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jerrysheppy

If your default map format is something other than UDMF: Why?

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Ill actually throw in my opinion rather than making a sarcastic reaction post to Kappes Buur's strange take.

 

In my opinion, the best and most creative maps come from non UDMF and non custom projects. When you given an admittedly very limited medium to work with it shows the authors creativity and patience with their project. That being said I do like UDMF maps (Hell I always use UDMF) and have equal respect for whatever format the author uses. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Kappes Buur said:

Ah, the diehards finally show their unwillingness to discuss someone else's viewpoint with grace and now resort to hostility.

It was just a matter of time.

Oh cmon really?

 

You just compared insanely impressive works to '94 garbage. Theres a reason why people are being obtuse with you

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2 minutes ago, Kappes Buur said:

Ah, the diehards finally show their unwillingness to discuss someone else's viewpoint with grace and now resort to hostility.

your viewpoint is dumb. i hope you'll be able to discuss my viewpoint with grace.

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Enough derail, please. We're here to share knowledge and experiences about mapping, not shit on each other. Moving on.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Kappes Buur said:

Ah, the diehards finally show their unwillingness to discuss someone else's viewpoint with grace and now resort to hostility.

It was just a matter of time.

 

As someone who initially greatly appreciated your coming in to give the perspective of another UDMF-first mapper, I want to tell you, as civilly as I can, that it was your expressed viewpoint that lacked that certain, uh, dose of grace in this context.

 

It's okay to admit it and back down from your less defensible takes. UDMF won't suddenly lose the fight somehow.

 

edit: Thank you, Major.

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you need only play E1M1 of the ultimate torment and torture to know that creativity has nothing to do with what map format you decide to use. You want to talk about linear hallways connecting rooms? That map might as well be a Wolfenstein map- hey, wait a second

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Posted (edited)

and on-topic: why map format should matter at all? i mean, beyond the obvious point of "not all sourceports support UDMF". we're not playing formats, we're playing maps. are black-and-white photos dead now, because we can do it in color? are people think that good singing doesn't matter anymore because we have auto-tune? and so on.

 

i believe that the format (and features) doesn't matter at all. just use what you know best, and express yourself. we had "port wars", now we have "format wars", it seems. and in the end of the day the outcome will be the same: people will agree to disagree, and will use what suits them best. ;-)

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Posted (edited)

I'm tempted to repost my angry post from years ago when the last time this topic came up and the thread devolved into dick-waving, but the simpler formats offer far greater compatibility with port coverage, and less features are more useful if you are prone to choice paralysis in a creative setting.

 

Either way, the pattern with how this discussion goes is the same: anybody who feels threatened by anybody who chooses to map for a different format is cultivating some kind of ridiculous superiority complex, and anybody who actually enjoys mapping (and does so without an insecurity around their work) doesn't give a shit.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, nue said:

In my opinion, the best and most creative maps come from non UDMF and non custom projects. When you given an admittedly very limited medium to work with it shows the authors creativity and patience with their project. That being said I do like UDMF maps (Hell I always use UDMF) and have equal respect for whatever format the author uses. 

 

See, okay, this is giving me the thought that there are a couple of different definitions of creativity at work here.

 

There's creativity in the sense of imagining a 3D space in Doom: architecture, texturing, monsters and combat choreography, etc.  This is what I'm primarily concerned with when I'm in the game, as it were.  A sufficiently appealing space that's made in vanilla format is no less appealing if it's made in UDMF, since it is, by stipulation, the same space.  (I guess you can make the case that in a few edge cases, some slight differences in monster behavior might alter the flow of combat and make them 'different' Doom compositions.  I don't think I'd ever notice this as I was playing unless it became an outright bug/level-break, personally.)

 

So UDMF is, from this point of view, all-upside for the mapper.

