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CEOofAEP

I used to be hip in 98. What happened? [editing]

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Greetings... I... haven't been around this forum in 6 years, I think O_o;

Okay... this is not supposed to be a "woe is me" post... I'm posting in "Doom Editing", after all... let's try to stay on topic **

Here's the deal:

I was *really* into editing Doom Levels back in the day (just the levels, some very minor texture replacements, like a sky that would work when tiled vertically) and even got a whole episode (E1 of the original Doom) up and running... around 1998 or so.

Problem is- and always was- that I am a bit too much of a perfectionist- I spent hours and hours (and hours and hours...) on tweaking and aligning textures, setting up items for all difficulty settings, including co-op and DM, etc. -so I was never really satisfied -and was still tweaking stuff in 2003 without an actual "release to the public" v_v;

This *does* sound like a pity post, doesn't it.. ^^;

The thing is- I want to pick up editing again, got a whole bunch of ideas on how to make new levels- and make the existing ones fun(ner? ^^) to play... so I can actually finally release them... but!

Where do I start?

I used to work with DEU 5.2 GCC and, in the end, BSP 5.1 (BSP 2.3X, before that)... but all my fancy DOS-days-tools are kind of... not cooperating so much with my current-day Win XP machine =(

I looked around a bit and am currently trying out Doom Builder 2.0 which looks nifty...

---
I just realized that there's a sticky post about running doom on XP so I'll cut the rest but I'd still like to know what editors you guys prefer to use and what ports you prefer the most so I can look into expanding my WADs, once I actually have them in a state which I find presentable ^^;

Also, anyone remembering me? hehe.

This has reached "TL,DR"-critical mass... thanks for reading this =)

Hope to hear from you guys soon!

~Marcel™

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I can't speak for everyone, but personally I use Doom Builder 2 for map editing, SLumpEd for lump editing (importing textures, sounds, music, sprites, etc), and Eternity Engine for most playing and testing. I like Eternity because it maintains a classic Doom "feel" and a high level of compatibility with old WADs while also having a large amount of modding capability and nifty optional features.

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Thanks, esselfortium! I appreciate the input =)

You replied just as I was making changes to my original post to avoid getting deleted for asking how to run Doom on Win XP ^^;;

Any and all input is still very welcome!

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DB2 and XWE, skulltag and prboom+ here. XWE has some compatibility problems with slumped, though the only slumped edited wad I've messed with in xwe was the CC4 textures, and not for very long, so idk the specifics.

If you'd like some extra options for editing, you can try mapping in boom, as most everyone has a compatible port, or if you have some crazy ideas that would be best helped with scripting, DECORATE, and many openGL features, looking into zdoom, doomsday, and I think eternity would be good. Be aware, scripting is not for people who took 1 semester of C++ and promptly said f it ... although you can script with analogs in boom via voodoo dolls, although that's getting pretty advanced.

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Hey I'm glad you're getting into doom editing again! Maps from 1996-1998 are my favorite kind. It's very relieving to know that former doomers are coming back.

Don't steer too far away from what you already know about doom mapping. As each year progresses I begin to hate ACS and DECORATE, and OpenGL, and all that other newschool shit more and more.

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ArmouredBlood said:

XWE has some compatibility problems with slumped

I've most found that XWE and SlumpEd will make different TEXTURE1 lumps, you can't open SlumpEd's in XWE but I think you can open XWE's in SlumpEd.

Seriously CEOofAEP, check out Doom Builder. You'll be absolutely amazed at the difference from the old editing tools you were using :)

Welcome back, looking forward to seeing some of your maps!

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I use Doom Builder (because Doom Builder 2 won't run without a .NET Framework update, which for some reason I can't install) for editing and PrBoom+ and ZDoom for testing maps, although I'm starting to tamper around with Eternity-specific features lately.

As for ports, I suggest looking into Boom features (actually MBF features, but the distinction between the two is lost nowadays), since they expand your options without changing how Doom actually works too much. Despite of what 40oz says, ZDoom and Eternity can be very satisfying to map for as well, but they require a lot of practice even if you already know the way they're supposed to work.

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I use Doombuilder. But on occasion I venture into DB2 to use it's super cutting features.
For resources I use XWE.
Favorite port is Eternity.

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I know what you mean... sometimes you can over-design stuff... and some of the newly infused features, though quite practical and / or "generally awesome" in themself, kind of take away from the original Doom-experience in the end.

