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deathz0r

The /newstuff Chronicles #305

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Some really excellent maps this time. Nice jobs on the reviews.

I have to agree with deathz0r, if a map says it runs with xyz port or whatever exe. It needs to run with that exe.

Is it just laziness on the part of the mappers? Didn't they even bother testing it in that purported port or exe? I don't see much in the way of gray area here. It either doesn't work, or it does work. It is that simple.

If I had 29 maps to play for review I am not so sure I would just try guess which port was intended if the info was not given. It may be a bit harsh but it is best not to waste time. The mappers are supposed to test their maps, not the reviewer. The issue is incomplete mapping/testing not poor reviewing. Personal accountability on the part of the mapper.

Kristian thanks for the links above I am going to try those as well. I do like his work very much.

Some other good suggestions from others above will help to fill in my evening. Plus the controversy continues in the reviews thread. Ah, life is good.

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Maes said:

Anyone who started mapping after 1997/1998 will probably have never heard of VPO/HOM problems, so "by default" everything made after that date should be considered at least requiring Boom, not vanilla.


That's a pretty stupid assumption, since there's still maps being made for Vanilla Doom. And there's still people joining the Doom community that appreciate the specific nature of the original Exe. There's a reason why people are making ports like Chocolate Doom and Odamex.

It's really not hard to test your own maps in the ports you claim it will run with. And it's not hard to state what ports it will run with in the TXT. So why should it be up to the user to figure it out, when it really is up to the author to make the user want to play his map?

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deathz0r said:

And before Bloodskull whines about the same thing because I have this pre-emptive feeling that he will, fix your goddamn WAD and check that it actually works in PRBoom. I'll give it a proper review when you do that. The same applies for anyone else.


Both of his clearly state 'Boom/limit removing', and neither of them work in anything but zdoom. That's clearly his fault. Anyway, some fun wads this week! GoD was a nice surprise.

Scuba: It might be a slow year so far, but that also means something big might come out... ;D

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kristus said:

That's a pretty stupid assumption, since there's still maps being made for Vanilla Doom. And there's still people joining the Doom community that appreciate the specific nature of the original Exe. There's a reason why people are making ports like Chocolate Doom and Odamex.


Stupid is a bit strong of a word :-)

I think it's an entirely valid assumption, as developing for vanilla requires specific self-constraints, knowledge of engine limits, and adapting a lot of mapping techniques to take limitations into account (e.g. tutti-frutti effect, HOM, VSOs).

Someone who has been "born and raised" in the after-Boom era will surely regard vanilla mapping as a separate kind of mapping, with its own rules. It's not as extreme as e.g. writing a GUI program in raw assembly, but a lot of things that are taken for granted in ports just break vanilla. It's an oldskoolish art.

E.g. nearly everybody can easily place enough detail in one room that will cause HOM due to visible SSEGS limit, and there's no trivial way to check if a map will "break" vanilla doom under all possible viewing points etc. I just don't see why someone who started mapping after that era should be readily aware of vanilla limitations (and many aren't), unless he specificially intends to map for it. In that case, sure, he will look for docs or learn by trial and error.

Remember.. "Boom: the way Doom was meant to be".

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Maes said:
Someone who has been "born and raised" in the after-Boom era will surely regard vanilla mapping as a separate kind of mapping, with its own rules.

Not surely, and the newbs or specific engine fans that are like that shouldn't be dictating what a text file should say.

Remember.. "Boom: the way Doom was meant to be".

That's just a promotional tagline. Boom isn't Doom, and DOOM was just "meant to be" what it was when released (or last updated).

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I map for Doom, not for Boom and above (especially ZDoom and Eternity), because I'm not familiarized with all those specials and map features, and I want something simple, especially close in mechanics, with the original IWADS.

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Maes said:

Remember.. "Boom: the way Doom was meant to be".



Sounds as bullshitty as:

"THE MOST ADVANCED DOOM/HERETIC/HEXEN/STRIFE SOURCE PORT AROUND!"

(and no, it's not from ZDoom! ;) )

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It's not a matter of "dictating" anything, it's just matter of making things simpler.

If a port allows you to map using only standard doom features, but without having to mentally count linedefs/visible sectors in order to ensure your map won't crash the engine, then that's an improvement, and that's really "Doom the way it was meant to be".

