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Dron

good gameplay

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what does in your opinion define "good gameplay" in a wad? im making a map and i have no idea how to make it play good. does anyone have any suggestions?

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If You don't have any ideas for great gameplay You should play some good wads (Av, Hr2, Equinox are my top trio).
Good gameplay-good ammo and health balance (so I don't run at a cyberdemon with a chainsaw, bleeding) tactical gameplay (not walk into a room and kill a demon, but perhaps out comes the demon, behind is a revenant, but You run right and there is a lift.. and so on-this is really a good thing to learn from action movies :) some carnage (killing bunches of monsters, not all the time, but sometimes, plus, You have a chance against them), traps (tough careful with them) and careful use of archviles.

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Here's a suggestion: Pick a few maps out of MementoMori WAD. Then, while you're building your own map, try to periodically compare it with the maps which you picked out of MementoMori.

If you make real close and constant comparisons with those maps, you will achieve solid balanced gameplay......Unless you're making a WAD for DOOM1 instead of a WAD for DOOM2, which is my current situation.... Well, IMO anyways.

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Here are a few random thoughts.

  • There should be balance: the player shouldn't have excess health and ammo, but shouldn't be constantly running out.
  • The player should be in danger throughout but should always have a fair chance.
  • Battles should be varied - some tight and tricky; some wide-open; fights with smaller monsters (make them a threat by, e.g., dumping the player in the middle of them) and also ones with the big guys (and there give the player a helping-hand with the layout).
  • Difficulty shouldn't lurch between dead-easy and near-impossible.
  • It should be a challenge to reach the exit (i.e. don't allow the player to ignore everything and run straight to the exit).
  • Battles with plenty of height variation are good - have the player fighting monsters on ledges, platforms, etc.
  • Monsters teleporting in behind the player make a nice occasional surprise (but don't overdo it).
  • Make the player have to work a bit to create infights.
  • Don't give the player too many places where he can camp in total safety. The player should have to do some work to create safe areas (and ideally this should be a dynamic thing - areas don't stay safe for long).
  • Have a few little surprises, such as sequences of telefrags as a way to deal with some annoying monsters (e.g. archies or revenants perched in high-up towers or alcoves).

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thanks for the help guys, i have another question tho, how much harder should one difficulty level be then another (ie: how much harder should hurt me plenty be then ultra-violence and how much harder should hurt me plenty be then hey not to rough) like in my level on hurt me plenty in the beginning you face 3 hell knights but on ultra-violence you face 3 barons of hell instead is that an okay change?

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That sounds sensible in itself.

I'd suggest, though, that you decide overall how you want each difficulty level to play, and work from that concept. For instance, you might want to make skill 2 very easy (suitable for those who would like to do some siteseeing in your maps), skill 3 suitable for typical Doomers looking for a fun challenge, and skill 4 a serious challenge for Doomgods. Or you might make all of them fun for average Doomers, but with greater numbers of monsters (and proportionally more health and ammo) on the higher skill levels.

Actually, one (stupid?) idea I had was to make skill 2 more difficult than skill 4 (i.e. skill 2 is UV and skill 4 is NTR), with the idea that skill 1 is then still an interesting challenge, and skill 5 is fairly playable.

However, the fact is that, no matter what you say in your textfile, people will tend just to play on skill 4 and then complain if it is too difficult (or too easy).

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DarkJedi188 said:

Here's a suggestion: Pick a few maps out of MementoMori WAD. Then, while you're building your own map, try to periodically compare it with the maps which you picked out of MementoMori.

If you make real close and constant comparisons with those maps, you will achieve solid balanced gameplay......Unless you're making a WAD for DOOM1 instead of a WAD for DOOM2, which is my current situation.... Well, IMO anyways.

I just finished that wad on ultra violence. I'm happy that I sat down and played it, it got quite difficult in some spots, but well worth the agony.

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okay, i know this is going off-topic but i don't want to spam the forums with questions so, how is it possible to fix a slimetrail? i have a nasty one in my map and it won't go away i've tried rebuilding the nodes but it's still there.

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This is a hard one, many people have different ideas on good gameplay, they say Hell Revealed this and Alien Vendetta that, but those two wads can get tiresome for some Doomers, HR quickly and AV toward the end levels. Grazza gave great pointers on how to make a map fun, but it all comes down to personal preference.
I just recently played E1 again in DOS mode and I don't know what it is about those levels, but IMO they are unmatched in gameplay. Many of those levels follow the tips Grazza described.
Good advice would be to play many wads, some popular ones and some underground less mainstream ones, which are also good, but they will give you a greater idea of gameplay overall rather than the keyboard-killing mayhem of Hell Revealed.

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Funny: my tips were based in large part on my view of what made HR truly great. It's interesting that you see those same qualities in E1 though.

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Grazza; the difference is probably skill.

And WildWeasel, on what skill level were there too many Arch-Viles?

