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What was your first map like?

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Just something I'm curious about, especially to those who have been mapping for a long time. What were your memories and what do you think of it now?


First map I made was called UAC Earth Base, it took about around a week to finish IIRC and I was 14 years old at the time. One thing I never realized was that you can adjust the size of the grid when you're drawing lines and sector in DB so it stuck with 32 mp, making everything look chunky and big so the map ended up looking very cramped as a result. Playing it now and comparing to my later maps, I've improved a lot and everything looks and plays better now. Some other stuff I found out years later is that a bunch of players did a UV Speedrun of this (I think?) and here's what they had to say when I read their notes:


"Part of a 1 hour IL challenge. It's awful :^)"

"I completely forgot how bad this is"

"This run is awful."

"Map sucks and this run too."


I wonder if my other maps also got speedruns too but I haven't found any unfortunately. I'll admit it's a bad map now and I've been considering remaking it at some point but right now I don't have the time. I have the screenshots posted in this thread if you want to see what it looks like.

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I started mapping in 2001, I was 9 at the time. My very first map was a bunch of square hallways covered in SFALL and BFALL textures, with all liquid type flats around the place. I love(d) the liquid textures for some reason..


My first “real” map was a crude 1994-esque airplane, complete with sky textures scrolling opposite directions (nonsensically) outside the windows, since Doom can only scroll textures left and not right by default. I used NIGHT.WAD’s dark starry sky rather than the standard poo brown one. I figured the WolfSS guys were the closest thing to flight attendants, so there was a bunch of them around. Of course, the floor was all blue carpet, and I used small candles as the little lights along the floor. There were also toilets with Nukage in them. Coach, 1st class and the cockpit were all separated by REDWALL midtex curtains that you could walk right through. I think if I could have brought it back in time to 1994, it would have been able to hold its own, lol. Wish I still had it..


Other early maps of mine included a dark campsite with big dead tree objects everywhere but basically no actual cover, there was one that was a long, gigantic series of STARTAN mazes, there was also a crude hotel made almost strictly out of STARTAN and a swimming pool full of revenants, I distinctly remember making numerous “box mazes” in the vein of E2M2, and I also loved making really basic town maps full of the brown window texture that’s seen in MAP13. I also liked taking maps from Dwango5 and replacing all the floors with liquid and flood-filling them with monsters, for whatever reason.

Since 9/11 had literally just happened when I got WadAuthor - I even made a map dedicated to New York that had the twin towers still standing and you had to defend them from demons.. yeah.. I was pretty young and didn’t realise how crass such a map would seem, of course - plus I was just making them for my own entertainment, the only people who saw them were friends from school and a handful of people on Doom Connecter who I haven’t seen since 2003.. I even remember their screennames - Hoa2002, Doom64_Guy, CatfishKing and DoomRampage. No idea why their names are still ingrained in my mind after all this time! (I also remember seeing long-timers like Hellbent/Grotug and Tai*Wargreymon around back then)


Wish some of those ancient maps were still around.. My oldest surviving wad is MiniDM from 2004, by which time I was making maps that were on basically par with your average Dwango map, just barebones nothing-special DM arenas. My older maps were actually more creative, but by 2004 I was targeting DM a lot more than SP and coop.


(Sorry for how long this ramble is lol)

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My first complete map was ok, its a bit weird some places though (heres some screenshots with freeze and fly on just to show the map a little)Screenshot_Doom_20210801_025239.png.524c018dd96d46b45383c7fc9eb2e7a4.png



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I made a few starting rooms for maps but never completed them. I still have the first map I made in 2018. I did eventually add an exit to it last year just to say it's done:





It looks shitty and I had trouble making doors. This was the last time I made a map in zdoom format. It was vanilla and boom format from this point in my mapping career lol. I did convert the map to vanilla as it utilized no zdoom effects.

I think a month after making my first incomplete map, I made another one. This time fully completed with difficulty settings and multiplayer for a community project. The map was barren with enemies and is linear with points of no return. I don't have the original enemy layout anymore but I knew it wasn't going to stand out, so I added over 1000 demons. I received thoughtful feedback towards the gameplay, but didn't apply them due to the finalized combat design being over the project's deadline.


Thankfully, Ancalagon recorded a uv-max run so no one has to suffer through it.




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I still have a backup saved of my very first map, way back from 2008 when I was a lad only 12 years of age.




It's actually a crude and borderline experimental set of vanilla maps. Not a lot has changed. You can download it here if you want to play it.


Of note is a giant halo logo from the third map.




Otherwise, I've lost pretty much all of my other maps from around this era. I wouldn't get serious with Doom mapping until I made my Doom the Way id Did: Lost Episode maps in 2011.

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I spent four years making map fragments and naming them after food and rammstein songs.

Edited by NeedHealth

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I made a better Icon of Sin that was more hellish, and had the two bosses appear out of bloodfall caverns on the side of the map.

I also put a deathmatch maze arena in a dark void ringing the map, then used ZDoom cajun bots at the time to have a good old time in there.