Some say this would narrow it down to Boom, others to Doom 2+, the fact remains that just mapping by using ONLY vanilla features/tags/linedefs doesn't mean it's actually vanilla compatible.

In fact, a lot of old "vanilla doom" maps which had unfixable HOM or VPOs would run just fine on a limit removing port, so ironically, they would not be 100% "vanilla compatible" at the time they were mapped.

If you make your "vanilla doom" maps by mentally counting linedefs, sectors etc. and playtesting them to ensure there are no/only minor HOMs and no VOPs (which are fatal) then and only then it's a true vanilla doom map that can run on doom2.exe. Limiting youself just to vanilla doom tags/monsters/etc. is not enough.

Given the times and the mapping tools available, true vanilla mapping is something highly specific, I repeat.

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monlth06 seems to have problems concerning it's secrets. At least one of them, the backpack secret, requires freelook, and the BFG secret seems to be designed with it in mind as well, but the ssg's spread is enough to hit the switch; the supercharge secret can't be exited because the teleport linedef is broken.

Still one of the best maps I've played in a long time.

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Since the text file of Monolith06 clearly states:

May Not Run With... : Only tested with zdoom.



I would take this as a clear indicator that other ports are not guaranteed to work and sdhould not be considered minimum requirement to play it.


Great map, btw, like the entire series. It's only when you play something like this that you notice how long it has been to play a map with such a classic feel and such high quality.

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Cool my map is up there. I emailed the person that cares for the DOOM FTP asking him if he would delete the map because I found a few bugs, but I guess he didn't get it in time.

I'm not sure if people know this, but I was messing with Doom Builder for about an hour or two before I started making the map.

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Maes said:
It's not a matter of "dictating" anything, it's just matter of making things simpler.

Assuming everyone thinks VPOs and such are irrelevant or a clique thing is not making things simpler, it simply creates confusion under certain circumstances, such as to people who aren't aware of extended engines (these files can be distributed anywhere and aren't used only by Doomworld readers), and those specifically using limited engines (because they want to).

If a port allows you to map using only standard doom features, but without having to mentally count linedefs/visible sectors in order to ensure your map won't crash the engine, then that's an improvement, and that's really "Doom the way it was meant to be".

Boom did much more than lift the limits. You can't argue Boom's added features (which sometimes alter the core physics or mechanics) "were meant to be" except as an opinion, because the implementation and direction of expanded features can go in many directions, the different existing engines being a testament. None of those, which are cool stuff that people like, are "meant to bes", but extensions of the game according to different subjective preferences.

just mapping by using ONLY vanilla features/tags/linedefs doesn't mean it's actually vanilla compatible.

Funny how I was the one who mentioned this as a reply to you a few posts above. The word "vanilla" isn't specifc just like "Doom engine" doesn't mean something specific without a context (the engine that comes with DOOM, any engine that runs DOOM, any engine based on the Doom source, a specific engine that runs DOOM, and so on). "Limitless" already means "vanilla but without limits". Although it isn't unwise to specify how limitless, either, since, for example, WinDoom, Doom+, Boom, PrBoom, and ZDoom all provide different (and generally respectively increasing) levels of "limitlessness".

Given the times and the mapping tools available, true vanilla mapping is something highly specific, I repeat.

That few of the authors currently uploading to idgames are bothering with absolute v1.9 limits is irrelevant, because a text file's main purpose is to inform the player, who will for different reasons use various engines and needs consistent information in order to judge an addon.

Graf Zahl said:
I would take this as a clear indicator that other ports are not guaranteed to work and sdhould not be considered minimum requirement to play it.

Right. In some senses or cases noting the specific engine used for testing can be more concrete than if a generic statement such as "limitless" or "Boom compatible" is made. Both combined generally being quite helpful.

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Oh joy, complaints about reviews again.

Maes said:

We could split hairs here and start arguing that ...<blah blah blah>...

However if I was doing nc reviews, ...<blah blah blah>...

then I'd assume ...<blah blah blah>...

You can split hairs here and start arguing, but you're not the one doing the reviews. If you were ever to volunteer, by all means feel free to do it the way you've described above or any other way you like. Until then, it's deathz0r's show. He puts the work in, lazy mappers don't.