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i didnt have to many problems with alien vendetta it was a fun but tough megawad and weasel, if you have trouble with av try playing on the lowest skill level, beating it, then beating it again on the next (higher) skill level and just advancing upward.

oh yeah, and going of topic again; does anyone have any good ideas on adding detail to maps? im making a shores of hell style map and im running out of ideas.

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myk said:

Grazza; the difference is probably skill.


Hehe, if you're talking about my skill, I take it you haven't played any of my maps. ;)

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Dron said:

oh yeah, and going of topic again; does anyone have any good ideas on adding detail to maps? im making a shores of hell style map and im running out of ideas.

Now, I am no expert mapper, but by observing various official and add-on maps for both Doom and Quake, I can say that the ceiling can make quite a difference between an area looking undetailed or not. Putting some sort of light fixture, support beams, damaged tiling, skylight, or whatever else you might think of on the ceiling can make an area look more detailed than just having a flat ceiling.

In general studying maps of the type you want to make can be helpful. Some Shores of Hell types of details that come to my mind would be industrial elements like piping, crates, and computer panels, perhaps some areas that look like they've been damaged during a battle, and a little bit of hellish touches like fleshy growth, evil symbols, the freaky faces, blood, etc.

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Use3D said:
Hehe, if you're talking about my skill, I take it you haven't played any of my maps. ;)

I don't think I have, albeit I believe I saw some demos for one... one that Erik (and maybe yourself as well) recorded.

Both are pretty well-balanced examples, in my opinion, although Hell Revealed demands more from the player.

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Secrets should contain an item that is proportionate to the amount of effort to get them. If its just a "wall shifted down" type secret it could contain a few boxes of sheels or something, just to give the player some ammo security. But if you have to walk along a ledge, shoot a switch, jump off, open a door, get on a lift with nanoseconds to spare and kill a baron, it better DAMN WELL contain a BFG or Megasphere

Releasing new monsters in areas where the player has to backtrack is good too, so you dont end up boringly running through empty hallways. Just remember that after all the battles before backtracking, the player will be weakened, so the new monsters should be slightly easier than the first lot

Releasing an arch-vile "behind" the player too which can revive a few dead enemies is a good trick too, but dont over-use it, and make sure the player is 'tooled-up' enough to take it on

Dont just leave enemies out in lower skill levels, use something weaker!, Like DV, which has a hallway full of revenants, but on lower levels they are imps, so you can still have a good fight, but its still easier

Give the player glimpses of cool items in secrets, like E1M3, with the soul sphere you can see through a window, but cant get to

Non-linearity is king, dont FORCE the player down one route, but on the other hand, dont make it so the player is confused and gets lost

Dont use source-port features (slopes, 3D floors) ect just because you know how, make sure they are integrated into the level (like in my own 'out my ass' wad, which is otherwise bad, but it has one 3D floor area which doesnt cheesily scream "OMG A 3D FLOOR!!", its just there, most players probably didnt notice it)

Use revenants sparingly, people are tired of having hundreds of them charging out of the walls every time they pick up a stimpack by now

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deathbringer said:

But if you have to walk along a ledge, shoot a switch, jump off, open a door, get on a lift with nanoseconds to spare and kill a baron, it better DAMN WELL contain a BFG or Megasphere


Heh, I was actually just mapping that in one of my XDoom maps, minus the Baron of Hell part.

I agree with deathbringer, that old "OMG REVNANENTS!!!" trap gets very annoying after a few hundred times...

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a good game play map... to me is a map with:

*Dont start into wide open hall*

running a little, then shoot shoot shoot, turn, shoot, run to cover, shoot shoot, run over a open space, shoot shoot shoot, then run again.

Lots of imps.

See e1m* maps :)Not need to be tech, but follow the same gameplay. :)

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I dunno, it's a lot easier to point out things to avoid. "Good gameplay" means different things to different people.

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avoid teleporter puzzles and masses of teleporters (nightmares of loki anyone?)

though i did actually enjoy nightmares of loki... assuming i didnt play more than about a half hour at a time.

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Godshatter said:

though i did actually enjoy nightmares of loki

are you joking?

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If you want to make your map harder, you can also place the keycards in different places depending on the difficulty level you choose. MAP06 is a good example of this.

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Yeah, that's a pretty underused way to implement difficulty levels. It could allow skipping some jumping puzzle or such on skills 1-3 for example.

Mostly, good gameplay is about variation though, especially when constructing megawads.

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That's great but underused. D64 map01 has this-if You're on the harder skill the blue card is hidden and You have seconds to grab it before the door closes after a switch. Very nice touch.

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I was wondering, would it be too much for in a level, to have the first monster be a cyberdemon? I do have it so he stays on a ledge in front of you and on this button which has the bfg and some cells is a button which makes a stairway to where the cyberdemon was where is this entrance into an area which is supposed to be inside of a giant computer with cacodemons and stuff. would that be too hard? the key idea i also thought of but didn't really use.

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