 

Then there's creativity in problem-solving, like wringing the very most out of the vanilla/Chocolate engine.  This seems to be what you're referring to here.  And make no mistake, this is a completely valid form of creativity, and I can applaud it.  It's just that, again, I'm not going to care as much about it once I'm into the Doom experience so to speak.  I will look at the screenshots and such and be impressed and go "Wow, you did what in vanilla?"  And then I will be playing the game and I would enjoy the 3D spaces and gameplay every bit as much if UDMF had just been used from the start.

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2 minutes ago, jerrysheppy said:

Then there's creativity in problem-solving, like wringing the very most out of the vanilla/Chocolate engine.  This seems to be what you're referring to here.  And make no mistake, this is a completely valid form of creativity, and I can applaud it.  It's just that, again, I'm not going to care as much about it once I'm into the Doom experience so to speak.  I will look at the screenshots and such and be impressed and go "Wow, you did what in vanilla?"  And then I will be playing the game and I would enjoy the 3D spaces and gameplay every bit as much if UDMF had just been used from the start.

actually, some of us do have the experience elevated when crazy vanilla tricks are used! when i first saw fake slopes being used in btsx, my mind was fucking b l o w n, i legitimately got giddy over it.

 

i will say, however, that this is likely moreso because i personally map in vanilla and know how hard it is to do some of that stuff

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18 minutes ago, ketmar said:

and on-topic: why map format should matter at all? i mean, beyond the obvious point of "not all sourceports support UDMF". we're not playing formats, we're playing maps. are black-and-white photos dead now, because we can do it in color? are people think that good singing doesn't matter anymore because we have auto-tune? and so on.

 

This is a very good question and I have to admit I have to think about how to respond to it, but here's an initial reaction: both are important!  The mapper is choosing the format in which they will execute the map for the player to play.  The player might enjoy the map that they play equally well whether it was executed in Boom or UDMF, but the mapper who's adopted UDMF as their default format will be able to accomplish something by, say, dashing off a few lines of script rather than needing to set up a conveyor.

 

(Voodoo conveyors are still how you do 'scripting' in Boom-compatible, right?  I haven't just embarrassed myself by being five or ten years out of date?)

 

So all else being equal, the worst that UDMF can be (I mean worse from the utility perspective of making a given Doom map, not worse from a moral or artistic-integrity POV) is "no different than vanilla". 

 

Anyway, there's a reason why this is in the editing subforum and is about your preferred format for mapping in, rather than in the wads subforum asking about whether folks get horny for slopes or whether they'd rather just have vanilla-styled maps. :)

 

 

5 minutes ago, roadworx said:

actually, some of us do have the experience elevated when crazy vanilla tricks are used! when i first saw fake slopes being used in btsx, my mind was fucking b l o w n, i legitimately got giddy over it.

 

i will say, however, that this is likely moreso because i personally map in vanilla and know how hard it is to do some of that stuff

 

'Giddy' is subjective and I can't quantify how blown my mind is compared to yours, but I tried to convey that I absolutely do have those 'wow!' moments!  They just happen on much more of a meta-level, as it were.  

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2 minutes ago, jerrysheppy said:

This is a very good question and I have to admit I have to think about how to respond to it, but here's an initial reaction: both are important!

I think, you put a bit too much thought on a "practical" standpoint while mapping. Of course, that's not wrong because some of things in vanilla are very annoying. UDMF just solved those for you without effort.

 

Expanding the example from ketmar. I personally would think, for practical things, there's *almost* no point using the old ones. Like you have text message on a cellphone, but why would you want to use a pager (niche situation aside)? However, from a more "artistic" standpoint, it's weird because you wouldn't say anything like you have pop music from 2021, why would listen to classical. I hope this analogy makes sense.

 

For me, Doom mapping is one type of art, so I personally would focus more on the "artistic" side of it, rather than playing a UDMF map that can do everything. Of course, this is my personal choice. All in all, in my mind, UDMF gains you something but also loses you something in the same time. It's up to which thing do you value more.

