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hardcore_gamer

Why is Doom2's level design so shitty compared to The Ultimate Doom?

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myk said:

Let's see whether somebody finally manages to say something sustainably reasonable about why "DOOM level design is awesome" and "DOOM II level design sucks" past the usual weak generalizations and nostalgic bullshit.


^^^^^

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myk said:

Let's see whether somebody finally manages to say something sustainably reasonable about why "DOOM level design is awesome" and "DOOM II level design sucks" past the usual weak generalizations and nostalgic bullshit.


How about "DOOM level design is awesome" and "Doom II level design is awesome"?

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Having played through Doom II first, I still have a preference for that game. I really don't think the level design is shitty a lot of the time.

Some of my favorite levels of all time are in that game, (Map 01, Map04, Map14, Map 29, etc.). I guess one could say it was more inconsistent, but I don't really mind. As a matter of fact, the one thing I can say about Doom that I prefer is the music. I'll go ahead and say that Doom II had gameplay if only for the new monsters. Simply put, some of it wouldn't worked with the more cramped spaces of E1 or E2. Try shoving arachnotrons in some of those small spaces. They'll either be 0% dangerous because of a near by corner or 100% dangerous because they're blocking a path. Doom II wasn't going to be the same game in the first place.

It's like someone said before... they're both pretty damn awesome.

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I played Doom2 first before I got Ultimate Doom on my i486 and I have to say I like the Doom2 maps, MAP28 is laughably easy and two or three invulnerability spheres is too many, but the design of MAP18 and MAP02 is quite good, but MAP29 of Plutonia is a better MAP15 IMO.

Why doesn't someone make a megawad with replacements for the Doom2 maps that are up to date and actually look like a industrial zone or a Entryway. Brad Spencer was working on something like this years ago, I made two maps for it, but the people working on it dropped out. This would be cool. And the TNT retexturing was not with all the best textures but the parked truck outside one map was cool.

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neubejiita said:

Why doesn't someone make a megawad with replacements for the Doom2 maps that are up to date and actually look like

Hassle Alexander S to finish Remain.

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myk said:

the places depicted aren't realistic, instead they set a mood.


Precisely.


Doom2 was also quite a technical step up from Doom, so it is fair to say that nothing like Doom2 had ever been done before.

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Kyka said:

Doom2 was also quite a technical step up from Doom.



I always thought it was technically the same. Aside from adding new monsters (which was, except for the Arch Vile just new graphics and some trivial coding) there was no real change. Much of the same, actually - only looking different. And of course missing what makes E1 special.

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Graf Zahl said:

I always thought it was technically the same. Aside from adding new monsters (which was, except for the Arch Vile just new graphics and some trivial coding) there was no real change. Much of the same, actually - only looking different. And of course missing what makes E1 special.

Yeah, I somewhat feel like by modern standards Doom 2 would have more likely been considered an expansion pack rather than a sequel.

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Sorry for going off topic here. But in a way I think this is relevant to Doom2's level design.

FrozenNemesis said:

Sorry, while certainly there is some abstract art that is well done, I can't begin to believe that all of it has incredible meaning allowing it to be 2yo quality. Case in point...


I'm sorry but, you proved my point. To begin with a 2yo wouldn't paint anything even remotely like that. They wouldn't color the entire canvas, and even if they did. They wouldn't have those nuances in the blue paint. The orange wouldn't be tuned to complement the blue and the black ink spots are weights that ties the composition down.
Second. You completely missed the mark. Abstract art doesn't necessarily have any deeper meaning. A story can be told. But usually it's all about creating impressions and coloration. The viewer/audience is free to make their own point and meaning in the work. Something that makes it so much more interesting. And the same applies to Doom 2's level design.

Also, most abstract art really needs to be seen in the real world with the right lighting applied for them to make their full impression. Seeing it on a computer monitor really takes away from the experience.

---

I don't know what Sandy himself thought when he was making his maps but I don't think he had any classic art training. But I find him something of a natural talent at creating abstract scenery.

I find his maps, very special.

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I like Sandy's maps just as much as the others. Each mapmaker had some I liked and others I disliked. Sandy actually made my favorite Doom 2 maps (The Courtyard and The Chasm).

That said, I can't get into Doom 2 as easily as I could Doom. Maybe it's just that I played Doom first on XBLA and had no other levels to play but the id ones.

