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Clonehunter

Your Mapping Style

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Whether they know it or not, it seems everybody has a mapping style they favor most. Open areas, giant powerhouse maps, Slaughter Maps (Always fun :) ) etc... I personally enjoy creating maps with narrow halls and tight spaces thus sometimes making harder fights out of common enemies. So wutz yours?

EDIT: Also, I mostly utilize the Flesh, Wood, Blood, and Marble textures the most. I love making maps filled with Satanic imagry and blood, as those are pretty much the two things I think of when I hear "Doom"

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My mapping style involves having absolutely no ideas at all for layouts, drawing things at random and in most cases deleting it and starting over until I've found something I like. If I had bothered to announce my maps when I had something done on them, I would have gotten a Mordeth award by now.

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I was about to create a thread similar to this except it was more along the lines of "Do you make your maps with Doom in mind or with realism?"

Um. Anyone could tell you that my highest output of maps leans into the techbase department. Techbase maps are the easiest and ultimately most fun for me to make. Not to say that I don't enjoy hell maps. In fact, I think I prefer playing hell themed maps over techbases, but I don't really visualize hell being anything other than redrock caves ala Deus Vult MAP02. Techbases are much more uniform in design while really good hell maps tend to need to be drawn out like some sort of painting.

Whenever I'm making maps, Im drawing out rooms and creating details based on what I know Doom is capable of. I've learned a lot about Doom through experience in mapping, reading reviews of my own maps, and ogling at screenshots and reviews of other people's maps. The gameplay in my maps is very heavily inspired by Doom's first episode. A lot of people complain they are too easy but I do that intentionally to keep people ragequitting and instead playing the map all the way through.

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My style is devoid of any extraneous detail and tends to be very utilitarian. I'd rather have really cool lightning bring out an area over 300 filigrees. As for theme, I love designing outdoor areas and techbases, especially run-down/abandoned techbases.

And caution stripes. Lots and lots of caution stripes.

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I like to make pretty complex and detailed maps with lots of atmosphere in them. I try to add alot of realism in my maps, I want stuff to look convincing. And I try to make the maps have stuff that you never saw before. I work from simple drawings most of the time, most architecture I create starts out as a simple drawing.

A rather annoying habit I have developed lately is that I'm adding too much symetry and lots of 90 degree angles. Really weird that I suddenly do that alot lately, maybe I just like it :p

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40oz said:

Techbases are much more uniform in design while really good hell maps tend to need to be drawn out like some sort of painting.


I've found this out with the last couple of maps I've been working on - part of the reason they're taking longer than the techbase ones.

Generally I would have an idea of a few key areas in a map, but how they are used and connected tends to be improvised. My actual mapping style would be geared more towards Doom than realism, despite my maps being for ZDoom :P

I'm also not that overly fussed on excessive detail. It's always better when a map looks nice, but that can be achieved with common sense as well as sector-spam. I've only been mapping properly for a year (and it probably shows) but I think I'm getting the hang of it, although my architechture still leans towards the symmetrical.

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My top priority is to make a world that's IMO fun to be in. Or scary to be in, depending on the theme, but the big picture is important to me.

Then I begin with a sector and mix and match textures for a unique combination, find some general detailing like ceiling lights, and then expand on the foundation.

I'm also a grid-addict... :p

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I dont know if I have any particular style actually. I`ve only made three maps (plus one test map), and they all differ in style, though two of the three are somewhat similar, and also the style I like the most and probably the style I`ll continue doing:

I like to mix in epic stuff with smaller, more "down to earth" stuff. Hmm, I guess almost everyone does that, but I`m thinking I`m doing (or rather going to do) it even more :P I really dunno how to explain really..

A mix between organic shapes and grid-shapes is a must.

I also like to have lots of different areas or.."themes" maybe in each map, I mean, like there is a castle of some sort, but also some caverns, some outdoor areas, some hellish area etc. All in one map. Oh yeah, I also like long maps...so..they tend to lean more towards a "journey" instead of just "a place" ,haha, ok that sounded silly, but again I dunno how to explain.

Surprises and "wow, wtf I didnt expect that!"-stuff is mandatory.

Oh, yeah...Hell-maps all the way from now on. (Or maybe I`ll try some Plutonia-style also, which is...just a "wtf, where am I? what is this place?"-style :P

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According to the reviews, my mapping style is: "...quantity over quality and mechanical copy-pasted detailing over sense."

