day.
I've used them in some older maps of mine (CC4 map28 for instance), and wouldn't mind using them more.

One has to keep in mind that these bridges have a huge impact on gameplay, e. g. blocking monsters and preventing them from going under it for no apparent reason other than the trick itself, and aforementioned multiplayer quirks.

I'll add that STEPTOP is one of the ugliest textures in stock Doom II, and I wish mappers had other options back then.

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Thing bridges and real 3d bridges are good, but I don't like the vanilla. I've wanted to implement them several times in my Boom compatible maps, but always changed my mind and just made solid sector, which looked better and haven't caused any glitch in multiplayer. And the true is, I am really poor in the implementation of vanilla bridges, so it hasn't ever worked properly to me. :)

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When it comes to vanilla bridges I typically try not to do the whole "room-over-room + invisible sector" thing simply because I'd likely break something whilst trying to make one, plus if you can use textures well a regular sector bridge can look just as fine without needing the multi-layer effect.

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1 hour ago, WH-Wilou84 said:

I'll add that STEPTOP is one of the ugliest textures in stock Doom II, and I wish mappers had other options back then.

 

Seriously. I never mess with vanilla bridge tricks, but I do like using midtextures to pretty up the vertical environment and oh hey that's a nice silver step texture OH WAIT YOU CRASHED AGAIN IDIOT.

For real I've forgotten about the multi-patch midtexture crash more than once in the same mapping session. Infuriating! Anyway, since I've never used vanilla bridges as a mapper, I can only comment as a player. And in that regard when I find a vanilla bridge that works I say "that's neat" and move on. It can never really be elegant enough for someone who knows about the engine to miss it, so it's not exactly worth the trouble in my opinion. Agentbromsnor hit it when they said "if your map doesn't need a 3d bridge, why include it?" I'd follow that up with... and you almost never need one. It's certainly not going to make your map excellent. It's like extra credit on a paper. The substance of the paper still has to be good. An hour spent building a hacky map feature could be spent building more rooms/eyecandy/monsters/etc. If you really want it as a mapper, just get a damn sourceport with support for easy breezy bridge things.

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I definitely like them, but you do need to be careful. 

You can avoid the clunk sound and you can set it up where it wouldn't be weird that monsters don't cross. And if you know what you're doing, they're really not much of a pain to implement. I will say, though, that I never play multiplayer. In fact, I have never played multiplayer, so that concern is irrelevant to me.

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As long as they're made in a way that's hard to break and don't affect monster behaviour, I'm okay with them.

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I love them, but with vanilla and stock textures you're going to be limited to STEPTOP and MIDBARs, turret enemies, and flying enemies.

Unfortunately people had no idea how to properly place them, in Requiem, Hell Revealed 2 and Kama Sutra it didn't add anything besides novelty. You can definitely do it right nowadays with all these past's mistakes.

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I think they are pretty cool for the most part, though I will admit that a lot of them are done poorly. Back in 2012 when I did a full playthrough of Requiem I was really inspired by the 3D bridges of map 13. It's partly what got me back into mapping after a 4 year hiatus. Fun fact, I actually learned how to make a working 3d bridge before I learned how to make a teleporter work. The big problem I find with 3d bridges is that most of them are made using steptop, which makes them really ugly. The ones that really stand out to me are the ones from Requiem, Phobos, & Ruma, all of which use custom textures for their bridges.

4 hours ago, Doomkid said:

That lift "clunk" sound whenever you walk under them is somewhat annoying...

 

This can either be the mappers fault or the fault of the source port. In vanilla if you make the dummy sector far enough away the player will not hear a sound, it works differently in ZDoom based ports so you will always hear the clunk unless the player changes some settings.

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Posted (edited)

I love all fake 3D effects that can be achieved in vanilla, 3D brigdes or otherwise. Requiem map13 is one of the best examples IMHO, the bridge at the start area being the most impressive. HR2 map19 is also really well executed i think. But I do wish people would consider making their own custom textures a little more often for these purposes, as STEPTOP in all "3D" sectors starts to look a bit silly after a while - though I must confess I'm as guilty of this myself as anybody else. As for multiplayer, that's of no concern to me as I don't play multiplayer ever. Might still be a good idea to keep your coop or dm maps 3D bridge free for those that do enjoy multiplayer.

