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Lutz

Architecture vs. Texturing

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So here's a question that's sure to spark pointless debate: what aspect of a level most defines the theme/genre? In other words, is a level a hell-themed level because of the architecture or the texturing? To center this is less philosophical terms, consider this: can you create a convincing "base" level that, when re-textured (but NOT otherwise edited), works as a convincing "hell" level? Alternatively, can you create a "base" level and a "hell" level using the same, say, 20 textures?

I would welcome examples or screenshots, if anyone out there has any.

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Neither aspect defines a level completely. Just using hell textures in a base style level or vice versa doesn't look convincing. It's the mixture of both that is important. If you retexture a 'base' level with 'hell' textures it will only look odd and unconvincing (like Doom's E3M3 which is one of the visually least satisfying levels in the game.)

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I have come to this some time ago. It's true that sometimes retexturing a base level wisely in hellish textures makes it look like a hellish level-levels with simple detailing, Doomish ones, which architecture fits into both-a tech base and hell-computers could be graves, lamps could be torches, nukage pits could be lava pits, etc.
This is where the "realistic" architecture comes in (in which You are good Lutz). Think, Railbender in hellish textures doesn't make sense, does it (a train in hell? heh, or a massive crane in hell, what is this?)
Doomish architecture (some trim, some lights, etc.) doesn't make much sense in real world, hence it makes sense for both hellish level and a base.
The solution to this is presumably realistic architecture. When it makes sense only for a base or only for hell it won't make sense anywhere else.

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Dron said:

Both.

Ah, how insightful.

Yes, I realize that to make a good base level, you are going to use different architecture than if you set out to make a hellish level. Regardless, I am still interested the question of whether textures alone can impart a theme. On a related topic, I know that there was some criticism of the third episode of Ultimate Doom centered around Sandy's poor texturing choices; has there been any effort to re-texture those levels?

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Hellish architecture and hellish textures are needed for a hellish level. I mean try retexturing Hangar in hell textures. It won't work. But hellish architecture in base textures will also look weird as hell. But if you make a level with hellish architecture and hellish texturing it will truely look like a hellish level.

[offtopic]Btw. Chris Lutz, did you recieve my email I sent like 2 weeks ago?

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Dron said:

[offtopic]Btw. Chris Lutz, did you recieve my email I sent like 2 weeks ago?

No, I don't think so. I take a cusory glance through my junk mail folder, but if it didn't have the words "Doom" or "Chaos Crew" in the subject line, I probably got rid of it.

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This depends on the theme. If you have a hell theme, you an use all the redrock textures and such, but if you were to have a gothic theme I think that the architecture would have to be more complicated... unless you're an ass who throws GOTHIC textures all over the place.

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Lutz said:
On a related topic, I know that there was some criticism of the third episode of Ultimate Doom centered around Sandy's poor texturing choices; has there been any effort to re-texture those levels?

However erred or messy an author's work might be, one doesn't release modifications of it without the author's permission. And it's commonly regarded as not okay to modify the real game's maps. It wouldn't be any different if someone released a modified version of the Phobos: Anomaly Reborn maps because they felt they suffered from excess detailing.

Also, we do have versions of most of the maps with "better" texturing... they are in the DOOM alphas.

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Lutz said:

Ah, how insightful.

Yes, I realize that to make a good base level, you are going to use different architecture than if you set out to make a hellish level. Regardless, I am still interested the question of whether textures alone can impart a theme. On a related topic, I know that there was some criticism of the third episode of Ultimate Doom centered around Sandy's poor texturing choices; has there been any effort to re-texture those levels?


The Jaguar/PSX versions of those levels has been re-textured, and thensome...

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myk said:

It wouldn't be any different if someone released a modified version of the Phobos: Anomaly Reborn maps because they felt they suffered from excess detailing.

Hey, if someone wants to do that, feel free -- just give me a little credit and provide a link to the original .WAD. Actually, I think it would be very helpful if someone who had a problem with the gameplay went through and moved items/monsters around and then sent me a link so that I could better understand how to improve gameplay for D:AU.

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Lutz said:
Hey, if someone wants to do that, feel free

I noticed that the text file for the wad doesn't really say anything about modifying it, either way; which leaves people wondering what the author would say. But still, id always requested leaving their maps alone.

