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rd.

Talk about something you find fun in a Doom map 

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Posted (edited)

It's nice to see a bunch of positive threads that have appeared lately. Lot of great discussions. Certainly much better than "what is the worst map in whatever.wad" that appears every 3 weeks.

 

Generally, I like maps focused on atmosphere, exploration, visual storytelling and puzzles, the most. I do enjoy straightforward combat levels as well, but most of the time I prefer immersive stuff.  

 

Doomcute is the best and people should embrace it a lot more.

 

Another thing I like, which I noticed a lot while playing Equinox, is an unconventional use of monsters.

Maps 12 and 13 both have long corridors of damaging floor where you have to speedrun through it and monsters are used to block your way. It's impossible to kill them without dying from damaging floor until you get to the end.

Monster turrets are another one, albeit more common. That's also in a bunch of Equinox maps.

Then there is stuff like The Mancubian Candidate, which is just genius. 

I'm sure there are many more examples I can't think of right now. 

 

As for more extremely specific stuff, I'm a big fan of signage, both in Doom and real life. I have no idea why, something about those information displays is really appealing to me. It's especially fun when it's tied to the gameplay, giving hints, helping progression, establishing a setting, etc. 

Here are some super sexy ones from Cleimos (1994!)

Spoiler

Screenshot_Doom_20210421_221555.png.e088af82125da7a3db52061504bdf394.pngScreenshot_Doom_20210421_221606.png.2a03b3fec6ff03719a6d338bec5e6dda.png

 

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I really enjoy oldschool Doom maps like Polygon Base and the non linearity of it. I love when the focus of a map is exploration, that's my jam!

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2 hours ago, rd. said:

I really don't want everyone to feel they have to write an essay to contribute

Oh thank goodness...

 

2 hours ago, rd. said:

except the people who really want to do that ;)

Shit. You did it again! Now I have to write a long-ass essay...

 

...

 

Nah, not really.

 

In all seriousness, I really enjoyed your post, rd. It spoke to me somehow, highlighted tendencies I was never consciously aware of. This part in particular stood out to me:

2 hours ago, rd. said:

With this mindset, playing transforms into a creative act, a dance. A duet with the author.

This is beautiful, tbqh. Saying so may sound a little sappy, but I'm not the sort to fret about such things. I think you just summed up why I love this artform and this community so much. Doom maps are works of interactive art, plain and simple, which can engage both the creator and the player on many different wavelengths.

 

To choose just one example of many, the art of the secret is a timeless form of interaction between mapper and player, one of the most common but also most fickle. Few aspects of mapping are more dependent on a meeting of minds. What may seem obvious, intuitive to some players and the mapper themselves may completely stump others.

 

So many elements are involved in this exchange, so many variables: the player's pattern recognition, the mapper's technical prowess, the player's state of mind, the mapper's overarching goals, the player's state of mind, the mapper's trust in the player, the player's trust in the mapper and both parties' understanding of convention and fluency in the visual language of Doom maps, just to name a few.

 

This interface is the core of my obsession with Doom, the one element missing from my previous creative endeavors. That, and the opportunities afforded by this here world of Doom to ramble at length about such trivia. This is one of the few places in the world where I can make at least some fraction of my esoteric musings understood at great and laborious length.

 

Speaking of which, I think I'll stop here, the hour is late and my stamina is at its end. I think I made my point clearly enough. I hope the proves an interesting addendum to rd's point!

 

G'night, all.

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Finding a / the first backpack.

 

Instigating in-fights between barons of Hell and cyberdemons.

 

When a cyberdemon gets paralysed, and bitten to death by demons.

 

When a chaingunner manages to kill, by himself (or itself?), a bullet sponge foe, like, say, a cacodemon or a mancubus.

 

Maximising (100% / 100% / 100%) any map (I stick to official and semi-official maps, mainly, based on ‘two criteria’ of mine) on UV, deathlessly and savelessly.
 

