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Forestknight25

Where to start making total conversions?

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I ultimately want to create a total conversion with all-new textures, sounds, MIDIs, weapons, enemies and the DOOM face at the bottom of the screen. Where do I start, and can I use DOOM Builder alone to do such a project?

I understand I should start out making simple custom maps before I get into something as complex as a total conversion, but I'm just wanting some pointers in the right direction.

thanks,

-ForestKnight

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Forestknight25 said:

and the DOOM face at the bottom of the screen.

Yeah, because that's the most important part of a TC, of course!

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the start of the TC lies within the editing utilities of Doom Builder, Slumped, XWE, paintshop or something like that if you want, all that kind of stuff. look in the utilities section of doomworld.

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yomoneyboat said:

Yeah, because that's the most important part of a TC, of course!


It is you non-hud user.

For starters, this is kinda the most boring part of the project, but if you want to use all new textures in your maps, your gonna need your textures first. I suggest you make them yourself from scratch, or get help from someone who can, or you can ask a buddy if you could borrow his textures.

Doombuilder is a mapmaking only utility, something like XWE is more of a universal wad editor, it handles just about any part of a wad. (But Doombuilder is far easier to make maps with).

The order of operations I'd reccomend is:

Rough Draft - Well you gotta know what your making. If your gonna make a TC, you must be making something that doesn't look much like doom, so you can draw pictures, make test maps, things like that. Make sure you have a clear idea of where you are going with this.

Motivation - Decide whether or not you really are up for this.

Organize - You might need some people to help you, since one-man TC's very often end in failed completions. So make sure you set up your own direction, such as a TO-DO list. Show off the things you have done so far and what the project is supposed to be about. Maybe you'll round up a crew who's interested.

Textures - Like I said, you can't make maps with all new textures unless you got the textures to accompany it, so work on a texture resource to share with your buddies.

Maps - I dunno how to go into further detail, just make a bunch of maps, they dont have to be all 32 to start working on other things.

Enemies - If you're talking sprite replacements, then you can save this for later, but if you're talking dehacked or decorate monsters, you'll have to do this during or after mapping.

Weapons - Sprite replacements can wait till later, but if they are dehacked/decorate weapons, you should make during mapping. (so that you can balance out the ammo usage and the monsters you have to kill with it.

GFX, Sounds, Music - that can wait till the end as they hardly effect the compatibility and playability of the TC.

Advertise - Tell everyone what you did! Credit the people who helped, let people try it.

That's the way I see it in terms of TC making.

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One of the best pages I have seen on making a TC is The Making of Harmony by Thomas van der Velden.

Note that before taking on such an ambitious project, tv first made more modest maps and then a very impressive megawad, TVR.

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Thanks for the replies guys! I am fully up to making my own textures, graphics, etc.

I also know a really good spriter who can make anything I may not be able to make.

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Hey! You remind me of myself, coming into Doomworld, wondering how to put together my own TC, even using the same "pickle hammer" avatar haha...

Anyway, another important point for a TC is to choose the sourceport you're going to develop it for. Source ports are the enhanced/modified versions of the original doom engine. Some are geared toward enhancing the regular doom experience, others toward facilitating modding with lots of features and ease of use. Here's a pretty good list.

ZDoom is probably the source port "industry standard" if there even is such a thing around here! Depending on the goals of your TC, selecting a source port to develop for can be very important. I myself use EDGE, a sourceport that supports a lot of very nifty map, weapon, enemy and scripting features, as well as hi-res graphic work, and sports what is in my opinion the most user-friendly editing mechanism ever, DDF (Doom Definition File).

Of course, if you find after a bit of work you've chosen the wrong one, as long as you haven't done TONS of work, making the switch is usually pretty easy especially if you're only using low-level/Doom-quality resources (sprites, sounds, maps, music, textures) to build it.

Let us know how things go! And a WARNING - if you have a crazy-good TC idea, but you have no work done for it yet, and you're looking for help, STOP. You need to do some work yourself and produce something that looks worth playing, or at least looks like it has potential. Not only are people more likely to help you, but they're more likely to follow your project, publicize, encourage you, and most importantly PLAY it when it's done! On the flipside, you could get pretty harshly criticized/mocked on here... haha Doomworld members are SOOO CRUEL.

Good luck and all that.