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Lutz said:

consider this: can you create a convincing "base" level that, when re-textured (but NOT otherwise edited), works as a convincing "hell" level? Alternatively, can you create a "base" level and a "hell" level using the same, say, 20 textures?

I would welcome examples or screenshots, if anyone out there has any.


hey that sounds kinda neat, I may try that after I get home from work (they don't take kindly to me editing doom maps here... reading forums is okay though I guess :P )

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Cyb said:

hey that sounds kinda neat, I may try that after I get home from work (they don't take kindly to me editing doom maps here... reading forums is okay though I guess :P )

Let me know if you come up with something...or, I wouldn't mind knowing if you find it impossible.

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It's be an interesting idea to have a set map, then have everyone retexure it and compare the end results. It could even be one of the original Id maps. You don't even have to distribute the entire map, just a replacement SIDEDEFS lump would do.

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Hmmm... taking my Murderous Intent levels' theme as an example, I suppose where there is metal could be made wooden, where is slime could be made bloody and where is rock would be flesh. That would work.

I guess it recall depends on the nature of the detailing; very general detail like the kind I use would work merely retextured, but finer detail (Actually crafting a crane, a truck and stuff to pick up the crates, and actual computers rather than 'boxes') wouldn't work, IMO.

Just look at the shapes, and organic shapes in Hell maps would turn into rocks, and Square/Rectangular shapes would be made into thae actual "base" parts in the Doom/Doom2 hell levels...

Just my 2 cents, but my bottom line is; the architecture matters more than the texturing, but only for fine detail.

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Lutz said:

So here's a question that's sure to spark pointless debate: what aspect of a level most defines the theme/genre? In other words, is a level a hell-themed level because of the architecture or the texturing? To center this is less philosophical terms, consider this: can you create a convincing "base" level that, when re-textured (but NOT otherwise edited), works as a convincing "hell" level? Alternatively, can you create a "base" level and a "hell" level using the same, say, 20 textures?


It depends on the style. Base maps tend to rely on flashing lights, consoles/computer stations and pillars (simple architecture, but one that is dependent on choosing the right textures/flats) whereas hell maps rely on complex structures, whether it be random shapes in the walls/floor/ceilings, or themed structures like the maw of a giant beast or gateway to Hell. What I tend to find is that it's much harder to detail a Hell map than a base one, as with Hell there's not as many rules regarding incompatibility with certain styles of detailing. Given that there's more base textures to choose from than hell ones, I'd say that base maps are defined by texturing and hell maps by architecture. (and that's probably a general rule between man-made and Hell-made map styles) Bring source ports into it though and it becomes a different matter...

Retexturing one to the other generally wouldn't work, as base maps are made of rooms and passages with 45/90º angles and hell maps are generally free-flowing shapes, often in the form of caves. IMO they wouldn't work the other way round. (except in rare circumstances)

With the 20 textures, it depends on what they are. If there's a mixture of base/hell textures, than it's perfectly possible to create a map with just a handful of textures (I've built maps like that before) or indeed a base overrun by Hell (as seen in many maps previously) but if they're not compatible with either type of map then it isn't possible.

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Fiend said:

... unless you're an ass who throws GOTHIC textures all over the place.


Well I throw gothic textures around like its nobodies business... The theme of a level cannot ever be determined from either one alone. The combination of both is what delivers the theme.
The difference between gothic and hell being what? Are you to tell me that Monster Condo is actually the local library? no its not, its part of hell, hence the sky.

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do you think the spirit world would be the same level without the gothic/tech(?) red key area?
perhaps you could retexture the rocky/natural type areas as an outdoors area, then retexture the red key area as tech-base and it might become an excellent example of a tech-base. I think any level can be transformed by retexturing, its a bit harder to transform a level just upon architecture alone. but they both need to be consistent in order to have a believable and consistent theme.
maybe thats what i was trying to say before.

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This man Huy Pham did it perfectly. His Deus Vult wad makes perfect transition between tech and hell type achitecture. (try that wad, but do with no monsters or you're sure to die before you see any of the great things he created.)

There is a difference. I guess it depends on imagination. Does Hell have straight corridors and 90 degree angles on walls? I don't think so, but maybe others do.

And there is also looking at it in a metaphysical sense, or biblical sense. "And GOD created heavens and the Earth," So man creates his own Hell.

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