Spoiler

I will leave it at that, as the more I write regarding subjective things, the more likely it is that someone starts debunking me on a per-paragraph basis (or even per-sentence basis), and, honestly, dealing with contrarian long-winded posts in a foreign tongue is the last thing I want in my life. This is a forum, a leisure activity, not an IEEE Journal. I apologise for the rant. Move on.

 

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I like the feeling of overcoming a hard battle, sort of like that feeling when you beat your first Cyberdemon for example, or beating a Spider Mastermind without a BFG.

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1. I enjoy it when a map has a gutter or a behind-the-scenes area which isn't really part of the combat. like the jefferies tubes in old star-trek WADs or like the stuff in Going Down MAP02 where you're kinda staring into the level main through vents. some maps have abstract versions of these for movement between arenas, where it's less of an access corridor and more of a maintenance route, like some 20x7 maps, or my maps! as much as modern level design likes to place the player into engaging areas and have it be obvious where to go I just kinda like getting stuck in the cracks even more than following the course. bonus points if you need to grab a series of rad suits to survive in the gutter.

 

so many of my maps are kinda like "train station with blood floor" that I must've designed a squillion squiggly passages you don't need to enter. teehee

 

2. I enjoy when maps have difficulty that neither feels like classic monster placement (or a harder version of classic monster placement, which is almost always the worst mode of difficulty to me) or slaughter placement. i like Hell Revealed's quasi-open areas which ask you to work out the best order to tackle it. Gusta's Plutonia 2 maps were the same. Urania also had aspects of that and even though it got ripped to shreds by reviews I stand by that being an interesting level set with an approach to monster usage that I vibe with.

 

3. I enjoy themes that need a little indulgence from the player to enjoy. stuff that's crazy and rough around the edges which asks you to imagine the polish is where I find the best atmospheres, like ALT or Skyewood, where everything's present in broad strokes, but all the more exciting for being amateur-ish.

 

if you analyze the concept of "under-detailed" and "over-detailed" it boils down to a total refusal to indulge in what the creators are giving you cos yr stunned by your own expectations so I hope that never happens to me

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I am a guy who likes to explore the whole map and find some good secrets and, of course, that the map itself is fun to play. 

 

About two weeks ago, I've played the Italo Doom megawad, a wad that I only heard of its difficulty. Never played or seen any gameplay at all and I gave it a try.

I had a lot of fun with these kind of maps, even if I'm not fond of slaughter-esque maps. 

 

What I'm saying here is that players will have fun if they discover something that they haven't tried before.

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Posted (edited)

I just beat Map 14 of Alien Vendetta (Overwhelming Odds). It was really fun and really hard. There are lots of good battles but the best is probably the infighting party with the two Cyberdemons in the nukage pit.

 

The pit is filled by Demons initially, but I ended up killing most of them to get back to my safe space. Afterwards, a wave of Cacodemons is unleashed, and to avoid too many of them entering my safe space, I had to guide them towards the cyberdemons by walking back and forth across a bridge on one side of the pit. There's also a button that can be pressed in the room that the Cyberdemons come out of, which raises a bridge in the middle of the pit. I opted not to raise the bridge because there were Cacodemons on the other side, which I once again wanted the Cyberdemons to kill instead of them entering my safe space behind the pit.

 

Overall, it's a really fun fight/combat puzzle because it forces you to actually use infighting in a clever way, instead of just running in circles until there's only one monster type left (which is the case for the first fight in the same map). I've come to like fights that have a lot of heavy monsters, but arranged such that they can be handled with good planning. I also like fights that force the player to keep moving, which I naturally discovered while playing Valiant.

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Posted (edited)

This is really general, but I love it when a cramped encounter forces you to run/strafe into other areas to get some space between yourself and the enemies. It can be a fun "oh crap" moment if you're running from something and fall into a pit and have to fight your way out of a smaller encounter, for example.

