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GoatLord

What to do when you have no mapping skills?

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I already mentioned this in another thread, but I come up with really cool ideas for maps, and I have a very good understanding of Doom's limitations, as well as what Zdoom/Gzdoom offers. But it's an area of computing that is so foreign to me. I've proven myself unable to work with 3D software, and 2.5D mapping is even more headache inducing. Is there an editor out there for people who are completely inept and clueless at thinking in 2.5D space? Or is it one of those things where you either have the skill or don't (like with playing the drums or illustration)?

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GoatLord said:

Or is it one of those things where you either have the skill or don't (like with playing the drums or illustration)?


I would say it's almost the opposite. Most people start with no or little flair for mapping but improve through sheer practice.

I would also say you've got a decent headstart if you are not short on ideas and have a good understanding of Doom's mechanics and limitations. You're probably just frustrated that you're not able to execute your ideas to your satisfaction yet.

My advice is to put the grand designs on hold and map something with little ambition but make it look neat. 5 or 6 rooms connected by doors, stairs, a lift and a teleporter would be a good start. You'll probably suprise yourself how quickly you improve.

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It's only been a few months for me when I didn't even know the difference between a vertex and a linedef or sector, and I thought the same way as you, that the concept was just lost on me and that I'd never understand. But the will to create has driven me to learn, and once you do you'll see its a fairly easy game to wrap your head around.

Doom Builder 2 was my best option, and their website has quite a few good tutorials on how to make simpler stuff like doors and lifts and a few other slightly advanced techniques. They had me making my first few simple maps in no time.

You'll start out trying to figure out simple stuff as stated above and before you know it you'll be making maps in UDMF format with 3d architecture and custom sounds and what not...not to say that's super-advanced either.

Mainly what I'm trying to say is all Doom really takes is the drive to put forth the effort, and artistic creativity will certainly take you a long way.

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As for me, learning how to map was one of the most unforgottable experiences in my lifetime. I still remember myself hunting for a particular flat texture or an action that opens doors by switches. All I've learnt since then now comes out simply and suddenly... without any kind of worrying about "what alternate crap I'll be doing again and again".

My advice: make something with your temporary knowledge now. Every month upload something you've been working for and everybody here can follow your way of improving slowly, but certainly - maybe two or three years later, if you look back at that stuff you made now, you'll be surprised "Holy shit, had I had done these weirdo, ugly things called >maps< me myself???" :D

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When I first found out about Doom Builder 2 I downloaded it and watched tutorials like crazy. I was so eager to make maps for one of my favorite FPS games. I'd say start with the ones available on the website, it's a good place to start. You can also have fun looking at the stock IWAD levels in the editor to see what they did to get what they made. But yeah, a lot of practice will certainly benefit.

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valkiriforce said:

You can also have fun looking at the stock IWAD levels in the editor to see what they did to get what they made.


Good advice, also for pwads you like.

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Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm just a bit paranoid because I've worked with Doom editing years and years ago (I believe it was an early version of Deep) and got nowhere with it. I've been able to jump into some types of sotware without much prior knowledge, but found myself a bit overwhelmed by mapping. I don't want to be one of those losers who uploads ugly, ill-designed maps due to a lack of skill. I've been in love with Doom for too long now (16 years) to not give something back to the community. And not just out of obligation...I have dreams about Doom, and sometimes build things in my head, or try to imagine real locations as maps, carefully taking limitations into consideration. It's hard to think small, when your blueprints are further along.

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I've the same problem, I want to map and mod for DooM so baaad, but can't be arsed to start ANYTHING. I have a lot of ideas I want to accomplish with say, ZDoom for example, but can never start anything or learn how to do this or that, and just find it a waste of time...

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What to do when you have no mapping skills? Start a major project and elect yourself Team Leader.

<ducks, runs and hides>

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Don't claim you have no skills in mapping if you don't release anything. If you don't release anything, the only person verifying that you have no skills is yourself, which is ridiculous. Your skills will improve immensely with the more releases you make, because you will be receiving feedback each time. With this feedback you'll gain a general understanding of what is bad in your maps and you'll be able to develop ways to overcome any negative response.