I did pick up some of the minor, semi-fancy texture-tricks (for fake "window above arch" or "window above window" effects) and some of the "almost 3D" done by cross-layering sectors and such (if you know what I mean- I am pretty sure I am making these descriptions up as I go ^^)

...but so far I have used them sparely, if at all (mostly just in my own proof of concept test levels, not the actual episode I made). Essentially, the levels I made so far are all rather basic and wouldn't totally confuse someone who time-traveled here from 1994 ^^;

I did have some ideas for tweaking them, though- I'm not really completely satisfied with all of the 9 levels. One of them is rather... brown- and another one is basically just a canyon and it looks much like I ran out of ideas (which I kind of did ^^)

So I want to re-make some texture-choices here and there but all in all, the levels are rather neat. I'll have to find a way to combine the new ideas I have (which brought me back in the first place) with the task of remodeling some of the old levels- so I'll stay interested. lol.

When I look at some of the architectural miracles of much-praised WADs, though, I feel mediocre... but I still think my levels pace well and might make a "3 out of 5" or such ^^;

They even have a consistent stroyline with level transitions between most of the levels and such. I've been a good boy.

I even had the package ready back in the day, complete with DOS-installation routines / batch files, a readme (with a readme reader! ^^) and whatnot, back in 2000... but then I started tweaking... and then never got done. I should know better ^^;

...I also write too much.

But yes... I am test-playing my levels as I write this (well- not 100% simultaneously **) so there will be progress soon =D

Don't hold your breath, though ^^;

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I use DB2 Doom in Hexen format (just changed from Doom2 format).

The port you like is up to you but GZDOOM is nice . but i haven't try so many of them.

DB1 and DB2 is like the same but i like DB2 better that DB1 but many thinks BD1 is better :P

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Same as Essel, I recommend DB2 and Slumped for mod editing. I like Eternity as well (I even maintain its SVN builds) but my favorite port would be GZDoom, which is a variant of ZDoom with a hardware-accelerated renderer and enhanced compatibility with mods originally made for other ports such as Doom Legacy. It is also very easy to use most ZDoom features in modding, and there are plenty of mods released now that require ZDoom or GZDoom. (The fact that the multiplayer-oriented port Skulltag is also based on ZDoom and GZDoom helps ZDoom-compatibility be a popular target for modders now.)

Further, I like its controls: ZDoom and its derivatives are among the only ports I've tried that let me bind my mouse's fourth and fifth buttons to functions. That's because on Windows ZDoom interfaces with DirectInput directly, instead of going through SDL like most ports do; and until recently SDL did not support mice with more than three buttons, so that feature has remained overlooked. (I had to patch it into my personal build of Eternity.)

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Thank you all for your input... I am currently looking into DB2 & Eternity (stayed up until 3am last night, going through my own levels ^^) but will check out the other suggestions, too, eventually ^^

Am I missing something about correctly setting up DB2 in order to call Eternity and pass the WAD for testing? Right now, I can start Eternity by itself just fine but when I use the test play option in DB2 it only shows me the "you have a shareware version of Doom, -file is not supported" (am not at my PC right now, this is an approximation ^^)

So in order to test my levels, I start Eternity by itself and then load the custom WAD through the options, which works fine- so this is really a minor setback, only. I am going to look into the documentations but maybe one of you knows what I am missing, off the top of your head =)

I am considering releasing my E1M5 to you guys which is among my favorites of the batch (and the least tweak-deserving). Which brings me to another question:

What's the current "commonly agreed upon procedure" of publishing a WAD to the 'net? FTP it to /idgames?

I'd probably host it on my own server for now, though- since it's only going to be a sample for now.

Now back to work ^^;

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You need to Tools -> Game Configurations (F6), select Eternity, and in the Resources tab, click on Add Resource... -> From WAD file and choose doom.wad, doom2.wad, tnt.wad or plutonia.wad.

Once that's done when you test the map it'll load that as the IWAD automatically.

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To give you a rundown of ports:

Chocolate-Doom is old Vanilla Doom ported to modern operating systems. Same limits, same bugs, same experience.

TeamTNT's Boom port has become PrBoom. This extends the Vanilla mapping format with new specials but retains demo compatibility with Vanilla. There is also a variant of this called PrBoom-Plus which has been expanded upon to have a higher framerate and TAS demo tools like slowdown and partial demo joining. These are popular ports with speedrunners and more classic players.

ZDoom is the most popular port for maps which use scripting, slopes, custom monsters, colored lighting, etc etc. As Gez said, there is GZDoom which is an OpenGL variant of that. This uses Hexen mapping format, though does run Vanilla levels and honours almost all the Boom behaviours as well.

Eternity seems to use the Boom/MBF/SMMU codebase and expand on it in the direction of ZDoom, but implementing things in a different way and adding some new features too. When used properly it's an amazingly impressive port, but there is a lack of PWADs out which do this as a lot of its' unique features are relatively new and still in active development.

