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stewboy

Why I will no longer tag my secrets, and You Shouldn't Either: An Essay

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On 4/5/2023 at 2:10 PM, Impboy4 said:

 

 

Fantastic reply.

 

On 4/5/2023 at 4:09 PM, Chalibluefin said:

I'm not sure what the fans of decino have to do with this take to be quite frank. People who follow decino will watch and enjoy his content no matter if it's a doom playthrough or analysis. Seems like a weird potshot to make. Most frustrations aren't at decino's play style because...that's what they are there for lol

Inherently some maps aren't just enjoyable to watch "being played" which would reflect on it being played itself. Maybe some people like watching someone play the hellforge branded magnum opus of the month but definitely the fans also enjoy watching the player themselves. Take into account how close decino is with his community before taking the piss out of them. As far as noise and criticisms of maps from a viewer standpoint, I could say viewers simply put themselves in decino or someone else's shoes and determine "wow I would not enjoy this." 


You completely misread that post. The ending was tongue-in-cheek. 

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I love looking for secrets in Doom, in fact it's one of the reasons I keep coming back to it over and over the last twenty years. Maps that don't have any secrets (or are unmarked) are less interesting to me.


I don't actually care that much about getting 100% secrets in an honest manner. My general strategy when playing levels privately is to just play with saves. After I beat the level I load the last save and look for secrets. If there's some I can't find and I'm getting bored or frustrated, then I just look them up. If there's a point of no return I just idclip past it. Then I can complete the level and move on. Sometimes I get disappointed because I don't understand how I was meant to discover the secret(s) at all, and sometimes I end up disappointed in myself for not seeing them. I enjoy it because I don't let completionism ruin my experience.


The point of a secret is to be found, and to encourage you to pay attention to the level to find it. Otherwise it's way too easy to blast through a level while only barely seeing it. I don't like it when maps make secrets perfectly hidden (where finding it means getting lucky or exhaustively trying every possible thing), but I also don't like it when there's no challenge to finding them. It's a fine line to walk. This isn't really any different than combat difficulty, but for that at least we can choose a difficulty when we start the map. I also don't like points of no return because it limits my ability to fully explore the space, even if there are no secrets in the level.


Replayability is mostly overrated in my view. With so many maps to play, I simply don't have time to play a map more than once or twice, and I doubt I'll ever return to a map to replay it. So I get one good shot at experiencing the map. The community is creating maps faster than I can play them, so it's not like I can "catch up" either.


If you don't want me to see your secrets, stop marking them I guess. It will make me enjoy your levels less, but you shouldn't worry too much about that. I don't expect any mapper to cater to me, and there's such a wealth of levels out there that there will be something for everyone. In the end you should map how you want to, players (and streamers) be damned.


The idea of turning off the advanced hud while playing is an interesting one however, and is something I'm going to have to consider. It's not even incompatible with my standard playstyle, since I can just reload a save afterwards and turn it on.

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There are many suggestions in this thread that would make things better for some players/designers and worse for others, but "no advanced hud on the first playthrough" seems pretty much ideal. That's how a lot of games do it - first you just complete the levels, then you unlock challenge mode and go for best time or maximum completion.

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my personal preference:

  • marked secrets = secrets containing playing benefits (pickup goodies, tactical vantage points). the secrets are relatively easy to find. for instance, the secret trigger is not that concealed and from the trigger location, the player could visually see the secret door etc being made accessible.
  • unmarked secrets = easter eggs. very obscure. sometimes contain pickup goodies. i love easter eggs that tell more about the mapper - such as their hobby (eg. stamp collecting, etc), their favourite cartoon character, an important event in their life (eg. marriage, having their first child), etc.

tq, and cheers! :)

Edited by rita remton

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Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating.

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16 minutes ago, Gez said:

Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating.

 

Before other posters reply to you with each and every slaughter map of the last 15 years, I just wanna say The Mucus Flow and also Equinox 12 and 13 although I'm not even sure if those latter two are legit possible.

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On 4/7/2023 at 8:51 AM, Gez said:

Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating.

 

i don't have a specific example off the top of my head, but as a genre: maps with big hard optional fights that are made significantly easier by earlier secrets which are equally hard to find.  nothing is quite like discovering the hidden BFG in a map full of corpses

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5 hours ago, Eevee said:

nothing is quite like discovering the hidden BFG in a map full of corpses

 

Also that feeling when you're stuck and finally think you found a way forward, but it's a secret instead...

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On 4/7/2023 at 11:51 PM, Gez said:

Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating.