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Like when I play or remember playing BTSX 2 I am happy because I have a gorgeous set of Doom maps to play, and the needle on this particular happiness-o-meter would not move one iota if they were made in limit-removing, Boom, or yes, UDMF, regardless of the number of UDMF features actually used.  There's a certain sense in which I would be less impressed, but that would take place on a somewhat different axis from Doom qua Doom.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, jerrysheppy said:

The player might enjoy the map that they play equally well whether it was executed in Boom or UDMF, but the mapper who's adopted UDMF as their default format will be able to accomplish something by, say, dashing off a few lines of script rather than needing to set up a conveyor.

many sourceports support "doom in hexen" format, which allows ACS scripting too. so technically you don't need to use UDMF to script things. is "doom in hexen with Boom specials" still Boom format? i don't know. ;-)

 

p.s.: and in this format you can have slopes, 3d floors, and other fancy things too.

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16 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

"Creativity in problem-solving" is a really good way of putting it!

Indeedy! That is exactly how I think of my IRL programming work. The same applies here too - regardless of the map format. I've tinkered with vanilla and UDMF and though my go-to is DiHF it is a creative process in all formats. It's very much like solving the same programming problem in Python and C# - different but just as satisfying and creative. 

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Posted (edited)

this is very much just my opinion, but one of the reasons i mostly prefer boom-compatible maps over udmf ones is that, once too many modern features are implemented, the whole thing starts looking and feeling rather... off, as if it's a sort of uncanny valley between the classic look i've come to expect from doom, and a more modern, detailed style that would probably fit better (or work in the first place) in a more modern engine.

that doesn't mean i dislike udmf per se, it's a super powerful format and objectively more extensive than its alternatives, but i prefer maps that look distinctly doom-y, for lack of a better word. and at that point, i'd rather go the extra mile and use a format that has most of if not all the capabilities i could ever need or want in my work, plus compatibility with a wider range of ports, even if it means sacrificing some conveniences.

Edited by uber

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For what it's worth, I love UDMF mapping, and find that a lot of the old stigmas of "features for features sake" or "features over gameplay" should be reassessed in the wake of the explosion of cool ZDoom stuff over the past several years.

 

Partial conversions (or not conversions) like Mapwich 2 / Ar Luminae, Time Tripper, and I.H.N.I., and TCs like Ashes 2063 and Square, can be fundamentally good and dazzlingly creative. Bastion of Chaos has way better bread and butter fight design than its theoretical counterpart from 10-15 years ago. In just about everyone who makes notable advanced Z stuff, the "fundamentals" have more or less caught up. 

 

So that is my quick "not Boom-format elitist" intro... 

 

As a mapper, though, when I have a Boom format idea in mind, or an idea that slightly exceeds Boom format, I do actually enjoy the "creative problem solving" of stretching past the limits *just a bit*", and I can already do "convoluted" things in Boom format surprisingly quickly[1], and my Boom format workflow for the bread and butter aspects of design that are 95% of my mapping time is a lot more efficient than my UDMF workflow for the same design. And that efficiency of workflow is essential to me being even half productive. (I'm barely productive as is and generally want to make more maps.) So I'm sticking to Boom format (or sometimes vanilla), for now at least.

 

[1]

Spoiler

 

For example, I once made 640 barrels teleport into the map, 128 at a time, with separate switch toggles, in about 15 total minutes of editor time. I imagine a bunch of people would pop that map into DB and look at that and think, "why go through all these hurdles instead of setting up a ZDoom script." But it really did take like 15 minutes, which is less time than I take to draw and design a very basic room. 

 

I don't find complex voodoo doll scripts all that difficult to set up. I'm also very comfortable with texture editing (fooling around on forums is a great base for texture design), so simulating 3D floors and rotated flats or colored lighting to the light degree required of occasional one-off features is something I'd be fine doing and already have the intuition for. 

 

I don't say any of this to brag; I just think it's an important bit of context re why someone might apparently "tolerate" some of these hurdles in Boom format -- it's because they often aren't quite as difficult as they might look.