Doomsday/Risen3D/jDoom (different names for the same thing) appears to be Vanilla with an OpenGL renderer and support for high-def textures, 3D models, fancy lights, etc etc. However I've never really thought the available mod packs suit Doom very well. Risen3D is jDoom plus Boom-compatibility.

For multiplayer, it seems most people use Skulltag. ZDaemon and Odamex are also popular. These are all based on various versions od ZDoom.

The Doom Wiki can tell you alot more about all of these and also the development of ports which hace come and gone.

CEOofAEP said:

What's the current "commonly agreed upon procedure" of publishing a WAD to the 'net? FTP it to /idgames?

The FTP procedure for idgames is likely the same as 1998, it's well documented in any case.

At least a few of us like to encourage people to use their own hosting (even a temporary filehost like Sendspace or Megaupload) and post a link on the forums before uploading to idgames. This allows other people to playtest and comment on the map, so your FTP upload can be hopefully be the final polished result.

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Super Jamie said:

Doomsday/Eternity/jDoom[/b] (different names for the same thing)

Heh. You might have meant Risen3D rather than Eternity here. ;)

Doomsday is the core engine, and then there are several "plugins" to run each game, and they are those that are called jDoom, jHeretic, jHexen. Risen3D is an independent port that is based on a previous version of Doomsday/jDoom, and added Boom features.

The point about jHeretic and jHexen reminds me of another reason why I like ZDoom/GZDoom: it can play all games of the the classic Doom series (Ultimate Doom, Doom 2, TNT: Evilution and Plutonia) but it can also play all other Doom engine games*: Heretic, Hexen and its expansion pack, Strife, and even Chex Quest. Plus, there are a few indie games that have been released that only work with ZDoom and compatible ports: Urban Brawl, Chex Quest 3, and Harmony. All three are free.

* Except the stand-alone version of HacX, which was pulled out because Id complained and is no longer available.

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Gez said:

Heh. You might have meant Risen3D rather than Eternity here. ;)

Ah I did too, it's late, thanks for the correction.

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CEOofAEP said:

Am I missing something about correctly setting up DB2 in order to call Eternity and pass the WAD for testing? Right now, I can start Eternity by itself just fine but when I use the test play option in DB2 it only shows me the "you have a shareware version of Doom, -file is not supported" (am not at my PC right now, this is an approximation ^^)

Yea make sure you're not using the Doom shareware (doom1.wad) as a resource in Doom Builder and make sure you are using the Eternity game configuration when you're mapping/testing for Eternity.

If you choose to make maps for (G)ZDoom, you may also want to look into the UDMF map format. It exposes the (G)ZDoom features in Doom Builder's user interface so that setting things like colored lighting and wall transparency no longer requires scripting.

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CodeImp said:

Yea make sure you're not using the Doom shareware (doom1.wad) as a resource in Doom Builder (...)


I think that might actually be (part of) it- I'll have to check when I get home. Thank you!

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I don't use Doom Builder because I am so used to DeePsea which I find suits me better for a number of reasons. However, these days, if you are just starting out (or restarting) I can't think of a particularly convincing argument against doing so with DB2 as your main editor.

So, um yeah, DB2.

For lump management, the choice is less clear. Again, I use DeePsea but without that, XWE or Slumped are the most popular tools. Both have pros and cons though. Try both and see what you prefer. If you are planning on doing stuff for a Zdoom based engine, it now supports zip files and has a zip directory structure that allows them to replace WADs for all lumps apart from levels. So you could, perhaps, do away with the need for lump tools completely, assuming the editor that you pick also supports zips (which I *think* DB2 does).

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Yea that is something worth pointing out: If you use (G)ZDoom, you can use standard zip files (with .pk3 extension) instead of WAD files. These are much easier to maintain and will save you some headaches.

Doom Builder 2 supports them as resources. However, DB2 can't load/save maps from pk3 files (maps are still wad files even inside pk3 files) but that should not be a very big problem: You just edit your map (.wad file) outside the pk3 file (and have the pk3 file added as resource) and put the map into the pk3 when it's done.

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Sounds like a sensible enough system. Thanks for clarifying how that works.

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Gez said:

* Except the stand-alone version of HacX, which was pulled out because Id complained and is no longer available.


?????

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Wasn't there originally a version of Hacx that did not require to have Doom 2 installed? And then they got a C&D from Id software and had to repackage it as an add-on for Doom 2 rather than a stand-alone game?

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Never heard of it if so. My understanding is that the license for HacX development was originally negotiated for it to be an add-on for DOOM II.