 

MAP17: Mountain Doom from Plutonia 2 has a lot of this. Actually, I think most of Gusta's maps on the WAD do. Exploring and getting more glimpses of the map whilst under pressure can feel a lot more exciting than levels with very clearly separated encounters.

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Posted (edited)

Partly this question perplexes me, as i haven't had quite enough time to distillate everything down to its essence about Doom - there's still some ambiguity about what exactly makes me like, for example, X and X and not X and Y.  But, there's one common denominator in everything that i like - and i'm not sure if it's my perception or something about the mapper's style.

 

i like rough edges.  Levels that haven't been planned to death, encounters that aren't entirely calculated.  Too much ammo, too little ammo, overbombing, underbombing... visuals that are somehow different apart from novelty, apart from a clearly definable aspect.  i like it when a map gives options and freedom, while still organically punishing when a certain standard isn't met.  

 

Today on Doom Zero MAP25 there was an ambush wherein i first was killed, second time settled it with the BFG, but soon realized i didn't need it, should've been much more methodical. And then i settled it with SSG.

 

i do enjoy strict engineering also, in bits and pieces, as a spice, but not as the main ingredient.  Of course, there can be mapsets, and i think there are, where the encounters that feel organic have been actually planned and calculated, then very nice! But there's some very popular WADs that i can't get into because of what i perceive to be their restrictions in gameplay, and also their sort of mundane visuals that are novel but not intriguing to me.  i'm just not interested in figuring out exactly what the mapper has expected me to do at any given moment.  (Of course, i'm talking about my perception and feeling i get when playing, and at any particular instance i might be wrong.  And also, of course there are always 'options', i'm not saying in any given instance there's only one way to play, but...it's generally a subtle thing i'm talking about, roughness.)

 

(i should also add that puzzles and secrets are a totally different thing, by their nature.  The more contrived the better.  Love figuring them out.)

Edited by dei_eldren

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Maps that focus on smaller encounters that require precision movement and quick reactions over large slaughter maps. Also, long maps that end with you having most if not all the weapons in the game. Feels like a mini-episode contained in one map and that just feels like so much fun. Overall, big maps with 984,204,593 monsters don't really do it for me, and smaller maps with a few hundred enemies feel more focused and refined.

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^

Wow, I've never noticed this as a thing before.

But damn does that ever make for a fantastic visual! Matching liquids and skies, huh I think I am going to implement this.

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I like when I can see a portion of a map from a window or ledge and end up visiting it like 30 minutes later after an epic journey. I've done it myself in a few of my unreleased maps without initially intending to. I'm a sucker for large, open maps with a strong sense of connectivity. 

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When you reach an ominous area or room that you're 100% sure will have a trap, but you just look around, explore a bit and maybe grab a key and turns out it was just a nice room with no enemies in it.

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3 hours ago, PSXDoomer said:

I really enjoy oldschool Doom maps like Polygon Base and the non linearity of it. I love when the focus of a map is exploration, that's my jam!

This I adore nonlinear wide open maps with a ton of secrets. Bonus points if there are other ways to complete the levels

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Posted (edited)

I'm fond of maps that are made of multiple interconnected arenas that allow enemies and the player to flow freely between them. The best-known example of what I mean is Refueling Base, MAP10 from Doom II. Have a look at the layout in the spoiler tag (image courtesy of doomwiki.org):

Spoiler

595px-MAP10_map.png

The map is predominantly large, open rooms arranged in a roughly round/square pattern, each connecting to multiple other rooms. There are hardly any "dead ends" in the layout, meaning you can run all around the map in pretty much any order and never be forced to backtrack. Some of these passageways are hidden as secrets, which is interesting in itself - the reward for discovering the secret isn't so much a powerup or weapon, but rather the additional options you gain for moving around the map. Each room has a distinct feel to it, aiding navigation, but due to the overall structure of the map, they're not static experiences; players can take different routes through the rooms, and monsters may roam from one room to another, meaning that different players, or even the same player on different playthroughs, can have significantly different fights in the same room. The monster placements aren't so much carefully choreographed challenges as they are seeds that grow into dynamic encounters, and as the player you have the power to influence how these seeds grow.