Actually, I try to emulate maps I have enjoyed playing myself. I like the big challenging maps that take some time to get through, like ones with six-key solutions, with lots of areas to explore and secrets to find. My favorite theme is the hell map, lava and blood and bodies hanging around, you know the type.

I'm currently working on a big hell-themed map that I hope will be viewed as a great improvement over my previous efforts. We'll see how that goes.

Oh, and just for the record... I don't imagine that when my soul finally does arrive in Hell that the first words out of my mouth will be: "Gee, this architecture doesn't make sense..." :P

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Da Spadger said:

My mapping style involves having absolutely no ideas at all for layouts, drawing things at random and in most cases deleting it and starting over until I've found something I like. If I had bothered to announce my maps when I had something done on them, I would have gotten a Mordeth award by now.

Yeah, pretty much this. For a more serious answer, I mostly try to match the E1 aesthetic. I care about texture alignment, but not to the point of letting it get in the way of architecture. I think sector-based detailing other than height variations and windows is ugly, and try to avoid it. I also try to avoid having too many doors in a map, and divide it into "rooms" with height and texture changes instead.

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I always end up starting with a doomy style map that quickly degrades into pretty much heretic with doom textures.

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I guess my style would have to be mostly well connected layouts, and usually very open spaced or "opened air" (a lot of "air visible"), which isn't a blessing for vanilla mapping :/ Like darkreaver, I mix it up between grid-shapes and organic shapes. (Basically whatever I'm trying to map, be that a building, a techbase, an abstract building, landscape, hellscape, the forest, yaddayadda)
I usually border up architectures and I consider solid interesting shapes (that makes sense somewhat or sometimes no sense in an abstract sense) with good texturing implemented in interesting, if possible, interconnected layouts, as 'detailed enough'. Heights are consistent usually, varying between 64/72 to 96 to 128 to 192/256. It's hard to pick out my usual style, so this is the best I can describe my mapping style.

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Save yourself lots of words joshy. Just post a link to Speed of Doom. :)

Joshy said:

that makes sense somewhat or sometimes no sense in an abstract sense


My (admittedly worthless) vote for joshy's new custom title. Funnily enough I actualy know what you are saying. Doom's own 'internal' architecture is consistent within itself, but often makes no 'real world' sense except in its own abstract way. At least that is what I think you are saying.

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i'd go with the trying-to-imitate-life variety. houses with chairs and what have you.

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Herculine said:

According to the reviews, my mapping style is: "...quantity over quality and mechanical copy-pasted detailing over sense."


Lol, apparently my style is "an attempt to be fancy without a proper understanding of gameplay". Actually, because of that review, I've started to make a few vanilla maps instead of only using zdoom.

Anyways, I don't think I've been making maps long enough to really have a style. When I first started making maps I tried to make an 8 level or so episode, but after I finished about 3 maps I realized that every single one had a different style, and they varied a lot in quality.

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I'm currently 16-17 maps into creating a megawad called 'newgothic'. Some of my favorite maps are from the last two episodes of scythe 2. I thought gothic99 had 'ok' detailing. I love to map and play slaughter maps. You tell me what my mapping style is ;)

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Your maps are what I`d label as mostly "epic" :P Lots of really huge areas. Even the hallways and rooms (in e.g. castles) are huge, but I guess they have to because of your gameplay-style, which is mostly slaughter or slaughterish. (I havent played all your maps though, just basing this on the ones I`ve played).

Imagine beeing in one of those places. How small and worthless you`d feel :P Unless you had Doomguys mental strength ofc

edit: thats also the feeling I try to create. Beeing lost in this huge, scary demon world, all alone, against the forces of Hell, hehe! Thats also why I like atmospheric music in maps, and not "happy" songs

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Joshy said:

I mix it up between grid-shapes and organic shapes.


I dont know if you or darkwave made it, but SOD map14 (amongst many other SOD maps of course) is a perfect good of this, imo. I love the layout of that map

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My workflow with doom maps is something like this:

* Rough layout of the level, no decoration, no sector heights etc.
* Sector layout (heights, doors, moving thinkers etc)
* Begin work on the gameplay, thing placement and so on.
* Texture work, decoration and other pretty stuff.
* Polish
* Revisions
* Polish again


This workflow is really useful for me, especially during the time I worked on CIF3.