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Maes does bring up a question I've had... aren't there some commercial maps in Doom 2 and Final Doom that will VPO? Many Doom 2 maps are set up almost knowing that too many segs will kill the engine... why then did id leave it in the engine and not fix it? It almost seems clear that id knew about the Visplane error and didn't do anything about it. If anything should claim the title "the way Doom was meant to be" it would seem to be Doom2+

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Damn, Chopkinsca, your Templed map was hot. Literally, I was playing it for about 30 minutes, then I got BSoD and when I booted up I opened up SpeedFan and my computer was running at 80 Celsius.

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Scuba Steve said:

Maes does bring up a question I've had... aren't there some commercial maps in Doom 2 and Final Doom that will VPO? Many Doom 2 maps are set up almost knowing that too many segs will kill the engine... why then did id leave it in the engine and not fix it? It almost seems clear that id knew about the Visplane error and didn't do anything about it. If anything should claim the title "the way Doom was meant to be" it would seem to be Doom2+


Of course they knew about it, how could they not? They even raised some of the limits from the first version to 1.666.
Carmack's engines have always had built in limits to them. Some are harder to get rid of than others. Doom3 for instance got a limit of 3000 entities in each map. These aren't there by mistake. They're most likely there because at the time of writing the engine, there's no call for more.

As for the commerical maps keeping within the bounds of the engine instead of amping it. That's a design decision. I remember reading an article by Romero about a part of a Quake map he had made that were never used for the game. He released it to the public and explained that they had a limit to stay within for each maps size, and that was not to be toiled with and as such this large cave part of the map had to go.

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dethtoll said:
what is doom2+?

A backwards engineered hack of the DOS executable that raises Doom's internal limits as much as possible without changing the fundamental behavior of the game. You can find it on the PrBoom+ page (developed by the same coder).

kristus said:
I remember reading an article by Romero about a part of a Quake map he had made that were never used for the game. He released it to the public and explained that they had a limit to stay within for each maps size, and that was not to be toiled with and as such this large cave part of the map had to go.

In the description of a track inspired by it (Into Sandy's City), Bobby Prince also explained that Petersen's Downtown was changed, probably for similar reasons.

Early versions of DOOM had more obvious issues, such as visual glitches in E1M8. It's probably possible to set off VPOs in a couple of places in DOOM II using v1.9, but it is very rare (I don't recall getting any, personally).

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Yeah those engine limitation weren't bugs, remember the kind of target architecture Doom was made to run on..Besides, as long as the actual game functioned, anything outside that is a luxury really.

myk said:

Early versions of DOOM had more obvious issues, such as visual glitches in E1M8. It's probably possible to set off VPOs in a couple of places in DOOM II using v1.9, but it is very rare (I don't recall getting any, personally).


I've not seen any in Doom2 but You can get a non-crashing VPO in e4m9 consistently.

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Use3D said:
I've not seen any in Doom2

I think I recall someone showing they found one in level 14, at some odd location.

but You can get a non-crashing VPO in e4m9 consistently.

What does it do? A VPO normally terminates the game. If you get a HOM, it's not a VPO, but too many lines in sight.

TNT wad has an issue in one of the later levels where it is not too hard to get a plats overflow (too many active lifts). But Final DOOM is only half official (a community project made for id to publish).

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Anyway, the point in case remains: it's ridiculous to expect any given map made today with liberal sector/linedef laying to be able to run in doom2.exe like deathz0r did.

It is already hard to ensure error and glitch free gameplay when specifically mapping for vanilla doom [CaptainObvious]which in this context means id's doom v1.9[/CaptainObvious], let alone when one maps liberally or doesn't take doom limitations into account at all.

Common sense "dictates" using the very least Boom, not for the Boom-specific features, but at least for removing as many hardcoded engine limits as possible.

Anyway, assuming doom.exe or doom2.exe as the "intended source port" when not otherwise specified, shouldn't be taken for granted anymore. Perhaps it's not right, perhaps it's not proper and correct, but it's a "de facto" situation.

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myk said:

What does it do? A VPO normally terminates the game. If you get a HOM, it's not a VPO, but too many lines in sight.


That's it, too many lines, the distance goes HOM but the game doesn't crash.

