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jute

Most Detailed Maps

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I'm looking for the most detailed maps available. Things like Gothic2 that sacrifice gameplay for detail (or so I'm told) are fine.

EDIT: I'm aware of this thread, but it's over 2 years old and I'm sure that there are more recent wads that fit this category.

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As always, Gothic99 leads the pack, but that record might be beaten as standards have changed.

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Snarboo said:

As always, Gothic99 leads the pack, but that record might be beaten as standards have changed.

I doubt it. Gothic99 is just excessive pointless detail which I haven't seen anywhere else.

Any other highly detailed map had some sense to put that detail to good use - something these maps are completely missing.

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I haven't played Gothic99 so I can't comment on that.

I could be wrong, but I am under the assumption that a lot of people are of the opinion that detail = vast numbers of sectors. However, detail can also mean good texture use IMO. I personally prefer maps that have a reasonable ammount of sectors and good texture use rather than just zillions of tiny sectors, etc.

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Russell_P said:
I could be wrong, but I am under the assumption that a lot of people are of the opinion that detail = vast numbers of sectors. However, detail can also mean good texture use IMO. I personally prefer maps that have a reasonable ammount of sectors and good texture use rather than just zillions of tiny sectors, etc.

I'm of that opinion; detail is "architectual" while good texture use is not detail. Maybe you can say texture detailing if you go at length to use very specific textures for many different locations and spots. The reason I say this is because since detail is not necessarily good, there's no need to redefine "detail", though it can help if used well. That is, using "detail" as a synonym of "aesthetically pleasing" as some people have seemed to do, is only misleading and confusing. But it's also tied to the fact that there are people without aesthetic tact, that tend to cling to this or that objectivizable device to define what is good.

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Russell_P said:

However, detail can also mean good texture use IMO. I personally prefer maps that have a reasonable ammount of sectors and good texture use rather than just zillions of tiny sectors, etc.

I couldn't agree with you more. Good texture usage goes a lot farther than mass sector usage. IMO I think doing the former takes more skill to do than the latter.

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AgentSpork said:

I couldn't agree with you more. Good texture usage goes a lot farther than mass sector usage. IMO I think doing the former takes more skill to do than the latter.

It depends, I've seen a lot of maps which rely on detailed custom textures as a crutch to cover otherwise bland areas. Those tend to be irritating and usually showcase a lack of skill. As a designer, it appears to me as an attempt to patch over mediocre construction. Not that good texture usage couldn't negate some sectoral overcomplexity either. Obviously the combination of architecture and texturing is optimal, but in most cases, complex architecture shows more skill and simply picking a texture shows a matter of preference. Potential exception for mappers who design their own textures.

It must be over two years ago that I began some work on a super-stupid detail project codenamed the anti-1337. It's probably still quite complex by today's standard. Who knows, I might just finish it sometime.

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Well yeah, good texture usage goes hand in hand with good architectural detail (You can't, for example, take a square box and make it look good using textures alone). Russell_P's maps are a prime example of this, as his maps look stunning architecturally, while also having, (for lack of a better word) brilliant texture usage. That's just one example, however.

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I think detail is a combination of varied textures, good placement of decorative items and pleasing, interesting architecture. The maps that I think really win in terms of detail include:

The Torment and Torture series: They're all quite lovely to look at, especially on GZdoom. They all cover different themes and really show what can be done on Doom without going overkill.

Congestion 1024: Though admittingly cramped, the levels look stunning considering they were done using Vanilla Doom. There's lots of attempts at realism, and a variety of themes (the Hell and Suburban themes being my favorites).

Claustrophobia: A nice zdoom wad with four very different maps, all crammed with detail. There's some really interesting contrasts between the techbase and hell levels.

Suspended in Dusk: A little "odd" looking at times (occassional large open spaces that seem a bit empty, and several "What the hell is that supposed to be?" architectural moments), but overall very impressive. There's a lot of tricks done to make it look like it was done on a fancy source port, when in fact it is a Vanilla wad.

Void: Incredibly trippy and utterly beautiful zdoom map that makes use of quite a few effects.

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myk said:

That is, using "detail" as a synonym of "aesthetically pleasing" as some people have seemed to do, is only misleading and confusing.

Funny, it hadn't even occurred to me that people might be abusing language in this way. But now you mention it, it is clear that a lot of people are doing just that. Weird.

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myk said:
I'm of that opinion; detail is "architectual" while good texture use is not detail.


Never do detailing with several sectors if you can get away with using "just" a good texture.

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I guess it all boils down to a matter of personal preference. There's nothing actually wrong with using loads of sectors. My personal opinion is that the way forward (for me at least) is to strike a balance between sector and texture use and find a way for the two to compliment each other. I think the closest I've got to achieving this is in nullspace junior, where I modified the textures to match up with sectors in a way that (to me) suggested more 'detail' than there actually was. Mind you, it took me bloody ages to build that map and I'm not sure I'd have the patience to apply that technique to a larger map.

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Russell_P said:

Mind you, it took me bloody ages to build that map and I'm not sure I'd have the patience to apply that technique to a larger map.

I imagine getting those stair flats to tile smoothly was a serious chore.

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You're not kidding! I was trying to do that using the smallest number of flats and sectors possible. It took me 3 or 4 evenings of work to get that right, and every second of that was spent cursing Lutrov for not making it a 'Zdoom only' project :)

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Lots of details and sectors do not matter if it fits makes the map look good. I have seen some with way too much stuff that just gets in the way.

