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Matt Eldrydge

Need some advice for slaughter-type mapping

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Yeah, what it says on the tin (which is quite common for the threads I make). I've gotten this idea to make a huge combat-focused map with a brutalist theme while working on another map, but I don't really know how to map that well and could always use some help in getting better.


For some context, here's some details about what I want to make.


  • High monster count. I've set an unrealistically 3000 monsters as my goal, but since I'm yet to make a map that contains more than 500 monsters this will likely be changed.
  • Brutalist archictecture. I'm just fond of this style and I find it lets accent colors as well as lighting pop out even more.
  • Combat that isn't overly grindy. I understand some grind is essential if you want to throw hordes at the player, but having barely cleared Sunder's first 5 maps I don't really want to pursue tanky swarms or at least 100 cacos in the sky since I don't enjoy this aspect of slaughter much.
  • A pistol that isn't worthless and is useful against low-level monsters. The chaingun might be beefed up a little but honestly I just don't want the pistol to suck for whatever reason, that's kind of my thing.
  • Scale. I want to go for massive structures and spaces, as most of my maps end up being a bit tight or just kind of focused on smaller areas and I feel like I could learn a lot about outdoors mapping if I just made a massive indoor area instead if that makes sense.


In short: this is probably closer to Valiant or Heartland, I have no clue if these are considered slaughterlite at points but the idea is there. Lots of bad guys, big places and some new toys to deal with them.


For experience, I've been mapping for around 2 or 3 years now and as of last year shifted fully into Boom/MBF21. I still don't know a lot of the tricks but I like to think I can make a decent map.


I'm not too sure why I made the thread, maybe it's because I just want to learn, maybe it's because I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to make sense of my vague ideas. Maybe it'll help someone else who wants to make huge, imposing vistas in Doom? I don't know man, I just wanna make a big concrete killing floor that plays good and is fun!

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I can think of a few maps that are definitely not modern slaughter but also contributed to the theme heavily, and one that lightly uses the concept:

Doom 2 Suburbs

Doom 2 Courtyard

FreeDoom Phase 2 v0.13 Map07 ( this is not the same as the 0.12 version which was a Dead Simple style Clone)

Doom 2 GOtcha also makes for a decent reference 

Doom 1 e3m6 Mount Erebus


WHen in doubt look at the grand daddy maps that inspired the original concepts.

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Posted (edited)

I already did, big issue is they don't really get my noggin jogging. Go 2 It kinda comes close, but any of these maps have to abide by the vanilla on screen sprite limit and I need to go beyond that in terms of inspiration.

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Posted (edited)

Hey dude!  Idk if I have the slaughter formula down either but I can give some tips. 


I wouldn't focus on monster count goal.  That's an easy way to make a grindy map.  Just adding more monsters at the end to reach a goal is odd and usually just makes fights longer for no reason.  


You can still have huge open architecture marvel type spaces but keep the actual player space small, your idea for a huge indoor area can work with this.  Platforms and player block lines!  


Even if you change the pistol with dehacked, it shouldn't matter because slaughter you shouldn't be designing fights around it, unless you want to starve the player at the beginning I suppose.  Most modern maps, mine included focus around the RL and plasma. And bfg when appropriate.  


If your goal is slaughterlite, stuff that's not as hard, I wouldn't attack the player from too many directions at once, and make sure space is easily acquired.  Most hard maps restrict space a lot or make you push through monsters to get it.  


On the contrary a fight can feel grindy if there is too many monsters but not enough opposition.  Like make sure the player can't stand in one spot.  Rocketing a group of hell knights is more fun if you have to dodge arachnatrons.  But maybe not arahcnatrons AND perched viles.  Like I said before not too many angles of attack depending on what you want to do.  

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Treehouseminis said:

but I can give some tips. 

Excellent advice here.


To OP: I would also give a very simple advice - just play more modern slaughter stuff to see for yourself what works well and what you like in those maps. No need to necessarily focus on Sunder - Sunder is just one style of slaughter, grandiose somewhat grindy and slow paced style, but the genre is quite diverse. You want to try something setpiece-focused? Check out how Fractured Worlds and Firefly do it. If those seem too difficult, try Embraced. Or just switch to HMP! Maybe your UV will be similar to HMP of those wads and there is nothing wrong with that. Or on the contrary if you want something brutal with enemies in all directions - worth checking out Italo Doom. Or maybe you want to try some bfg spam slaughter - well, check out some random maps in Junkfood (linking the 2nd entry as the most friendly one). Or if you enjoy the very light type of slaughter that Valiant does - well try Overboard then and see how that plays. There are also many very different slaughter maps in Hardfest 2, so it's always an option to just skip around and try those that seem appealing to your tastes or mapping goals.


Anyway my point is - the best way to get comfortable with mapping for a certain genre is to play a lot of stuff with different styles in that genre and study how those maps achieve what they achieve (fun or challenge or impressive visuals or whatever).

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@Treehouseminis Hey, thanks for dropping by! Your advice has certainly helped to point me in a direction, I won't go too much into detail because it's kinda late and my brain is all fizzled out but for the pistol thing: I just find it kinda fun to have it be a mini chaingun. Is it useful? Not particularly, but I just kinda like it. I've played enough slaughter-adjacent WADs to know weapons 5-7 are the ones you'll use the most with the super shotgun being used to polish off the odd monster you don't want to use more important ammo on, but I also want to experiment with that a little.


Maybe the chaingun will be withheld early on, maybe for a low-impact introductory fight. It's not that relevant but sometimes it has its uses. Will definitely look into ways of incorporating it anyway, it's part of the arsenal after all.


@Ravendesk Many thanks for all the suggestions! I'll definitely take a look at the wads you mentioned, I do know Sunder is quite old by now but man, something about its visuals just has me hooked. I know there are prettier maps out there, but between the maps' names, their texture coordination, their sheer brutality - it just clicks with me and makes me wish I get better to one day experience them myself. If I had to really nail down what I'm looking to make, I guess it'd be somewhere between Sunder's sheer presence and size with Valiant/Overboard slaughterlite (I think that's the term) style gameplay.


Gotta study up to make the best map I can, after all!

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