You scared me because I thought you were referring to the newer stand-alone HacX 1.2 and 2.0 projects, for which Eternity has binary support.

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The main reason they needed to negotiate a license is because selling a DOOM derivative, add-on or not, was illegal without one. (And it still is for the most part, of course; the only thing that's changed since then is the introduction of the GPL license for the source.)

Super Jamie said:
TeamTNT's Boom port has become PrBoom. This extends the Vanilla mapping format with new specials but retains demo compatibility with Vanilla.

Yeah, although as far as mapping is concerned, it tends to offer two choices into popular and widely supported level design: vanilla (with limits raised) or Boom. The compatibility level feature makes PrBoom and PrBoom+ act like a variety of engines in the direct Doom and Boom line, by user choice and in a very faithful way, two of which a very popular. It also allows MBF features, but these are not used much because using them cuts off the benefits of sticking to one of the two more popular formats. By then, one might as well map for a more advanced engine, like Eternity or ZDoom, and combine those few MBF features with even more choices.

That is, mapping "for PrBoom" is usually plain limit removing or Boom compatible.

One note about editing tools. I've found SlumpEd to be safer than the buggier XWE, but otherwise, XWE is a more powerful tool. I tend to stick to XWE and DeepSea shareware for resources, although I also have SlumpEd and some other older editing tools to use occasionally.

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myk said:

Yeah, although as far as mapping is concerned, it tends to offer two choices into popular and widely supported level design: vanilla (with limits raised) or Boom. The compatibility level feature makes PrBoom and PrBoom+ act like a variety of engines in the direct Doom and Boom line, by user choice and in a very faithful way, two of which a very popular. It also allows MBF features, but these are not used much because using them cuts off the benefits of sticking to one of the two more popular formats. By then, one might as well map for a more advanced engine, like Eternity or ZDoom, and combine those few MBF features with even more choices.

That is, mapping "for PrBoom" is usually plain limit removing or Boom compatible.

Except for skyboxes, which are an MBF feature but almost everyone uses them as if they were regular Boom.

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Doom Builder 2, close as I can figure, is a slower, more convoluted version the original. Compare MS Word from 95 to 2000.

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So how important do you find the extended capabilities like slopes, high resolution textures and (advanced) event scripting? What stands out, to you?

Which features (of your favourite port) do you like best? And why? Are there things you grew tired of by now that you thought were cool in the beginning? =)

I find that some ideas that I have for levels (sometimes i actually- literally *dream* them up) would benefit from slopes, in particular (steps just don't cut it sometimes, even if you make alot of them with a very minimal step-height) ...but in the past, the ideas that would've benefit from slopes weren't really worth the step over to a port, especially if that would limit the range of people who can play the level.

I also had a few ideas for "stand offs" where I would've really liked the chaingun soldier but even those weren't enough for me to port over to Doom2.

I don't think it's lazyness, though... I think to me it's more... nostalgia ^_^

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CEOofAEP said:

So how important do you find the extended capabilities like slopes, high resolution textures and (advanced) event scripting? What stands out, to you?

Which features (of your favourite port) do you like best? And why? Are there things you grew tired of by now that you thought were cool in the beginning? =)

I find that some ideas that I have for levels (sometimes i actually- literally *dream* them up) would benefit from slopes, in particular (steps just don't cut it sometimes, even if you make alot of them with a very minimal step-height) ...but in the past, the ideas that would've benefit from slopes weren't really worth the step over to a port, especially if that would limit the range of people who can play the level.

I also had a few ideas for "stand offs" where I would've really liked the chaingun soldier but even those weren't enough for me to port over to Doom2.

I don't think it's lazyness, though... I think to me it's more... nostalgia ^_^

My favourite feature is Eternity's linked portals, because they allow me to create really complex levels. I'm also fond of ACS scripting in ZDoom (only for manipulating the environment though; I greatly dislike cutscenes and such). I'm still learning how to use them effectively, though.

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So how important do you find the extended capabilities like slopes, high resolution textures and (advanced) event scripting? What stands out, to you?


My 2 cents, for what it's worth : I've played a lot of ZDoom wads and haven't ever noticed those features improving my experience significantly, however I have ran into countless situations where it decreased the fun factor for me (pointless sequences of switches, linear scripted events, and the cutscenes, the damn cutscenes).

That isn't to say the features, used well, didn't improve my experience *at all*, but most often than not the net result is negative. Too often it makes Doom look like a half-hearted Quake and takes away from the core gameplay that makes Doom so fun to me. Note that I have nothing against Quake, but I like Doom better. ;)

Best and safest bet is to stick to environmental and atmospheric changes, in my opinion.

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