 

There's a lot in common between this and what makes a good deathmatch map (let's ignore the fact that I've never actually played deathmatch in Doom), and indeed playing through a map like this feels kind of like playing deathmatch with the demons, but obviously you're far better than the demons and they don't stand a chance against you. Turn on respawning monsters and it feels even more like that - indeed, this is sort of map where speedrunning under the UV Respawn category (100% kills and secrets on the intermission counters with the -respawn parameter) makes a significant difference compared to UV Max (all kills and secrets on normal Ultraviolence). UV Max can be annoying to run because a map like this is very prone to missing a monster or two and wasting time at the end searching for them because they could have wandered anywhere, but playing UV Respawn is more like wading through a continuous stream of monsters.

 

The maps in Darch's wad "Preacher" are another great example of this style. In fact, Preacher goes a step further and even "randomizes" the player's starting location, all but necessitating a nonlinear layout that can be tackled in any order. Again, kind of like deathmatch in a sense. It was while playing UV Respawn on Preacher MAP06 (for which I have a demo on DSDA, but I haven't uploaded this to YouTube) that I realized another crucial thing about it, which is that despite having no fixed order of progression and respawning monsters being random by nature, the map still retains a sense of structure and pacing. Earlier I likened UV Respawn to "wading through a continuous stream of monsters," but there's more to it than that - as you progress, the stream becomes thicker with more monsters and their respawned brethren, but also becomes easier to cut through with the additional firepower you gather. This map is set up such that wherever you start, you'll mostly encounter low-tier demons such as shotgunners and imps, but as you run around the map you'll open up walls and trigger monster closets, sometimes in non-obvious ways, that allow reinforcements to enter the fray and ramp up the intensity, culminating in arch-viles at certain milestones. This creates a nice escalation while preserving the free-flowing, unpredictable gameplay that makes these maps so fun.

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Probably not a unique opinion, but I enjoy it when maps have absurd booby traps. Hitting a switch and being subjected to 16 Chaingunners turning me into swiss cheese in less than a second is of course unfair as fuck, but it makes me laugh so hard and always lightens up my day. Generally when maps are over-the-top, bombastic and make you say "Wow, you really could only do something like this in Doom". For example, I find a gigantic cloud of Cacos and Pain Elementals to be way more exiting and interesting than any oh-so-cinematic setpiece from COD.

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I never really thought of the sky-liquid color match in retrospect until now. It's definitely something I've always subconsciously given little attention during play time, but still noticed in screenshots look very artistic, like those Ronnie posted. I like that motif as much as "selected texture combos with a sky of a totally different colour or minimally used throughout the map", if not a bit more sometimes, og doom E4 for example. In fact, most of my favourite maps that I mentioned in the other thread coincidentally happen to do the second (not poop!), while for example Sunlust m18, which is fully painted in crimson red and pink with a mostly cacodemon red sky, is an example of the first that I love that soooo much...

 

... anyways, my topic of choice is secrets:

 

I love my variety of ideas for secrets, and I'm not talking exclusively about official ones. When I'm playing a map or mapset that's rich in hidden content, one of the most fun parts is in analyzing the different mechanics that can be involved into the simplicity or complexity that is hiding something. They serve as inspiration, since the part of making secrets is the most fun I can have with my creativity (when it's functioning, that is). I like to integrate multiple methods for different purposes, and make sure the reward is worth the time or the trouble, at least if I can leave a smile on myself or someone's face then that's a good secret to me. It's heaps of fun when I discover a clever secret in my own terms, the process and the utility afterwards. It's joy when I playtest my own secrets and they not only work well but also remind me of the stuff I was inspired by, as a sign that me and my creativity succeeded together. 

