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40oz

A Different Look at Doom

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Lately I've been loving the act of playing Doom more than I love editing Doom. My love for editing Doom hasn't suffered any more than how much I loved it before, but my love for playing Doom has flourished. I'm sure everyone has this "I REALLY LOVE DOOM" moments at some point in their life. I figured I'd share mine in case anyone's interested.

My absolute favorite part of Doom's editing strengths is mapping. I will never be bored with the fact that I can play the same game in any number of different levels at any point in time. There are so many levels to play and The Green Herring once announced his journey to create a UV-Max Demo of every single wad ever uploaded to the /idgames/levels/doom archive. I was envious of his audacity and positive attitude towards demonslaying. Many other adventurers (Doomers) would crumble at the thought of enduring the perils that lie ahead (get bored and complain why 1994 wads suck) and someday would like to accompany The Green Herring on such a heroic expedition and this is why.

I like to look at Doom in a third person perspective. In my head I lay out the maps from the editor view on a flat plane, like some sort of a geographic projection of the Doom Universe. I picture maps that are within the same episode, or megawad or author to be layed out side by side next to each other, like an automap that comprises more than one map. As the Doom guy progresses, slaying all the monsters that occupy the land, locating its secrets, and collecting its weapons and items, venturing from one map to the next, I picture the amount of land the Doom Guy covering to fill in the black voids of the automap, the same way the automap only displays lines that the doom guy saw unless he otherwise finds a Computer Area Map or types IDBEHOLDA.



This picture shows the first three maps of Knee Deep in the Dead layed out, each adjacent to the next. If this projection were zoomed out, we'd see all 9 maps of E1 layed out beside each other in a group. If we zoomed out even more, we'd see each of the 4 Ultimate Doom episodes clustered together, sitting side by side of each other. If you zoomed out even more, You'd see maps from the Doom IWADs clustered together in their own factions; Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, The Master Levels, No Rest for the Living, etc. Zooming out even more shows the IWADs and official releases in their own cluster, abounded by the giant circle of community made Doom maps occupying over 100x more space than the IWAD's alone. If you zoom out even more there's a black void. A black void which only exists as a state of unplayed, unfinished, and/or inconcieved ideas of maps.

The geometric plane of this black void has its boundaries but as Doom mappers continue to make maps the circumference of these boundaries are exponentially amplified with every map released. These Doom mappers fill in the space of this giant canvas that is the Doom Universe with meaning and playable content. In simulation of the real world, this Doom Universe, at this point in time, occupies at least 8x the surface area of the planet Earth.

However, just as important as making maps infested with monsters, is the map's desire to be discovered and neutralized into safety by us, the space marines. Every one of us Doom marines has a duty to explore this never ending plane of Doom maps, covering every individual sector that occupies every miniscule fraction of this doom universe.

Much like the results of almost all my threads and blogs, I just felt this needed to be said.

tl;dr: NEVER EVER STOP PLAYING AND MAPPING FOR DOOM.

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40oz said:

The geometric plane of this black void has its boundaries but as Doom mappers continue to make maps the circumference of these boundaries are exponentially amplified with every map released. These Doom mappers fill in the space of this giant canvas that is the Doom Universe with meaning and playable content. In simulation of the real world, this Doom Universe, at this point in time, occupies at least 8x the surface area of the planet Earth.

However, just as important as making maps infested with monsters, is the map's desire to be discovered and neutralized into safety by us, the space marines. Every one of us Doom marines has a duty to explore this never ending plane of Doom maps, covering every individual sector that occupies every miniscule fraction of this doom universe.

Much like the results of almost all my threads and blogs, I just felt this needed to be said.

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Being a space marine is a hellvua job. We're always here to clean up the mess that the ol' UAC continues to make.

Beats sucking dust 50 miles away watching restricted flicks in the rec room.

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Do computer generated maps count twords filling that void? Because I can just run all 8 cores at 100% generating Doom maps.

Also does programming count?