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Funny thing, some time ago I remade my first ever DOOM map entirely from memory -- including some errors I'd made (I didn't know how to tag sectors, there's no real texture alignment to speak of) -- I can't guarantee 1:1 parity with the actual map I made with WadEd back in 1999, but it was close enough that playing it through gave me some hefty nostalgia pangs.


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My first map, made in WadAuthor in 2013(my old computer had an issue running Microsoft .NET applications like Doom Builder 2 for some reason), was so broken, it didn't even have a properly closed sector, so there were plenty of HOMs.


I don't have either the map or WadAuthor on my current computer, and I don't even know where my old computer is.


My first non-broken map was made a year later, still on my old computer in WadAuthor. It was just a circle platform inside a square with a chaingun, a dock on a sea, and a Pain Elemental. Though it was in Doom format, it required a source port like ZDoom for jumping. I have lost this WAD too.


The oldest WAD I've made that's still on my computer was made in Doom Builder 2 in 2015 on my current computer. It's an unfinished, unplayable ZDoom in Hexen format hub with maps that contain a skybox portal (at the time I refused to use 3D floors even though ZDoom supported them even back then), poorly made polyobject doors, an attempt at combining sprites with linedefs to make spherical chairs, poorly modelled voxel objects, copyrighted MP3 music, no enemies, and a crappy custom player class.

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cramped corridors, exclusive use of ASHWALL 2 and a secret hidden behind a wall you could walk through with no hints about its existence.

i still remember the map was tight on ammo and i was aware of it, but 12 year old me thought having the player run out of bullets and making them punch a pinky with no berserk was genius.

oh hell yea this will REALLY make my map challenging, cant wait to put it up online! <- this never happened and now the map is lost forever.

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Temple of Death (I didn't waste much time trying to think of a good title on that first one, hah) started something like this:




Well, I'm sure about 1-3, not 100% about the rest.


Still remember the thrill I felt filling 1. to the brim with enough barrels to fill a regular episode, laboring with stitching up that first sector-sequence in 2, wondering how many monsters I could stuff into 3. before the engine would crash, struggling to texture-align away the secret door to 4, and starting to explore the advanced line-functions to get 6 to open remotely from 5.


After adding a differently elevated temply doorway (7) & a high ledge (8) for snipers, I progressed with the rest out much as I would a D&D dungeon - having a final battle in mind and tryna branch out in interesting ways towards that, and exploring the less linear solve-approach the new much faster moving format had.


Some of my first few levels featured more claustrophobic sections than the latter stuff I suppose. Working with a continual available 3D preview, I find the rooms tend to open up a lot more, since I tend to wanna be "visually satisfied" with them before progressing. IN the early days I'd stick much more to whatever the more abstract DEU/DETH layout gave me working mostly from 2D, and bend/break the already drawn lines to fit more features after testing in 3D, rather than scaling up/broadening them immediately, as tends to be the result nowadays.


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my first map ever made, was two rooms and the walls were mid textures. My first map ever released was a really low effort E1 style level udmf level.

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Here's some shots of my first map. This was back during my abortive pseudo-realist phase, before I learned the value of abstraction.





More shots, spoilered for convenience








Looking at this, you'd think I would have ended up going down the Geezy realist techbase route. Funny how taste works, since now this sort of mapping is extremely unappealing to me (to do, not neccessarily to play).

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The first map I made was my own recreation of the tutorial map from DoomCAD. Heh.


The other map I remember making back in 94 or 95 was a recreation of the temple level from Shadowcaster with the four teleporters replaced by paths to extra areas, three of which I remember (no recollection what the fourth was): one was a simple corridor with a loooong line of barrels and a loooong line of shotgun zombies, for the simple please of blowing up the barrels and the zombies and then running along the shotguns for that delightful chk-chk-chk sound. If ASMR vids were a thing back then I'd have turned that into one. Another was a dark maze (just a twisty linear corridor, really, no intersections) with a switch at the end. Hitting the switch lowered the walls, turning the maze into a plain old room -- filled with zombies! The last was a big spiral pit with each step darkening a bit until the bottom is completely dark. That's where the exit teleport was. The spiral was originally designed with an octagon shape but it crashed the game so I had to simplify it to a diamond shape with only half as many steps. Visplanes! By and large, gameplay was not even a consideration; I just had fun making up areas to explore and didn't care about balanced combat or whatever. I think you were meant to use idkfa to get your weapons at the start of the map, because I don't remember bothering to place any pickup at all.


Another thing I remember doing was stitching together Doom maps and Doom 2 maps. Like I remember adding in the secret corridor from E1M1 (the one you have to ride the elevator to reach, and where PSX Doom plopped down a pain elemental for some reason) another corridor that lead to the starting area of MAP01... Was kind of obsessed with trying to merge both games together "as they should have been". When I stopped caring about merging the games, JPL released Wadsmoosh, lol.