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Nick Perrin said:

Let us know how things go! And a WARNING - if you have a crazy-good TC idea, but you have no work done for it yet, and you're looking for help, STOP. You need to do some work yourself and produce something that looks worth playing, or at least looks like it has potential. Not only are people more likely to help you, but they're more likely to follow your project, publicize, encourage you, and most importantly PLAY it when it's done! On the flipside, you could get pretty harshly criticized/mocked on here... haha Doomworld members are SOOO CRUEL.

DOOMWorld members? Cruel? Lol except for one guy who told me to rtfm (which I did by the way,) these guys have been some of the most helpful forum members around.

Anyway, I'm willing to do most of the work myself, in fact I plan to. What I need is basically a program that can edit/import textures/flats, import graphics and define custom weapons, enemies (though for now I'm just going to change the graphics for existing enemies,) HUD and game messages, and use custom music. Any modding software or programs you know of that can do all of the above? By the way, are any formats other than MIDI supported? like possibly MOD tracker files?

Thanks for the information on source ports...I'll read up on that next. I have ZDOOM by the way also. Also, in case you're wiling to be contacted by me on several occasions (I'll try not to ask stupid and/or obvious questions haha,) do you have an AIM or other IM name?

Thanks a bunch dude.

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Forestknight25 said:

DOOMWorld members? Cruel? Lol except for one guy who told me to rtfm (which I did by the way,) these guys have been some of the most helpful forum members around.

Oh, it changes quickly. Trust me.

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Forestknight25 said:

Also, in case you're wiling to be contacted by me on several occasions (I'll try not to ask stupid and/or obvious questions haha,) do you have an AIM or other IM name?


Hey no problem, glad I could be of service. Yup you can reach me through MSN messenger at:
send(underscore)here22(at)hotmail(dot)com

That's the email I use primarily for MSN, for sending me stuff I'll give you a different email.

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Just my 2 cents here. And since I'm using euro's, it's actually worth more :P

Before you even start thinking about making a TC, you need to have hands-on experience with Doom editing and its tools. At the very least you should be an experienced level author. However good you may be at other aspects of modding (eg. graphics etc), chances that somebody will make levels for you are virtually zero, nada, nil. If you can't do levels, or can't do it well, you're better off helping other people with their TC efforts.

Think about what you can do yourself. Making levels should be a given. If you want custom graphics, sprites, etc, you need to be able to do them yourself, or be able to borrow them (with author's permission) from other sources. Again: not much chance that people will make stuff for you.

In fact, do not rely on other people to do stuff for you, at all. Work with the stuff you have, not the stuff you wish you had.

The skills and the resources at your deposal are the boundaries within you can make your TC. Do not try to do stuff that's outside your scope.

If you don't have enough modding experience, just stop here. Go and make a few single maps, release them, read the feedback and get better.

Now the TC concept yourself. What do you want to do, within the scope you've set yourself above? What's your TC about? What is the theming of your TC... eg. spaceship, jungle, urban? Your resources and the type of maps you're going to make should follow this concept. And remember to keep the story, as such, simple and uncomplicated. Stay focussed on your concept. Sure you will have other ideas for levels that don't follow your TC concept... just put them on hold for another project. Don't followup castle levels with spaceships levels, for example. Write stuff down on how level progression and such should be, to help you with that.

Be realistic about the size/scope of your TC. Making 32 levels will take a loooooong time (years, even), and do you even have enough inspiration to fill all those levels with interesting stuff? Set yourself a decent but realistic limit. And remember, that even then it will take A WHOLE LOT of your free time.

Once you know what you want with your TC... meaning how it should look, what features you want it to have, etc.... only then should you look around and see what source port fits your TC the best. Pick the one that's still supported (meaning: being actively maintained) and that does the job best but with the least amount of other unneeded features.

Best make yourself a few concepts (map layouts, descriptions, etc), so you can stay focused on your TC goals and not get sidetracked into other stuff.

While making your TC (levels, resources), be your own critic. Eg. would you like this particular level if it wasn't you but somebody else who made this, and you're just playing it? Do NOT be afraid to scrap things, or to change things around if you feel it's not working. If you suspect it's not working, you can bet other people will feel the same way too. Play other people's work, see how they are doing stuff, see if you can hold your own compared to them or if you need to step up the quality of your work.

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Mordeth said:

Just my 2 cents here......etc...


Good post. I think it's time we put together a "guide to making TCs" or something. Or not. I would most definitely contribute to the writing of it, though.

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I have done TC's of a Half Life map and a Halo map, and from personal experience the maps come together by first having a strong connection to the map being converted in that you like it enough to map it, and then just getting a feel and setting up measurements for how far things have to be. Texture and sprites all come after the hardware of the map has been put in place.

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