Despite faltering and splattering all over the place developing ReMooD I still develop for Doom. In fact, Doom programming is all I got left, I'm super rusty at normal Doom, I suck now, I die in levels I have beaten before with ease, I get my ass kicked in Deathmatch (except against bad players). I also havn't editing Doom due to lack of any good editor for my situation. Thus gameplay wise and editor wise I am a rusty bucket full of rusty nails waiting to be stepped in (ouch).

I hope you don't go on some kind of quest and go poof (like alot of people who go on quests).

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40oz said:

This picture shows the first three maps of Knee Deep in the Dead layed out, each adjacent to the next. If this projection were zoomed out, we'd see all 9 maps of E1 layed out beside each other in a group. If we zoomed out even more, we'd see each of the 4 Ultimate Doom episodes clustered together, sitting side by side of each other. If you zoomed out even more, You'd see maps from the Doom IWADs clustered together in their own factions; Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom, The Master Levels, No Rest for the Living, etc. Zooming out even more shows the IWADs and official releases in their own cluster, abounded by the giant circle of community made Doom maps occupying over 100x more space than the IWAD's alone. If you zoom out even more there's a black void. A black void which only exists as a state of unplayed, unfinished, and/or inconcieved ideas of maps.


I'm so glad I'm not the only one with that perspective. I don't care if you've created 45893250 maps, there's still a universe of ideas that remain unexplored. When I map I feel that void of space I've yet to fill and I can feel what belongs there. So I create these areas followed by more blank spaces that I've yet to fill, and so I follow that process previously spoken.

I have to tell you I LOVE looking at Doom maps just like you displayed them. I like to open up XWE and look through all the maps of The Ultimate Doom, Doom II, The Plutonia Experiment, then TNT: Evilution. Then I through all the megawads I downloaded like Memento Mori, Memento Mori II, Requiem, Scythe, Alien Vendetta, Icarus: Alien Vanguard, and anything I've made over time. I just feel like I have to squint my eyes at maps like MAP20 of Alien Vendetta so I can become aware of every little line occupying that black void. It really gets me fired up for my obsession with mapping and sketching out ideas and such. I end up writing everything out on lists I've made, organizing all the various ideas and sketches in folders I've created for these purposes. I've written hundreds of Doom dreams I've had and have attempted many times to create maps out of them. I just can't keep up with my ideas for Doom.

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GhostlyDeath said:

I hope you don't go on some kind of quest and go poof (like alot of people who go on quests).


Never. I'm a man and a half. Berserker packin' man and a half. I'm a bad man. How bad? REAL BAD. A 12.0 on the 10.0 scale of badness.

I guess generated maps count to an extent. Its important that maps are played just as much as they are created to equal things out and retain our interest.

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Man 40oz I think getting mapper of the year has gone to your head a little. :)

No but seriously I want you to look up "gift economy"

In the social sciences, a gift economy (or gift culture) is a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards (i.e. no formal quid pro quo exists).[1] Ideally, simultaneous or recurring giving serves to circulate and redistribute valuables within the community. The organization of a gift economy stands in contrast to a barter economy or a market economy. Informal custom governs exchanges, rather than an explicit exchange of goods or services for money or some other commodity.[2]

Your image of an expanding universe through which the marine explores and ultimately conquers is a visual representation of part of this. People give their time and turn it into maps, new textures, demos, engine patches, etc.etc. and give them away to everyone as gifts. Even bug reports and map testing reports are a gift, because they result in improvements to maps and engines that ultimately benefit everyone. (cf. Epic 2's water flat, the many cycles of testing and fixing that NGmvmt1 has been through)

Incidentally a gift economy is basically the way the free software world works as well.

40oz posted:
However, just as important as making maps infested with monsters, is the map's desire to be discovered and neutralized into safety by us, the space marines.

Oh no, I think the map's desire (and by extension, the map designer's job) is to kill the player. In a fair and fun way so he doesn't give up hope or quit in disgust, of course. But still, kill the player, or make him kill himself.

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That was a really nice read. I totally agree with both you and valkiriforce. I might post a few thoughts of my own just now, after I attempt making a quick map! :)

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...and THIS is reason why I so love the Doom community (specifically Doomworld), so much. Since the beginning of my time of lurking (see register date) I've been continually impressed with the dedication around here. The very fact that such a passionate post could be written is proof to me that not only will Doom never die, it will just keep on growing. Long live Doom(world).

