Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
CasualScrub

Do you prefer more linear maps or more branching/open maps?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Or I guess in another way of putting it, do you prefer maps that push you forward or maps that focus more on exploration?

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoy both linear and non linear maps. From my perspective, as long as the map is fun, it’s all good!

Share this post


Link to post

Both.

 

But non-linear maps need to have some kind of sense of progression. Otherwise they become confusing and not fun.

Share this post


Link to post

A well conceived map is the main problem, but I never liked "railroading" games. Even when the graphics are stunning, having room to choose your own path is much more fun & it extends the longevity of a game...

Share this post


Link to post

if a map's linear I'll have fun following the way it unfolds. but I prefer when a map lets me do my own thing; at a certain point of nonlinearity I stop even caring if I can beat the level

Share this post


Link to post

Both, I like both, while made well

 

 

A linear map most be entertaining and fun in the whole run

 

 

A non-linear map most not be confusing and have a way of letting you know that you're not lost, if not I won't continue playing it.

 

On making maps, well both of my released maps are linear and my upcoming one is mostly linear because to me it's easier to make

Share this post


Link to post

I actually never pay any attention to this. If I'm having fun playing a map, it's a good one. It doesn't matter to me whether it is linear or not.

 

Share this post


Link to post

I’ll like a map more if it is nonlinear most likely unless I don’t feel like needing to find where I’m supposed to go. It really depends on what I feel like doing. Nonlinear maps are more replayable however. 

Share this post


Link to post

Doom 2: Reloaded, Fragport and Doom: Damnation, three of my favourite mapsets ever are kinda linear, but they are fun as hell!

On the other hand, Three's a Crowd, 25 Years on Earth and CPD, other three favourites of mine, are really non linear on some maps, and i love them, too.

 

So the answer is the same as above:

If the map is good, fun and interesting, it doesn't matter if it is linear or non-linear.

Share this post


Link to post

I tend to lean more towards linear maps. I don't really have the patience to play those massive non-linear open world style maps anymore. However, there are the rare occasions where I will use that tourism mod that gets rid of all the monsters and gives you all the keys to let you openly explore maps without trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, P41R47 said:

 

If the map is good, fun and interesting, it doesn't matter if it is linear or non-linear.

 

quoted for truth.

Share this post


Link to post

I prefer linear maps because I tend to get lost and confused on more open maps.

Share this post


Link to post

I like both, lot of nonlinear levels have a kind of "very obviously better" path though, so I guess non-linear is more prone to being badly designed cause it's hard.

 

Share this post


Link to post

I like both, but I think I prefer the linear ones. I like the flow they can have and how the gameplay is constant and without pauses. My favorite maps from the original Doom are usually the linear ones, like E4M1.

Share this post


Link to post

I like it when maps basically have you go through multiple linear paths you can complete in any order, especially when each path grants you some kind of advantage for the following ones. It adds an additional kind of strategy to the map and increases the replay value.

Share this post


Link to post

I think it really isn’t a matter of linear or nonlinear that I prefer more. It’s the combat the ensues that I find different in both styles.

 

Linear maps feel a lot more like an assault/ambush against the enemies and my shooting skills (being able to not miss) and speed of movement in close combat are challenged the most.

 

Nonlinear tend to feel more like a war zone where bullets and projectiles fly everywhere and my ability to react to multiple targets, moving targets at a distance, taking cover, etc. is usually more challenged there. Of course, not every level is made equal, and I can’t decide what I like more. 

I prefer a variety of both because each map should feel unique. Not every level should have 90 degree angle hallways that eventually lead to an exit room, but then again not every level should have the player find a key and have to walk all the way back to get yet another key, then walk all the way back again to get yet another key, to then have to walk ALL the way back the other direction to get to the exit. So, I think a bit of both is the best solution. It keeps a good balance. 

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I generally prefer maps that are more linear than not.  I kinda think of it from different viewpoints, though.  Like, when looking at the whole map, I prefer a linear experience, like when the overall goal is very linear.  This doesn't mean you never cross a previous area again.  E3M3 of Quake is an example, where you come across the start area twice.  E3M4 of Quake as well, where you revisit areas to access a new areas, but overall the experience is linear.  Linear "in the large", so to speak.

 

When I consider individual rooms, I don't really have a preference.  Like if I can go through a door or a hallway to get into a neighboring room, or if it's a large courtyard where I can take different approaches to the combat.  This sort of non-linearity "in the small" is something I'm fine with if it's not overused.

 

What I don't like are wide open maps where the player isn't guided much at all, or where the whole map is a non-linear experience.  This isn't a steadfast rule with me, mind you.  If a large, wide-open map still guides the player in a mostly linear way (even if it can still be done non-linearly), I'm likely to love it.  But maps like The Citadel in Doom 2?  Nah.

 

Side note: linear doesn't have to mean corridors.  Nor does non-linear have to mean wide open ultra-interconnected maps.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, I think I prefer more non-linear maps than anything, which allows for more freedom and different experiences with each route that you may be able to take within them, stuff such as that, which is a reason why I love mapsets like Lost Civilization, however, this also depends on the WAD, because some non-linear mapsets are such just to be and they may be highly confusing with random paths that do not add much to the gameplay.

 

So, as someone who is mapping non-linear maps with friends, it depends but my preference stays on that, though I admit there are a loooot of linear WADs that are cool on themselves!

Share this post


Link to post

I prefer linear maps because I'm stoopid.

Share this post


Link to post

Non-linear maps are generally better, as long as they aren't outrageous examples like Citadel at the Edge of Eternity from Community Chest 1. Though I can also say maps like Map 27 from Memento Mori 2 aren't necessarily all that much better because of how much time it takes to navigate them. I think that and Map23 are good examples of what Remilia doesn't like. Imo, exploring should always be encouraged as a rule unless you're Dead Simple or something similar. I don't really like to play FPSs where all the maps are like hallways. Even the newer not half bad ones like Wolfenstein are a little bit constrictive.

Share this post


Link to post

maps can be very non-linear as long as they don't have a really cryptic progression, like some tiny door in a corner that's guaranteed to be overlooked, or even the unspeakable mandatory secrets, and then i run circles in a map where everything is dead already, until this ends in idclev, mostly...

Share this post


Link to post

When people say they like non-linear maps, what they really mean is they like linear maps but with mild backtracking, enemies re-populating, and clear signposting.

 

Truly non-linear maps, like E2M5: Command Center, are usually utter dogshit. Have you played E3M6: Mt. Erebus lately? It's not good. E3M7: Limbo? Widely considered to be one of the most frustrating and confusing maps in all of Ultimate Doom.

 

Linear map design, when done right, is a sign of good game design. Most people would agree that E1M3: Toxin Refinery is one of the very best maps in the IWADs. The pathway to the exit is actually fairly logical and straightforward. It's the secret exit and the optional yellow key area that make the level so fascinating and fondly remembered.

 

Now that isn't to say non-linear maps are always bad. Polygon Base from 1996 still stands out as one of the most complex non-linear vanilla maps and it's a blast trying to memorize the fastest routes through the level. Still, it's the exception, not the norm. There is a reason why "central hub with 3 colored key doors" is a common and beloved level formula while "ending gateway with 3 colored key gates" is not as welcomed by most players.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×