What many mappers fall into, which is what I see in someone with your attitude, is that you want to put all your eggs in one basket. You don't want to share your work unless it blows everyone away. Just start small with some lackluster single maps and find out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong and work your way up. Save and document the results of all your maps. There's nothing more satisfying than starting a series of maps and being able to detect how much you've improved in mapping between your first and last releases.

I've found that some of my best ideas for layouts and traps were in my early stages of mapping. Some day I wanna make a revised version of those ideas in some of my more top-notch releases.

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Problem is, I can't think of a basic layout and a simple idea of how I could do it without going all-perfectionist and want it to fulfill my vision to 100%. I want to do something simple so baaad, yet the perfectionist says I should do it the other way around.

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A lot of times when I map, I don't have a plan, I just start mapping and something usually happens. Kinda like how the blank page is the hardest part of writing a paper, once you put something down it'll go somewhere.

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40oz said:

play some IWAD or 1994 maps for inspiration.

Not possible, wads provide little to no inspiration to me at all. Layouts don't impress me that much, all I care about is if the map plays well.

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We all had no mapping skills at one point. It take perseverance (less now than pre-doom builder) but once the map format has been learned, all that separates you from victory is your imagination.

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What to do when you have no mapping skills? Write patches for the game engine instead. Make your own source port!

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Doomhuntress said:

Okay then, I'm clueless. Hit me. Give me an idea about what I shall map. Anything.

2010 Cacowards said:

Build a small twisted dark computer lab map.
Kill a few Mancubi which guard power generator,
kill three Arch-Viles,
destroy some big computer and
kill two Spectres

Post your maps in the Cacowards thread. Deadline is Jan 1, 2010.

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Ok, I'm a new one on these forum, but I play Doom/Doom 2 WAD for a long, long time, and my advice is simple: watch the Doom Builders videos-tutorials. It is just unacceptable a bad map nowadays with a program so easy to use like that.

You don't have to do a Hell Ground (one of the WADs I most like), but is very easy to do a enjoyable map with the resources you have here.

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Build a cramped demon invaded bright warehouse map.
The player has to destroy three big computer and
kill some Icon of Sin


I'm really getting a kick out of this thing.

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Xtroose said:

2010 Cacowards said:
Build a small twisted dark computer lab map.
Kill a few Mancubi which guard power generator,
kill three Arch-Viles,
destroy some big computer and
kill two Spectres

Post your maps in the Cacowards thread. Deadline is Jan 1, 2010.


Did it! Check the thread... or just download here: http://www.phobus.servegame.com/doom/ph_quik5.zip

:P

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Doomhuntress said:

Not possible,


First of all, if you're trying to learn anything then this clause should be completely out of your vocabulary. It's only impossible because you're refusing to give a shit. I'm not here to spoonfeed you mapping experience. Have you even considered looking at the maps in an editor or at worst, in the automap?

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40oz said:

First of all, if you're trying to learn anything then this clause should be completely out of your vocabulary. It's only impossible because you're refusing to give a shit. I'm not here to spoonfeed you mapping experience. Have you even considered looking at the maps in an editor or at worst, in the automap?


^This^

Don't bitch out, just do it. It's just your state of mind, if you think you can't do it then of course you won't. Just do shit.

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What the others said, don't bitch about it and learn to do something about it. I'm just finding it hard to believe that you're thinking it's impossible to just dream up some cool map layout.

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40oz said:

Don't claim you have no skills in mapping if you don't release anything. If you don't release anything, the only person verifying that you have no skills is yourself, which is ridiculous. Your skills will improve immensely with the more releases you make, because you will be receiving feedback each time. With this feedback you'll gain a general understanding of what is bad in your maps and you'll be able to develop ways to overcome any negative response.


Really? I've posted in this forum for a DM level I created, but only received feedback from one person.

Mind you, it might receive more one I submit it to idgames.

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The best way to get feedback for a DM level is to DM with it :P

Assuming of course that your intention when making it was to play it with people, opposed to the self-contained nature of a singleplayer map where anyone can pick it up play without having to gather a gaggle of people to test it. Have you posted your map at a multiplayer orientated forum such as zdaemon or skulltag? Ya might get more of a response there, I reckon.

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