As for the actual content of the post: Its a bit abstract (I believe esselfortium's emote is on to something) but awesome. You should write a book on creative philosophy using Doom as your main creative outlet... or just more forum posts, heh.

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Lol, Doom Sacred Geometry? Well, I always thought that Doom had something mystical...that SOMETHING lied beyond the boundaries of each level, lost somewhere in the horizon of that mountainous skybox (even after I literally recoded DOom myself and saw that it's just a sky hack...) ...but that is taking it a bit too far ;-)

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RjY said:

Oh no, I think the map's desire (and by extension, the map designer's job) is to kill the player. In a fair and fun way so he doesn't give up hope or quit in disgust, of course. But still, kill the player, or make him kill himself.


I remember reading in a forum thread discussing skill levels, is that its not the level designers purpose to kill the player, but to challenge the player. Killing the player is an easy formula, lock him in an enclosed room with damaging floors and crushing ceilings and archviles.

The players goal with each single player map played, is to kill all the monsters, find all the secrets, and collect all the items and exit the map. Our goal as mappers, is to challenge the player so we put secrets that are possible but not easy to find, and we place monsters that antagonize the player as he/she tries to reach the exit. The level designer provides them with weapons and ammo to balance out the equation, giving the player at least a little bit of advantage over the monsters.

Doom is just a never ending adventure. Where ever you go there are hellspawn terrorizing the land. Monsters remain dead after you complete each map but are reanimated if replayed or played on Nightmare mode. There are innumerable environments yet to be found and dominated by the player, fighting for the safety of humanity. For every wad you play, instead of being annoyed at the quality of the map design, be thankful that you have been given the privillege to be able to open your eyes to the existence of another monster-inhabited playground and that you are doing your duty as a Doomed Space Marine to vanquish every monster in every region of the Doom Universe. It's an unachievable goal in retrospect but as long as we keep playing, we will always be close.

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I'd be intruiged as to the sheer scale of the map that would result from putting every single map any of us has ever played into one huge sitting, where each exit just leads onto the next map in the sequence, perhaps with a pistol start for new episodes or megawads.

Completely impossible to accomplish this, of course - even as an image file it'd eventually get too big, I'd imagine.

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40oz said:

I like to look at Doom in a third person perspective.

I keep telling people to watch speedruns in the automap with the double-IDDT cheat. I don't know why this hasn't caught on.

RjY said:

Oh no, I think the map's desire (and by extension, the map designer's job) is to kill the player.

40oz is right that killing the player is extremely easy to do, and that that's really not the objective of any good mapper. The player should be challenged, but there should always be some way out. This is what's lead me to form the notion that inside the Doom universe, whoever's in charge of all hellspawn is actually fully aware that he can't ever win. Reality is not his, and is in fact structured so that he can't ever take it. All he can do is amuse himself by torturing the marines that will ultimately defeat his agents.

Phobus said:

I'd be intruiged as to the sheer scale of the map that would result from putting every single map any of us has ever played into one huge sitting, where each exit just leads onto the next map in the sequence, perhaps with a pistol start for new episodes or megawads.

Well, let's see. Theoretically, a UDMF map can have unlimited linedefs, so a map's size is only limited by your computer's specs and by some hard limits in UDMF-compatible editors and ports that could probably be raised if necessary. But, let's work with the current linedef limit in Doom Builder 2: 2,147,483,648 lines. With approximately 16,000 projects in /idgames, as long as every project uses less than 134,218 lines on average, then DB2's linedef limit wouldn't be breached. There are many notable projects that use more than 134,218 linedefs but the vast majority of projects use relatively few. Therefore, creating this meta-map may already be possible with existing software (and a supercomputer).

I just pity the soul who has to sort out all the action tags.

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Creaphis said:
40oz is right that killing the player is extremely easy to do, and that that's really not the objective of any good mapper.

Yes that's why I went on to say that the map has to be fair about killing the player. It has to give the player a chance, otherwise the player won't play the map.