 

But to summarize: I absolutely love levels that manage to make details like these work well in map. Requiem map13 is one of my all-time favourites!

 

EDIT: A more recent example of cool-looking 3D bridges that don't actually interfere with gameplay in any way would be Xaser's hub maps of BTSX 2. I will also add that that whole concept where you journey towards that distant cool looking tower which you actually find yourself inside of in the next map is a stroke of genius. :)

Edited by Uncle 80

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I never liked the fake 3d bridges myself and like Doomkid said, they look ugly. I'm fine with them existing in other peoples maps but I would never use them myself.

 

As for real 3d bridges, I've made plenty of those.

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I don't really like them unless I am forced to make one like in The Great Urban Battle for example (a bridge connecting 2 buildings above a street).

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it was a cool trick first two or three times, but it gets old very quick. this, and insta-raise monster pits.

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I find them nostalgic and very much a period piece in 90's mapping. Nowadays they aren't necessary and like others have said in this thread there are more reliable solutions that result in less headaches.

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20 hours ago, Doomkid said:

I find vanilla 3D bridges to be ugly. That lift "clunk" sound whenever you walk under them is somewhat annoying and they break horribly in multiplayer. Thing bridges or true 3D bridges are totally fine since they work really well.

 

It was an awesome trick in the pre-sourceport days, but the thing that prevented me from ever using them was how badly they break in co-op.

I agree, I see no reason PrBoom+ couldn't support thing bridges. Odamex is a good example of a port with vanilla demo compatibility and support for bridge things. They require Hexen format mapping to have their Z height changed though, so that may be a big hurdle in implementing them.

 

Can PrBoom+ even allow things to not be infinitely tall? I thought that limitation was still there for non-items. If that hurdle is taken care of you can use Dehacked to make thing bridge actors.

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I think they're cute, like most vanilla sorcery. Outdated, but cute nonetheless. A bit of a pain in the ass in the middle of any mapping process because the solid part of the bridge "collapses" when you move any vertices (at least in gzdb), so if you want it to stay sustainable, it has to be the very last thing to draw in a map, which could be annoying if you want to make more changes elsewhere. 

 

Boom fake floors are way more practical and don't screw up inadvertently, generally speaking. 

 

Recently I've found out a weird circumstance in which, under vanilla compatibility (e.g. Crispy or PrB+ in cl2), bridges malfunctioned in normal playthrough, they literally did nothing, but actually did work in nomonsters. I experimented by relocating the dummy sectors where no monsters would be intercepting the "imaginary line" between the sector bridge and the dummy sector, and to my surprise it's like that fixed them somehow. When loading these maps in Boom without my changes, the bridges would work fine. Any idea about this phenomenon? I should write this in another thread...

 

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STEPTOP bridges are kinda ugly, but with the right textures I love these fake 3D setups. Observe:

 

03vEGH7.png

(BTSX E2M20)

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:16 AM, SilverMiner said:

(I wish if there was 3d floor support in demo-friendly source ports like PrBoom+ so that the problem of building a bridge will be solved)

 

Eternity?

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I think they were impressive and could be utilized well in single player maps like 10 years ago, not so much in multiplayer though. Although, I honestly feel that true 3d architecture is superior in every way. 

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Everytime i stumble with one of this babies, i get amazed of how intelligent were the community mappers to do something the original creators of the game not realized they could have did and exploit. Even in vanilla settings. So yeah, i love them. They have their flaws but they are amazing, even if they are ugly as hell. In hellish maps they look like some kind of rope and wood bridge. And in techbase maps, if done properly, at least they doesn't call for much atention.

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9 hours ago, P41R47 said:

Everytime i stumble with one of this babies, i get amazed of how intelligent were the community mappers to do something the original creators of the game not realized they could have did and exploit. 

Sure, but they actually had two iwad precedents to work with: the "3D staircase" at the end of Industrial Zone, and the invisible bridges in Plutonia maps 2 & 3. So probably at some point someone had a "Eureka!" moment when he realised what you could achieve by combining these two techniques?

Edited by Polri

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