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KingKill33

Organic Stylings

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When I map I generally create indoor environments and have my outdoor sections enclosed by walls, or otherwise setup in a manner as to avoid having to create rocks and other organic structures.

This being said, I find it rather difficult to create such things. Whenever I make something intended to be organic and not so manufactured or fabricated, it still comes off as forced looking; usually quite blocky and not so natural in appearance.

I suppose I am looking for advice on this so that I won't be limiting myself as much in my mapping, and also are there any maps that have really good outdoor areas/caves/etc?

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Heretic's second episode and Doom's third episode have some "natural" areas which have never struck me as "forced" or unnatural, despite their extreme simplicity. I guess what I'm saying is: don't try to hard. Use appropriate textures, keep sectors and linedefs to a minimum, and then let the player's imagination take over.

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Well, I've been attempting to follow that exact ideology, yet everything still doesn't fit. I will check out E3 and have a look at it and see if i can gather any inspiration from it. Sadly I don't have Heretic or I'd definitely check it out.

I've been rather successful in the current map I'm making, but some ideas just don't quite flesh out as well as I'd like.

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KingKill33 said:

are there any maps that have really good outdoor areas/caves/etc?

MAP27: The Shrine (screenshots: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - shamelessly stolen from esselfortium) from Eternal Doom IV: Return from Oblivion has, in my opinion, the most convincing outdoor areas I have ever seen in a Doom map. Everything looks very natural and it feels like it could actually exist.

But if you are after a more classic look, then maybe something like MAP24: The Mucus Flow (screenshot) from Community Chest 2 would be a good reference.

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I completely forgot about naturally-occurring fractals. Other than flowers and snowflakes, where else do fractals occur in nature?

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Artificial mountain ranges are often used in movies as far as I know. Probably search "fractal mountains". I think the algorithm goes something like: start with a tetrahedron and replace each face with an appropriately smaller scaled tetrahedron, repeat (but I could be wrong). Also fjords, trees. Its probably not too helpful for doom actually because your sector count will increase a lot, unless you just use fractal concepts to make textures. Maybe organic textures are the best route for a game that is a minimal simulation of reality anyway.
2.5d makes doom kinda blocky/flat. Maybe you can use slopes if using a port that allows them.
Nature often has irregular symmetry.
Outdoor maps I remember: i think claustrophobia 1024 v1, one of the first levels had little flowers and stuff? Phocas island(s) maybe, I forget. ghoul's forest had trees. That one really outdoorsy in progress wad with lots of large tree sprites, I forget the name. One of espi's wads had nice outdoors/caves if I'm thinking of the right map. happy time circus 2 had nice outdoor areas on a path to a haunted house.

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The blockyness of the engine is definitely what's monkey-wrenching it for the most part. In the map Padma in Claustrophobia, there's an outdoor section with the those flower textures, but since the areas I'm currently working on are underground the flowers wouldn't make too much sense.

The main issue I'm running into is making the rocks arch in a manner that's simple, yet complies with my mapping style. The texturing isn't so much the issue as looking just downright ugly and totally not cave-like. I've gotten better at creating outside environments, but the caves are a pain.

Also, there were stalagmite and stalactites on Realm667, anyone know how to get them to show up in DoomBuilder2? My map is in Boom format if that helps.

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KingKill33 said:

Also, there were stalagmite and stalactites on Realm667, anyone know how to get them to show up in DoomBuilder2? My map is in Boom format if that helps.


The resources on Realm667 are all set up to be used with ZDoom, so you'll have to do your own configuring to use them in a Boom wad. The easiest way would be to simply use XWE or SLumpEd to replace the existing sprites of certain decorations with stalagmite/stalactite sprites, so that when you place a "hanging body" in your map, for example, it will look like a stalactite instead.

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I found the cavern environment in How to Disappear Completely convincing and well done. (It's for Heretic too, but I suppose you could check it out in Doom Builder with the Heretic shareware IWAD as a resource so that (most of) the textures show up correctly.)

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