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before the 2000s I remember making a square marble arena which unfolded in symmetrical layers and made you fight shotgunners. didn't fully understand teleporters so I used the "W1 quick lower to 8 units above ground" effect exclusively, a trend which basically continues to this day. don't think I ever added an exit, it was just "time to add another cupboard that opens when you enter the previous cupboard" inception spiralling. probably got lost from a WinDEU crash - might've tried to save it with an open sector or something.


best gameplay I ever did lol

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I'm not a long-time mapper (~1 year), but here's my short story: the first map I finished was called "FUTURE ALCHEMY", because I was fascinated by the combination of medievalish brick walls and computers... Aesthetically it looked quite good! Not counting the STARTAN walls in the starting area :D And it made good use of ceiling crushers. Technically, there were a lot of messy moments, especially because I couldn't figure out how to make elevators/lowering platforms properly. But it had some ideas I actually like, for example a library part where you walk on top of the shelves


I fixed some of the most glaring technical mistakes: FUTURE ALCHEMY.rar


Edit: oh, and there is a part near the end where a switch is on the floor. Like, it's a floor texture.








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Was tip toeing with mapping about a year ago, but haven't been able to delve deeper

due to busyness. Would love to get back to it.








Oh, and please don't look at this..



Secret Revealed!






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Dad downloaded a doom builder for me in 2009, and I started testing every Zdoom linedef action I saw in my first 33 maps I had ready in 2013.

While making the maps I remember myself playing the 2nd episode of Doom, Plutonia 2, Eternal Doom 3, 2002 Doom Odyssey, Speed of Doom, Hexen, Pirate Doom, Heretic TC, Herian 2, both Memento Mori and 1monster. Later I remember Resurgence and Bloodstain coming out and I tried them out as well.

I think I unfortunately lost my mapping style of that time, when I didn't have to think about something like 'design rules' and it all felt ok and my old friends were calling me a fine game designer (I had coop runs thru all these maps with them)


Now these maps make my head hurt pretty badly when I play them.


My first map in some kind of its state is Map73 of this wad

I used to the wad with mostly Gzdoom 1.8.6, but Zdoom 2.8.1 and other modern GZ's must run it as well



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My first map was totally nuts. A huge tech base survival epic with takes about 2-3 to complete. Based on very non-linear exploration, most people hated it. Too long and confusing for most, even though all areas looked quite different. It had a real puzzle progression to it and at times you had to check your map. It was very Dark Souls influenced. It doesn't hold your hand. I was going for atmosphere, realism and immersion. I tried to fit an episode into one map. I wanted to put all my "cool Doom ideas" into one map. It took about 4 years to make but actually the first year was spent doodling and learning the ropes of DoomBuilder. The rest of the time i spent an hour or two a week, mostly doodling and trying ideas and scrapping and reworking stuff. I took my sweet time and just mapped to chill out but I worked harder in the last year as i started to realise, hey maybe i can really finish this map

Some parts turned out well and some parts not so good but I'm happy with what I made; it was cool for me seeing a dream become reality. I was just happy to have a map to call my own.

The final area had a huge boss battle featuring lots of every type of enemy, a Spidermastermind and two Cyberdemons under a huge Doom graphic that i drew in the sky. Cheesy, but cool. 


I have learnt my lesson and have since made somewhat smaller maps. If you are gunna play something by me, don't play this map LOL But if you insist and have a spare two hours, here is the map's textfile description:



"Very large base. Mostly non-linear gameplay. You will get lost. You will have to navigate, explore and survive. You might run out of ammo. You might need to search for health. It will be tough, intimidating and overwhelming. It will feel like you are a lone Marine in a huge Mars moon base. You have maybe never played a single map this huge, detailed and lengthy. The layout is not too confusing but you'll need to check your map from time to time. If you find yourself really stuck, lost and confused than the objective is probably acquiring the Blue Key, which unlocks most of the map. There are multiple paths to acquiring the Blue Key. Difficulty is not so high and there is plenty of exploring, mystery, traps and puzzles. Completion time is around 2 - 3 hrs so be sure to save regularly. I'm going for a Doom + Doom II only style map so NO JUMPING / NO CROUCHING. A true Doom Marine could survive this in one sitting without dying. Could you?"





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My first map is called Evilzone..... EVILZONE!!!! THE ZONE OF EVIL!! It's the first map I made using DoomCad and released in 2000 as the first map in my crappy Vilecore megawad. So now in 2021 there's an updated version for the upcoming Vilecore 2.1 remaster, which looks like this now.




Which used to look like this...


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My first map was quite basic with like 5 rooms with not much variety within each room, there's some secrets which I actually kinda like still but overall it's well... basic, While some would say that they're now much better and improved past their first map, for me I've kinda lost motivation for mapping for a variety of reasons like time, anything involved Slade 3 etc, although I'd say that it's improved the amount of respect I have for mappers who are more motivated than I am. Perhaps I'll return to mapping and maybe even do well with it, but for now, I'm good.


Edit: No offense to Slade 3 btw it's a lovely program, it lets me make github folders for gameplay mods into pk3 files, I just find it difficult to use sometimes


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