But the right details and with just enough sectors will balance out.

Small DM levels I dont think need to much detail becuase you wont have time to really look around.

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Good detailed maps to me are when the author makes good use of the details without making anything useless. The level should also have some good texturing where they all fit well together and don't clash too much. If the map are clean looking with a good solid layout and sizes where textures fit well, thats a good point to me.

I think maps by Agent Spork, Dutch Devil, Russell and probebly a few others (just named authors I remember well) show what I'm talking about.

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Quakis said:

author makes good use of the details without making anything useless.

Detail is always useless. Otherwise it's not detail anymore.

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ellmo said:

Detail is always useless. Otherwise it's not detail anymore.

Nah... wrong! There are ways to detail a room that make sense and ways to detail a room that totally look out of place. Adding structures that support the atmosphere and "realness" of an area like computer panels in a tech central or lava tubes in a armory make sense to me but adding just "sector variations" to a room without thinking about their usage is useless indeed (see Gothic99)

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ellmo said:

Detail is always useless. Otherwise it's not detail anymore.

Rathe nice design over detail in my opinion.
But I agree with you there, brother.

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Tormentor667 said:

There are ways to detail a room that make sense and ways to detail a room that totally look out of place. Adding structures that support the atmosphere and "realness" of an area like computer panels in a tech central or lava tubes in a armory make sense to me but adding just "sector variations" to a room without thinking about their usage is useless indeed

I agree fully. Good design (incorporating appropriate use of detail) improves the experience of playing a map at many levels, including making it easier for the player to navigate around the map, as it makes areas more distinctive and "resonate" better with their experiences.

So why isn't your catchphrase "Needs better design!" rather than "Needs more detail!"? That seems much more in line with the post you have just made.

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Grazza said:

So why isn't your catchphrase "Needs better design!" rather than "Needs more detail!"? That seems much more in line with the post you have just made.

Nice to see that you agree :) Well, when I say "Needs more detail!" I actually mean that it "Needs better Design!". I never placed senseless sector-additions and copy/paste stuff to my previous maps as I always tried to enhance the room and atmosphere itself with that.

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Tormentor667 said:
Well, when I say "Needs more detail!" I actually mean that it "Needs better Design!".

You can't expect people to read one thing when you type another; they won't know what you mean unless you constantly explain yourself, or they will draw the "wrong" conclusions (which aren't wrong in respect to what's been typed, just not what the writer was pretending to express.) This goes beyond opinion; it's language (including what I replied to Russel, though I'm not sure he understood.)

Plus it's not believable; why use "more detail" to say "better design" unless one is trying to imply that more sectors is better?

Actually I'd say ellmo referred to function; detail is rarely a game-oriented addition, and generally goes toward embellishment or enhanced mimicry. It can serve functions though, perhaps as puposeful obstructions, as "details" that serve as defenses or screens, switches, signs, or other such things. But often they are "useless" in that they are principally cosmetic.

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You can't expect people to read one thing when you type another; they won't know what you mean unless you constantly explain yourself, or they will draw the "wrong" conclusions (which aren't wrong in respect to what's been typed, just not what the writer was pretending to express.) This goes beyond opinion; it's language (including what I replied to Russel, though I'm not sure he understood.)

Maybe that just happens if you consider that english isn't my primary language I am used to write and talk in or it's just a error in reasoning by me!

Plus it's not believable; why use "more detail" to say "better design" unless one is trying to imply that more sectors is better?

More Detail causes (if done correctly) automatically Better Design, mapping is just like drawing: You start with a shape and the longer you work, the closer you look at your drawing and the more precise you work on peanuts. Some mappers stop earlier, other mappers stop later until they are pleased with how their room (drawing) came out and this is what differs high-detailed maps from "standard detailed" maps (sure, there is more like imagination and clever usage of effects, thus was just a simple example)

Actually I'd say ellmo referred to function; detail is rarely a game-oriented addition, and generally goes toward embellishment or enhanced mimicry. It can serve functions though, perhaps as puposeful obstructions, as "details" that serve as defenses or screens, switches, signs, or other such things. But often they are "useless" in that they are principally cosmetic.

That's true, because detail doesn't add something to the way a map "plays", but it heavily enhances the experience and replay-value, a player will gain, when he plays a map that has beautiful architecture, a large amoung of additional structures and extras that support the atmosphere.

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Tormentor667 said:

More Detail causes (if done correctly) automatically Better Design, mapping is just like drawing: You start with a shape and the longer you work, the closer you look at your drawing and the more precise you work on peanuts. Some mappers stop earlier, other mappers stop later until they are pleased with how their room (drawing) came out and this is what differs high-detailed maps from "standard detailed" maps (sure, there is more like imagination and clever usage of effects, thus was just a simple example)


You realize how many designers and artists turned in their graves when you made that statement? (and those who are alive probbaly died)

"Simplicity plays a central role in all timeless designs. We appreciate solutions that - all other things being equal - solve problems in a clear, economical, fashion. The most powerful designs are always the result of a continuous process of simplification and refinement." Kevin Mullet and Darrel Sano (1995) - Designing Visual Interfaces.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo Da Vinci.

"...it is simplicity that is difficult to make." Bertholdt Brecht.

"Simplify, simplify, simplify!" Thoreau

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