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kristus said:

I'm sorry but, you proved my point. To begin with a 2yo wouldn't paint anything even remotely like that. They wouldn't color the entire canvas, and even if they did. They wouldn't have those nuances in the blue paint. The orange wouldn't be tuned to complement the blue and the black ink spots are weights that ties the composition down.
Second. You completely missed the mark. Abstract art doesn't necessarily have any deeper meaning. A story can be told. But usually it's all about creating impressions and coloration. The viewer/audience is free to make their own point and meaning in the work. Something that makes it so much more interesting. And the same applies to Doom 2's level design.

Also, most abstract art really needs to be seen in the real world with the right lighting applied for them to make their full impression. Seeing it on a computer monitor really takes away from the experience.

Yeah, that copy of the picture really isn't that good. This painting is hanging on the wall on the bottom floor of our Electrical Engineering building, which is why I picked it specifically (because I've actually seen it in person). I'll give you that perhaps a 2yo couldn't do quite this, with the circles having very crisp edges and the fact that object placement doesn't seem entirely random. But I really can't see how this could be considered anything better than something to hang on the fridge. A red (it's actually a clear [255, 0, 0] red) line with some black dots to the right of it. Everything in the actual painting is a completely solid color, not textured like that picture makes it appear, and there are no words on it.

I was under the impression that abstract art was supposed to have some kind of meaning, not merely an "atmospheric" effect. In that case it makes more sense to me. Still though, I have a hard time getting excited about it. (Though I would like to, I get the impression that a correct understanding of abstract art would greatly complement level design skills for any game.)

-----

And to tie all of this back to the topic, I do agree that Doom 2 provided more of an atmosphere than Doom 1 did, and the new monsters certainly wouldn't have worked in the old style design. I still think though that the Doom levels, while more generic, provided better gameplay than the "strafe the boxes" style of Doom 2.

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Ragnor said:

Hey Kyka, still have plans to work on that Doom 2 tribute? :p


At the moment, I am helping to finish up the Claustrophobia Overflow project. Once that is done (which hopefully wont be too far away,) then I will post a thread about this and see what sort of response we get.

'Course whether I personally head up the project remains to be seen. Tbh, I think there are people far more experienced and better qualified to manage a project like this than I am. You need someone like an Esselfortium or a Mechadon or a Green Herring for this.

Things like fonts/color pallettes/titlepics etc etc I simply don't know how to do. And you really need someone who is pretty familiar with modding these things I think.

But regardless, once the Claus overflow is done, I will post a thread and see what response we get. If all the right people jump in, we will see it through.

Thanks for the interest tho. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it, just had to postpone it till the Overflow is done. I also have to speak to Torn, coz he had a similar idea that he mentioned in that ideas thread.

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Episode 1 and 4 are the only truly good episodes in The Ultimate Doom. Episode 2 and 3 are filled to the brim with hit or miss maps that range from decent to terrible. Doom 2 is also pretty hit or miss in terms of level quality. The first 10 or so maps are of good quality, and then there's some decent maps mixed together with some pretty awful maps throughout the rest.

The two games are both very flawed when it comes down to consistency in level design, and I think people who disagree are just being overly nostalgic. I love abstract level design as much as the next guy, but unfortunately a lot of the levels in both of these games just aren't that fun to play or explore.

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esselfortium said:

Yeah, I somewhat feel like by modern standards Doom 2 would have more likely been considered an expansion pack rather than a sequel.

An expansion pack but a standalone pack. But it's remarkable how the programmers did minimal work and managed to gross so much. Brand FTW.

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AgentSpork said:
I love abstract level design as much as the next guy, but unfortunately a lot of the levels in both of these games just aren't that fun to play or explore.

The exploration phase is way gone, for sure :p

That said, I find them fun to this day, in various ways, at different levels. A map doesn't have to be exceptional in every way to provide fun times, and keep in mind that an acquired taste is not nostalgia. You're calling it that because you can't believe others (still) like those old levels.

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Kyka said:

Things like fonts/color pallettes/titlepics etc etc I simply don't know how to do.

I personally don't see how the former two are necessary, especially for a "tribute" mod. The titlepic makes more sense.

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Gez said:

I personally don't see how the former two are necessary, especially for a "tribute" mod. The titlepic makes more sense.