 

 

Let's also look at some specific things I might want to try while mapping: 

 

Creating a lock-in fight that uses a mechanic where the player scores points during the fight and has to "beat" a Scythe 2 marine-like nemesis that is also killing monsters and scoring points? Gonna want to use UDMF. (I actually want to do this idea at some point.) 

 

Creating a lock-in fight where phase 2 starts when the player kills every monster in phase 1, and so on? No. I've rarely found the ability to bring about a rigid "last monster dead = next wave begins" sequence to add anything to fights in terms of enjoyment or elegance. And it often brings with it its own inelegances like "an imp goes into hiding somewhere and now what?" I'd rather use an oldschool solution like timing the waves well, or positioning switches in the right places in the arena that the player is naturally going to toggle the fight in a fluid way. So I'll stick to Boom (or lower).[2]

 

[2]

Spoiler

The key pattern in the above paragraph is that while the quality of life feature allows me to more precisely stick to a certain intent (here, "all monsters die -> next wave begins"), sticking to this intent is not actually that important, because the approximations are basically 95% as good, or often even better, in terms of in-game enjoyment; and in-game enjoyment is the thing that matters. (This pattern recurs. For example, BTSX e1m24 didn't need complex scripting for The Fight. It could approximate that with basic features, ones as basic as "setting the height level of the pit so that the cacodemons come in at the proper time.") 

 

Picking up an inventory item, say a hat, lets me put it on a cacodemon, which becomes overpowered and ultra-fast and friendly? UDMF time. (I want to do this idea at some point too.) 

 

An "item" is a McGuffin that lets me complete the map by being able to enter a hellish area where I previously didn't meet the "dress code"? I'll "fake" it in Boom format with linedef actions and even, if I dare, a fake text popup. Why not? I already know how to do it. 

 

If you don't share my apparent fluency in Boom format shenanigans, and if you have a similar nimbleness with UDMF instead, your threshold for wanting to use UDMF is going to be a lot different. And frankly that is valid too. But I think it's important to recognize that as the difference, rather than arguing from pure theory that one format strictly dominates the other. tl;dr on that last bit: The humanist element of mapping is paramount. No map gets done without a mapper being willing to expend the requisite effort on mapping, and summoning the needed motivation. Whatever their preferences are for mapping, and for prompting creativity, should be respected -- and the alternative of "yeah well actually you could have done this better in some other format / some other way / with none of those Dehacked monsters / insert litany of changes people commonly bring up" is totally moot if the conditions for wanting to map wouldn't have come about that way. 

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Most of my creativity can be accommodated by Doom format, and I generally prefer the lowest common denominator format unless there is a very specific reason to do otherwise.

 

And I disagree with assertions that such a target is stagnant.  MBF21, UMAPINFO, and DEHEXTRA are all example of grassroots evolution of previous standards.  The trick is that if you want a feature to spread, the best way to do this is to implement it in a Chocolate fork or PRBoom+ fork, so it can spread to as many actively-maintained ports as possible.  With a few rare exceptions, features from more advanced ports like GZDoom simply do not trickle down to other ports.

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16 minutes ago, uber said:

this is very much just my opinion, but one of the reasons i mostly prefer boom-compatible maps over udmf ones is due to the fact that, once too many modern features are implemented, the whole thing starts looking and feeling rather... off, as if it's a sort of uncanny valley between the classic look i've come to expect from doom, and a more modern, detailed style that would probably fit better (or work in the first place) in a more modern engine.

that doesn't mean i dislike udmf per se, it's a super powerful format and objectively more extensive than its alternatives, but i prefer maps that look distinctly doom-y, for lack of a better word. and at that point, i'd rather go the extra mile and use a format that has most of if not all the capabilities i could ever need or want in my work, plus compatibility with a wider range of ports, even if it means sacrificing some conveniences.

yeah, i feel the same way; uncanny valley is a perfect way to describe it. it looks strange having such complex geometry and lighting in doom

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Posted (edited)

Do most ports need UDMF?