It's a game, right? Every map (and its author) is playing a game with its players. Finishing the map is the player's victory condition; killing the player is the map's. But of course it's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part, and a map's reputation and stature grow as more players play it. Maps are like the toys in that film, you know the one, it's a story about toys... whatever it's called, but maps want to be played, it's why they exist.

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Creaphis said:

This is what's lead me to form the notion that inside the Doom universe, whoever's in charge of all hellspawn is actually fully aware that he can't ever win. Reality is not his, and is in fact structured so that he can't ever take it. All he can do is amuse himself by torturing the marines that will ultimately defeat his agents.

Actually, there are a few maps that always kill the player character. Some do it as part of a narrative (example), others as a gameplay gimmicks (forcing a pistol start in the next map).

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Phobus said:

I'd be intruiged as to the sheer scale of the map that would result from putting every single map any of us has ever played into one huge sitting, where each exit just leads onto the next map in the sequence, perhaps with a pistol start for new episodes or megawads.

Completely impossible to accomplish this, of course - even as an image file it'd eventually get too big, I'd imagine.


Just intrigued? Surely there's a better word to describe that. I hypothesize that if E1M1 were shrunken and printed on paper to be the size of a Cheerio, then printed every other map ever created according to that same scale, (Don't forget to take into account all the megawads, giant maps like The Sky May Be, Deus Vult, etc.) with the maps placed side-by-side on a poster board, the posterboard would have to be about the size of Hawaii.

On an image file, the dimensions would probably reach into the hundreds of billions of pixels.

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Creaphis said:

I keep telling people to watch speedruns in the automap with the double-IDDT cheat. I don't know why this hasn't caught on.

Oh, I'm certain that it has caught on, but thanks for reminding me. I remember the first time I learned the IDDT cheat; it blew my mind how this game looked exactly like Asteroids. It was even slightly playable in the IDDT mode on the original DOS version, and the map cheat about made it into a whole new game for me. Cheers.

Creaphis said:

Well, let's see. Theoretically, a UDMF map can have unlimited linedefs, so a map's size is only limited by your computer's specs and by some hard limits in UDMF-compatible editors and ports that could probably be raised if necessary. But, let's work with the current linedef limit in Doom Builder 2: 2,147,483,648 lines. With approximately 16,000 projects in /idgames, as long as every project uses less than 134,218 lines on average, then DB2's linedef limit wouldn't be breached. There are many notable projects that use more than 134,218 linedefs but the vast majority of projects use relatively few. Therefore, creating this meta-map may already be possible with existing software (and a supercomputer).

I just pity the soul who has to sort out all the action tags.

Wouldn't it make more sense to leech Strife's hub-map feature to a source port that can plug multiple WADs in series? Then the problems lie in decorations and textures that are unique to individual WAD files ... prolly not too much to overcome.

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I think both RjY and 40oz are right about the designer's responsibility; it's just a matter of perspective. Hell Revealed would be an example of a designer's attempt to kill the player while things like Plutonia could make it challenging but possible for the more casual doomer.

40oz said:

On an image file, the dimensions would probably reach into the hundreds of billions of pixels.


It'd be funny if all the maps in the picture turned into the face of John Romero, much like those pictures you see when it's dozens of images that make up a human face.

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Toughguy said:

Creaphis said:

I keep telling people to watch speedruns in the automap with the double-IDDT cheat. I don't know why this hasn't caught on.

Oh, I'm certain that it has caught on, but thanks for reminding me. I remember the first time I learned the IDDT cheat; it blew my mind how this game looked exactly like Asteroids. It was even slightly playable in the IDDT mode on the original DOS version, and the map cheat about made it into a whole new game for me. Cheers.

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What port is that RjY?

Also would be interesting to see the fp and auto-map/topdown views side by side :o)

-Travers

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That is newgothic map15. The stairs of the pyramid and the center square horde made it easy to recognize for me ;p Took me a bit, but just realized it's someone's uv speed demo. The player's little white line starts in the bottom left area.

on topic, awesome post 40oz.

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