I gotta say Gez, I totally agree with you on this. I wouldn't touch the color palette or the font for this mapset. Heh, I was more saying those things as a means of pointing out that there is a lot I don't know. o_0

An awful lot.

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Maybe the unexpected (?) success with the first part caused too much pressure or stage fright, taking away from creativity and freshness. You see that alot in music: some band lands a big hit or album, and for the rest of their career they struggle to recapture that "magic" moment, because the vibe is just gone.

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Creaphis said:

How about "DOOM level design is awesome" and "Doom II level design is awesome"?


Like i said, there are some levels in Doom 2 that i really like but there are also a good number of levels i really hated. I don't hate the whole of Doom 2.

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Realism =/= Good gameplay.

I commend DooM II for being unrealistic, as realism is essentially the cancer killing videogames.

And theres also the small fact that no building in DooM/DooM II CAN be realistic, due to the limitations of the 2.5D engine.

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Mr. Freeze said:

Realism =/= Good gameplay.

I commend DooM II for being unrealistic, as realism is essentially the cancer killing videogames.

And theres also the small fact that no building in DooM/DooM II CAN be realistic, due to the limitations of the 2.5D engine.


Indeed. But the difference between the level design in Doom 1 and 2 is that in Doom 1 a tech base actually resembled a tech base while most of the levels in Doom 2 resembled nothing at all. They were still fun to play, but that's not my point.

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Mr. Freeze said:

as realism is essentially the cancer killing videogames.

I don't see why people say this then complain that Doomguy can't hold a flashlight and a gun at the same time in Doom 3.

Realism doesn't kill video games. Putting realism in front of fun does.

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I love Doom1, but I adore Doom2.
I can't believe how bad an imagination you'd have to be to not see what a lot of the Doom2 maps are supposed to be. The names of the levels even help you along the way. Sure, it's somewhat abstract, but it's not that hard to fill in the gaps with your imagination. Sandy Petersen made some of the best levels, in my opinion.

DuckReconMajor
I don't see why people say this then complain that Doomguy can't hold a flashlight and a gun at the same time in Doom 3.

Realism doesn't kill video games. Putting realism in front of fun does.


I agree. That was no-doubt a game decision. On topic, I think Doom3 came *kinda* close to Doom1 E1. It surely has more in common with E1's suspense than Doom2's raw action and atmosphere. What everybody seemed to want out of Doom3 was a Doom2 clone, but what they got was a E1 interpretation.

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I think the level design in the first part of DooMII is boring because of innapropriate design and texturing for something earth-city like levels also some music are really boring which doesn't help. But there is some good ideas.

Everything done by Romero is good and some by Sandy Peterson
are good too.

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For the lack of a better word, I'd call Doom II's levels theme "out of place": it surely isn't realistic (which doesn't really matter, it's no less "realistic" than the first part), but it's not the kind of eerie, "outwordly" bizarre setting you'd expect from a haunted and infested planet or place.

They are...well....just an abstract something. Not even an abstract exaggeration or a symbolic, warped representation of earth. They look like...well....nothing in particular.

Once again, I wonder wtf are all these wood decorations needed for. They make the parts of the levels that use them look like ships or wooden shacks, without however having a recognizable, identifiable theme, nor any particular atmosphere. Same goes for all those stone textures, which look like they'd belong better in a castle (and in fact, there are many castle-themed PWADs for DOOM II, more than for DOOM I).

I guess some background on the development of DOOM II would be needed though, as the setting is mixed and varied. It surely looks much less daemonic than Doom I, and more "earthly", but at what time? What place? Is it really earth, or something more subtle? A dream world perhaps, where every sign of sanity and rationality is cancelled? Is it earth + hell together canceling each other? (after a certain point, it would seem so).

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Maes said:

For the lack of a better word, I'd call Doom II's levels theme "out of place": it surely isn't realistic (which doesn't really matter, it's no less "realistic" than the first part), but it's not the kind of eerie, "outwordly" bizarre setting you'd expect from a haunted and infested planet or place.

It's very gimmicky. There are levels that could correspond to places (like the Inmost Dens, stylistically one of my favorites from Doom 2), but there are many levels that are not places -- they are Doom levels. Stuff like Tricks & Traps. Okay, it's not too bad as far as the gameplay is concerned, but there's nothing else. No continuity, no atmosphere, no sense of progression in a story...

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