 

I know that ports like GZDoom and Eternity need UDMF.  But if a UDMF parsing map loader showed up in Crispy Doom or a PR+ fork tomorrow...would that actually be useful, given the feature sets of those ports?  Are those ports limited by the map format?  Or are they limited by the programmer bandwidth to implement features that mappers associate with GZ/UDMF?

 

EDIT: Heck, are we discussing the literal map formats - the way they store map data on disk?  Or is this another Boom/GZDoom argument except through a "map format" proxy?

Edited by AlexMax

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8 minutes ago, rd. said:

For what it's worth, I love UDMF mapping, and find that a lot of the old stigmas of "features for features sake" or "features over gameplay" should be reassessed in the wake of the explosion of cool ZDoom stuff over the past several years.

 

Partial conversions (or not conversions) like Mapwich 2 / Ar Luminae, Time Tripper, and I.H.N.I., and TCs like Ashes 2063 and Square, can be fundamentally good and immensely creative. Bastion of Chaos has way better bread and butter fight design than its theoretical counterpart from 10-15 years ago. Lullaby's gameplay from 10-15 years ago might be a slog, but now it's more just unobtrusive. In just about everyone who plays around with advanced Z stuff, the "fundamentals" have long caught up. 

That's a really good point, actually. Most of my initial exposure to ZDoom was through '00s sets like UT&T and KDiZD, the former of which I didn't like at all and the latter of which I found to be charming but somewhat questionable in execution. I think every format needs time to 'mature', since it is often really difficult to predict how a certain featureset will be applied in practice, leading to a great deal of trial and error. I mean, it took the Boom format over a decade and a half to reach full maturity (I'm arbitrarily choosing Valiant as the tipping point 'cuz I like it). I'm sure there were people back in the late '90s and early '00s complaining about "features for features' sake" and "features over gameplay" in relation to Boom maps (actually, I'm pretty sure I remember reading reviews for Phobos: Anomaly Reborn which said exactly that).

 

In short, I think most of the excesses associated with UDMF format maps are quickly becoming a thing of the past as the format starts to reach full maturity. Honestly, I really need to upgrade my hardware so I can enjoy the fruits of this in-progress mapping revolution.

 

All that's a really long way of saying that I have reconsidered my semi-purist position, and will no longer be making fun of (G)ZDoom wads. pk3s on the other hand...

 

...

 

I jest, I jest. I'll just stick to mocking weapon mods then. What? Okay fine, I'll just stop with the negative generalizations alltogether then. There, happy now, DW?

 

27 minutes ago, rd. said:

But I think it's important to recognize that as the difference, rather than arguing from pure theory that one format "strictly dominates" the other. tl;dr on that last bit: The humanist element of mapping is paramount. No map gets done without a mapper being willing to expend the requisite effort on mapping, and summoning the needed motivation. Whatever their preferences are for mapping, and for prompting creativity, should be respected -- and the alternative of "yeah well actually you could have done this better in some other format / some other way / with none of those Dehacked monsters / insert litany of changes people commonly bring up" is totally moot if the conditions for wanting to map wouldn't have come about that way. 

TRUUU

 

Motivation is essential. I could have made an entire megawad during the lockdown if I'd had the desire and the will to do so. But nooo, monke-brain has other ideas. Gimme happy juice, stupid monke-brain!

 

*ahem*

 

Essentially, if someone wants to recreate Escher paintings with mid-textures whilst remaining compatible with doom2.exe, let 'em. Sure, such an endeavour is masochistic beyond all reason, but we have no right to kink shame... err, judge anyone for their... preferences...

 

You know, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if dobu gabu maru tried doing something like that. They don't call him a 'Midtex Wizard' for nothing...

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Posted (edited)

Is this thread asking "why aren't you mapping in UDMF", or is it really asking "why aren't you mapping in GZDoom"? UDMF does not imply any kind of explicit feature set making the question as is pointless. However typically whenever people ask this, they really just mean GZDoom and get flummoxed as to why others don't seem to want the continued conceptual singularity of a single source port at the expense of literally everything else around it.