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In somebody else's words:

An anonymous review of ph_quik4 wrote:

A typical Phobus map, looks great with lots of clever creative design ideas you've probably never seen before or would think of in a million years. Plays well and is an enjoyable challenge though not too difficult or memorable.


I personally would say that there is some sort of method to my mapping, but it doesn't really manifest in a coherent style. Its like a big series of experiments with some linking elements to mesh it all together.

I currently don't aim for realism or particularly high detail, and I definitely prefer making smaller, somewhat non-linear layouts these days.

In fact, I even proved once that I don't have a style by releasing maps under the name "Wonoview" - the first 4 maps in ph_tp1 were all first released to the ZDoom forum this way, and nobody thought it might be me (from the maps, at least).

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I want to try myself in every style. That's why I really love UD E2, where almost everything is allowed in texturing. Actually, I love the scene how tech bases form into wood and green brick places, as its next step is into the very hellish atmosphere with mostly flesh and lava textures.
My favourite maps in these variation scenes are 2002ADO E2M5 and E3M7.

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Traps and hectic fights are my specialty (See sig for the Edgy map as an extreme example)

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Hmm, I really can't say I have a clue what the hell I do -- I'm usually happy if I can actually finish a map and manage to make it not suck horribly. :P

I did once subscribe to the School of Gimmicks, since any map I ever made was for some reason other than the map itself (Zen had the weapons, Sector was all about novelty value, etc.), but I'm trying to get off that. Lately I've tried to go the "screw detail" route and try and make areas look good via architecture/texture choices rather than little sectors (though I'm quite good at doing things unsmartly enough to break vanilla limits out the wazoo for silly reasons).

All guesses, though. I'll be damned if I'm ever consistent on anything.


@Phobus: I admit that it was never enough to convince me fully enough to actually state a guess, but I do remember thinking that if I had to pick someone (only after the "I am -one of you-" announcement was made, of course), it would've been "James 'Phobus' Cresswell on a laptop" or similar. :P

The similarities at least are definitely apparent in retrospect. It's a rare thing, really, that a mapper has a style unique enough that they can look at it and instantly think, "Oh yeah, that's x's map!" Unique styles certainly exist (every good established mapper has one to some degree) but considering the sheer volume of mappers out there, it's never an easy thing to tell who did what just by looking.


This post is completely and totally not long.

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Kaiser said:

My workflow with doom maps is something like this:

* Rough layout of the level, no decoration, no sector heights etc.
* Sector layout (heights, doors, moving thinkers etc)
* Begin work on the gameplay, thing placement and so on.
* Texture work, decoration and other pretty stuff.
* Polish
* Revisions
* Polish again


This workflow is really useful for me, especially during the time I worked on CIF3.

This, I draw the map on paper before hand though.

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Kyka said:

Save yourself lots of words joshy. Just post a link to Speed of Doom. :)

My (admittedly worthless) vote for joshy's new custom title. Funnily enough I actualy know what you are saying. Doom's own 'internal' architecture is consistent within itself, but often makes no 'real world' sense except in its own abstract way. At least that is what I think you are saying.

Heh, that's a better idea. Thanks :P.

Yeah that was the meaning I intended. Glad you've interpreted my somewhat 'simple wording' correctly!

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darkreaver said:

I dont know if you or darkwave made it, but SOD map14 (amongst many other SOD maps of course) is a perfect good of this, imo. I love the layout of that map

Darkwave0000 made that and I agree, it certainly has that nice mix of solid and organic shapes.

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@Xaser: As far as I'm concerned, the School of Gimmicks is one that even id subscribed to on some levels, so its fair game :P And yeah - you were the closest to having a guess, as I remember it.

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I usually go with a situational formula. What would make an interesting fight? Let's have the player fight Z with Y in a X with W.

Player fights ZOMBIEMEN with ROCKETS in a HALLWAY with BARRELS.
Player fights ARCHVILES with PLASMA in a CHASM with LITTLE COVER.
Player fights CYBERDEMONS with SSG in a MAZE with POWERUPS.

Same thing as the level generator, but more to the point. It's great to be able to make interesting architecture but then you have to fill it with interesting gameplay.

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can't wait for Player fights ARACHNATRON in DARK ROOM with CHAINSAW and LOTS OF AMMO

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