 

Any level that has a hidden secret with either "Closes 30 seconds after level start" or "Opens 5 minutes after level start, and closes after 4 seconds". Bonus point if the secret has both enemies and countable items.

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On 4/5/2023 at 9:10 PM, Impboy4 said:

[Decino's video]

Hey... Told you so. 😅

Edited by PKr

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6 hours ago, antares031 said:

"Opens 5 minutes after level start, and closes after 4 seconds".

 

*cough* JPCP Map32 *cough*

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On 4/7/2023 at 3:51 PM, Gez said:

Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating.


Any map that has secrets that are completely un-telegraphed. Playing through PRCP2 at the moment, and half of map 31's secrets are behind walls that're straight up indistinguishable from the surrounding area, no tiny buttons or subtle differences in texture. Only way you'd find them is by wall humping, and it's a huge map. 

Bit mean that. 

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On 4/7/2023 at 4:51 PM, Gez said:

Just curious. What, in your opinion and experience, would be the worst map to go for a triple 100% blind? Preferentially maps where it's theoretically possible, so not maps that have broken monsters/items/secrets that make 100% impossible without cheating. 


Citadel at the Edge of Eternity.

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Long time lurker. First time poster. I spend a lot of my time watching Doom YouTube and know most of the players and styles. You may find me in the comments sometimes. 
 

The fact that so many comments have been made about this topic is nuts to me. I think people should do whatever they want. Secrets, no secrets, hide a mega sphere in a Cyber Demons a$$. Whatever makes you happy. 
 

I enjoy decino’s content and would consider myself a regular viewer. Same with MtPain. Both are humans, just like the rest of you (allegedly). Neither of them are immune to criticism. They can have their opinions and you can have yours. MtPain literally says in his intro that “disagreeing is part of the fun.”


MtPain has torched maps I really enjoyed. Did I hate him for it? Heck no. I COULD LITERALLY CARE LESS! Did it change how I see Doom? No. Did it change how much I enjoy it? No. Do I love Memento Mori? Maybe. 

 

I don’t think anyone should cater to anyone. Make maps that make you happy and you can be proud of! And maybe others will also enjoy them. Or maybe they won’t. But I bet someone will! This is Doom and it’s about enjoying the content in your own way. 
 

I am firmly against changing your own path/maps to cater to others though, that’s silly. 
 

Let people have their opinions but also stay true to yourself and yours!

 

Ya pal, 

Tony D 666

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I had to think about this topic a lot and my final verdict: I disaggree. Secrets are fun because you see the number go up. And you feel smart that you actually found something not meant to be found (as it is a secret). (The satisfying 'ding' cannot be replaced though with just the knowledge that it was a secret. Also the sound signals that you actually found a secret, sometimes you jump to a ledge and don't know whether it was worth it or was that just a climbable ledge. When you hear the sound you know it was intended. - I hate secrets in secrets. Why don't you make it one secret, why do you have to find a secret to be able to find another one?!) My message would be "make better secrets", telegraph them and don't make them OP/required. The infamous MAP31 did it really well. Also, decino was not at all too frustrated in my opinion. (I watched it since the drama and was expecting some huge rant. There was none.)

 

But that's just my two cents. Make maps you enjoy, I follow the "no secrets, but easter eggs" philosophy, as balancing secrets are really hard :D

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On 4/30/2023 at 2:55 PM, baja blast rd. said:

I think of first playthroughs as being partially a search mechanism; and it's in replays that you truly get to fall in love with something. 

I love this. The beautiful thing about this sentence is that it not only applies to Doom maps, but to so many other things: movies, music, shows, et cetera. Sometimes you become captivated instantly by a thing, sometimes it invites you for another visit, and so on. That's how I've gotten acquainted with some of my favourite games, albums, and other things that nowadays I can't imagine not indulging into from time to time. In regards to Doom, this happened with Alien Vendetta back in the day. I found it 'ok' at the time but kept coming back to the maps I enjoyed the most and eventually grew to like 90-95% of it. Still among my top 5 to this day.

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On 4/30/2023 at 1:55 PM, Csucskos said:

Secrets are fun because you see the number go up. 

 

To me this is a major detractor from being immersed in the game. I accepted this added source port feature for a time but when I went back to playing primarily vanilla, I felt that it's actually more fun to play the game than to stare at the Kills/Secrets/Items total.