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Use3D said:

That's it, too many lines, the distance goes HOM but the game doesn't crash.


On a DW thread it was explained that the actual displayable SSEGS are limited to about 255, which is hard to translate to mapping linedefs but if you assume that each linedef gets split, then you can have about 128 single sided or 64 double sided linedefs in view ( or a combination of the above).

If you are into insane detail, it's possible to make even the interior of a small room undisplayable. Extra SSEGS are just not drawn, and you get HOM.

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I got PSX Doom to VPO on Suburbs by triggering the monster teleport and trying to get them into an infight with all the imps near the exit on the hardest difficulty, and using god mode. Perhaps a Dosbox owner could give that a go in 1.9 and see if it's possible

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In Genesis of Descent, there is a broken part in there. When I get to the baron room with the cacodemon that goes dark, I kill everything in the room and yet no doors open, no switches are available, and there is nothing left to indicate where I'm supposed to go. Can't really have a Cacoward if the wad is broken.

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Maes said:

Anyway, the point in case remains: it's ridiculous to expect any given map made today with liberal sector/linedef laying to be able to run in doom2.exe like deathz0r did.


That's not what is expected. What is expected is that the TXT file is telling the user what version of Doom it's made to run with. That's not hard, it's not ridiculous, it's not time consuming. It is however reasonable in this day and age of a plethora of different version of Doom that work remarkably different. And "Vanilla" Doom is is one of them, and THAT is a fact. If nothing is stated, or as in this particular case that has been highlighted with Wiles map where it explicitly states that it should work with virtually anything, then it should be working with Vanilla Doom. (and Wiles is an old schooler, that DO know the limits of Doom2.exe and the differences of Doom ports and he should know this).
And you can't escape the fact that people are still making maps for Vanilla Doom, however small that number of people are. Just in this /newstuff there's actually 3 wads that DO run with Doom2.exe.

A user shouldn't have to look at the map and then figure out if it's reasonable that it should work in said port or not. The TXT file should include it, and if it doesn't. Then obviously Deathy doesn't review it. If you want to do it different by all means do that.

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In response to b00mb0dy. You're playing it on easy. The wad was never tested on easy and and I found out from someone that the script breaks. Didn't think it was worth re-uploading. Playing it on easy kind of ruins the experience anyway.

Fixed on my site anyway if you insist though:

http://hobomaster.doomwadstation.com/god_efix.zip

And I can't beleive 90% of this thread is bitching about this port bullshit. Deathz0r wants to skip those wads because he beleives they weren't clear enough in their txts. Don't agree with it? Too bad. Deal with it.

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Maes said:
Anyway, the point in case remains:

The only thing that remains is that you keep repeating yourself over and over adding little or nothing substantial, ignoring the input that shows why your point doesn't remain.

Throwing your magic words back at you, what's "de facto" is that the lines "advanced port required", "may not run with", and "tested with" are in the text file template because they are helpful, and to have transparent and useful documentation, they need to be used appropriately, and not in a halfassed (be it a Cyberdemon's or whatever) manner.

A reviewer doesn't follow crude common sense, but uses his intelligence to point out what's good or bad about the object being reviewed, including the documentation, as far as it's serving its function of informing the user on how the oject is used.

kristus said:
It is however reasonable in this day and age of a plethora of different version of Doom that work remarkably different.

Indeed, the only guarantee that a level won't be buggy under an engine, is it it was tested with it (or a very stong equivalent), and the player only knows this if he's informed.

and Wiles is an old schooler, that DO know the limits of Doom2.exe and the differences of Doom ports and he should know this

I wonder; perhaps he has not been reading up on DOOM developments too much and things like Chocolate Doom escape him, and maybe he thought now everyone uses ZDoom or such. I don't think he was ever too involved in the community, at least not in the way we are, where we constantly chat at the forums, IRC, and whatnot, and might not be as keen as some of us on how subtleties may affect the performance of wads. Perhaps I will email him to see what he thinks about some input (maybe Belial already sent some, since he found some glitches) or about offering his wads for testing before uploading them. It's often worthwhile to support an excellent mapper in that way. On the other hand, he did state what it was tested with so may have an idea that there may be issues. What I mean is, he may be interested in hearing reports.

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