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I prefer to map in Boom or Doom format because UDMF is way too complex for me. Not only that, but some people either can't run GZDoom or choose not to use it, so I try to make my maps compatible with as many sourceports as possible.

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Posted (edited)

Boom Format because I don't like the limitations of doom format and feel too overwhelmed with the amount of stuff with UDMF and Hexen, also I'm just more familiar with it.

 

(boom scrollers are pretty cool too)    

Edited by SLOTH MARINE (CB)

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Copy+pasting something I wrote last week in another thread, in response to people advising a new mapper to start in vanilla:
 

I would add that you may find at some point quite soon that you want to use ZDoom (UDMF) exclusive features in your map. In that case I would say: just go for that! Let your ideas dictate the methods. And not the tools you have at your disposal dictate the ideas. 

 

But should you find yourself working only on UDMF mapping for a while, I highly recommend signing up to a community project with Boom/limit removing/vanilla maps. I find that 'going back' sometimes stimulates creative juices to find interesting solutions. In UDMF these might not come to the surface. Most of my personal projects are in UDMF but the out-of-the-box thinking of some Boom wads is what I consider the real magic when taking a closer look :). So in contrast to what I said above: sometimes limited tools give rise to unbridled creativity.

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If your default map format is something other than UDMF: Why?

Why?

There are multiple reasons if you want an answer.

 

One, people prefer the simplicity and versatility of those formats (Doom or Boom), provided that the mapper knows the pros and cons of such thing.

Two, what if the default format is the Hexen format, hmm? You didn't specified the format :P

Three, it's interesting that you posted a question about what if the UDMF format is somehow forbidden or if never existed.

And fourth (by adding UDMF into the equation), is to have an open mind about all formats, even if the mapper hates or loves some specific features. I, for one, mapped at all formats and I'm goddamn sure that many people here already did in all these years...

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AlexMax said:

EDIT: Heck, are we discussing the literal map formats - the way they store map data on disk?  Or is this another Boom/GZDoom argument except through a "map format" proxy?

 

43 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

Is this thread asking "why aren't you mapping in UDMF", or is it really asking "why aren't you mapping in GZDoom"? UDMF does not imply any kind of explicit feature set making the question as is pointless. However typically whenever people ask this, they really just mean GZDoom and get flummoxed as to why others don't seem to want the continued conceptual singularity of a single source port at the expense of literally everything else around it.

 

OP here!   I did indeed mean GZDoom in UDMF format, as in primarily the set of features as well as (albeit indirectly) the actual map data format.  I and I think a lot of other folks tend to just say "UDMF" metonymically, and most folks ITT seem to have gotten what I meant, but I apologize if I committed too much of a misnomer.

 

Anyway, I'm really not a GZDoom stan or whatever, it's just a question of whatever the stablest, most feature-inclusive source port seems to be at any given time.  Right now, and as far as I know, that seems to be GZDoom, but if & when I get wind of something that includes GZDoom and everything below it, but does it better, I'll transfer my flag there without much resistance.  Since I started Dooming I've gone doom2.exe -> Boom -> ZDoom -> GZDoom and I have no personal stake in GZDoom remaining the best thing forever any more than I did the previous ones—so the "...at the expense of literally everything else around it" bit is not something that has any relevance to my position.  Though I don't doubt folks have encountered people who were more, ah, fundamentalist about it than I.

 

e: Looking back, it seems that the OP (if not the title) did in fact specify GZDoom in UDMF, in full.  

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3 minutes ago, jerrysheppy said:

Looking back, it seems that the OP (if not the title) did in fact specify GZDoom in UDMF, in full.

Imagine if you said Eternity Engine in UDMF...

 

The format itself isn't the issue here, it's how people use it.

About the question itself, I forgot to put a fifth important answer. If UDMF was somehow gone or out of bounds, I'd prefer the Boom format to be honest.

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