 

On 4/30/2023 at 1:55 PM, Csucskos said:

And you feel smart that you actually found something not meant to be found (as it is a secret). (The satisfying 'ding' cannot be replaced though with just the knowledge that it was a secret. Also the sound signals that you actually found a secret, sometimes you jump to a ledge and don't know whether it was worth it or was that just a climbable ledge. When you hear the sound you know it was intended.

 

The ding is, again, an immersion breaker. I never liked it in the game from which it was borrowed and I don't like it in Doom. If a secret area doesn't seem worthwhile to explore without the "BONGGG, YoU fOuNd A sEcReT", then it is poorly designed. It doesn't matter if it is a secret or not, what matters is if it is interesting to explore.

 

On 4/30/2023 at 1:55 PM, Csucskos said:

- I hate secrets in secrets. Why don't you make it one secret, why do you have to find a secret to be able to find another one?!) My message would be "make better secrets", telegraph them and don't make them OP/required.

 

I love multi-secrets because it feels more organic. If every secret is an isolated area, it becomes painfully obvious over time. As a player you will come to expect that each secret area leads exactly nowhere, and is just a closet full of extra things for the sole purpose of putting in secrets. You'll instantly know that when you find a secret area, you have no more searching to do, no reason to wonder "does this go any further?" or "does this connect to something else?" Boring! I think the best secrets are ones that could be seen as a "normal" part of the map that just isn't easily accessible. There are several great examples of this in E1 where you can find ways to get outside the building, then re-enter the building at a different place. It makes you feel like you are in a "forbidden" place, but one that still has some sort of reason to exist in the level.

 

On 4/30/2023 at 1:55 PM, Csucskos said:

But that's just my two cents. Make maps you enjoy, I follow the "no secrets, but easter eggs" philosophy, as balancing secrets are really hard :D

 

This is why I like to load up my secrets with monsters as well as goodies. Balance them like the rest of the level... it will only get far out of whack if you include powerful weapons or items that aren't otherwise available without any compensation in terms of opposition. Another strategy is to have the secret trigger some extra monsters to pop out of closets or teleports elsewhere in the level.

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On 4/9/2023 at 6:50 PM, Tony D 666 said:

I am firmly against changing your own path/maps to cater to others though, that’s silly. 

 

Let people have their opinions but also stay true to yourself and yours!

I needed to read this.  Thank you.

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I'm late to the party. I remember this bit from an interview with Darrin Hurd. He worked in the original Duke Nukem Forever.

(if you want, you can read the full interview here: https://www.apogeeent.com/devblog/interview-with-darrin-hurd)

 

Quote

 

From a personal perspective, how important are Easter eggs, hidden passages and secrets to a game?
 

I personally like Easter eggs and in-game secrets as long as they are not overdone. Some games recently tell you how many secrets there are and you end up spending a lot of time seeking out every last secret, which I find detrimental to the game's flow.

 


I mean, to each their own.

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I do apologize for this necrobump.  It has probably already been resolved, but I would like to add my opinion into the mix.  For future reference, if nothing else.

 

I think not tagging secrets denies ordinary players the joy of finding them.  BUT that only really applies to the source ports.  Originally, Doom did not give any sort of notification when a secret was found.  Beyond just having the percentage at the end, you wouldn't know if something did or didn't count until the end either.  But we're not playing the original version anymore (and even those of us who do go back to the original now and then likely still use the new engines for a majority of the play).  And for them, it's nice seeing that display come up letting you know that you've discovered something extra on tha map.

 

On top of that, as for the completionism side, hiding the secrets as being untagged makes it worse for them.  You may not approve of the desire to 'checklist' the map, to make sure your secret number matches the total before the map is over.  But these people want to experience as much of the map as they can.  And with the secrets tagged, they at least know if they've successfully done that or not.  When you don't tag them, you are making it MORE difficult for them to 'fully experience' the map.

 

I look for secrets when I blind play a level, but I don't have counters on.  Because the first blind playthrough is just that, a first blind playthrough.  You're just getting a feel for the level.  It's after that that you can go back and look for what you've missed.  And I don't mind missing secrets my first time in, but when I want to go back and hunt them, it's nice to have the tags.  Not everyone is going to have the same play style.  But changing the way you design things based on the actions of a niche group of the most 'dedicated' gamers seems detrimental to me.  There will always be people who does things in a way that seems "wrong" to the designer.  But they are playing the games they way THEY want to play them.  Instead of trying to stop them, accept that they exist, and continue to design the games with your vision of how they should be played in mind.  Trying to force your own philosophy on others almost always has unintended consequences.

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