 

An example: take NEIS e4m6, a super mastodon of a map with tons of secrets intertwined with the already puzzling normal progression, all requiring some serious input from the player to find them right in time, even on replay. A powerup that's visible early on, but not accessible until much deeper inside (similar to the soulsphere in og E1M3); a long detour with micro hazards in the way, culminating in a vantage spot where you can kill a threat that would appear later, in addition to more goodies; a sort of mini "scary maze" where you need your memory guide you in a temporary blackout to get a juicy BFG at the end; and many more. These are brain exercises though due to the nature of the map most are going to have varied degrees of trial and error on a first attempt, but it all comes together once you connect the pieces. I recently played a map called "Spidersilk" and the secret and optional annexes in it immediately reminded me of NEIS. Some of the secret fights in Stardate 20x6 or Sunlust are what opened a window for me to think of a secret encounter as a concept. The ingenuity behind each and every secret from those mappers and many others, including yours, is commendable for me. It's the biggest reason I always like to toy around with secrets that can be a memorable and substantial part of the experience, because that's fun (:

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11 hours ago, PSXDoomer said:

I really enjoy oldschool Doom maps like Polygon Base and the non linearity of it. I love when the focus of a map is exploration, that's my jam!

yesssss, same. there's a reason that's one of my favorite maps

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Finding more plasma ammo for my plasma rifle to help sate my crippling plasmaholic addiction.

 

Also finding a super shotgun BEFORE dealing with enemies like Hell Knights, Barons, Revenants, etc... since they're mid-high tier enemies, not low tier... :P

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I really haven't played a bunch of Doom wads at this point but I tend to like a challenge that seems absurd at first glance but becomes manageable with a little bit of cleverness.  I'm thinking of Dark Dome from Alien Vendetta, that whole map is filled with daunting challenges that you can pick apart.

 

I really enjoy evenly-paced combat in a map.  Toxic Touch from the same wad has a nice feel to it as you explore, just a steady stream of enemies in each room, plenty of hit-scanners to chew through.  Refueling Base in Doom 2 has a similar feel.  I guess the power fantasy of mowing down the weaker enemies is addictive.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, garudave said:

I really enjoy evenly-paced combat in a map.  Toxic Touch from the same wad has a nice feel to it as you explore, just a steady stream of enemies in each room, plenty of hit-scanners to chew through.  Refueling Base in Doom 2 has a similar feel.  I guess the power fantasy of mowing down the weaker enemies is addictive.


You should check out The Warlock’s Hearth. Fantastic exploratory map with really evenly-paced combat, one of my favourites of that style. 

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Playing through Plutonia 2, I became accustomed to the fact that every single time you'd pick up a key, or activate a significant switch, or get a power-up/weapon, somewhere there'd be a bunch of demons spawning in.

 

Cue the one level where, after you return to a previous area (yep, it's repopulated with demons), you get the last key in the level, and then you're immediately swarmed by...

 

...zombiemen.

 

And not even a single sergeant or commando among them. Just a bunch of regular zombiemen. It's just the most hilarious thing where it feels like it's ribbing itself.

 

Also, Map21 of Revilution. The three doors at the start, and thinking, "Huh, I bet there's going to be a bunch of demons on the other side of those." How wrong I was! 🙃

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Slaughter/combat puzzle gameplay. Well done rev and vile spam. Unique and interesting fights. Long maps. Fairly high difficulty. Platforming.

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a small thing i really like is when people do those "movement censoring" doors that open from the top and bottom, it's really cool :0

 

Spoiler

i put movement censoring in quotations because they're just linedefs at a certain spot but it's still cool :)

 

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I like if Doom maps have fun little areas that resemble possible generic real life places like offices, shops, homes, etc. Basically, anything seen in the Doomcute thread.

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Posted (edited)

A Mastermind getting humiliated by a hungry Pinky thanks to DooM's wonky hitboxes. The shame!

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