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Katamori

Most of 90's WAD weren't as detailed and nice than recently

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I would like to discuss: what's the reason of that?

Yes, I know, in 90's Doom has a 32768 segment-limit, but I don't think that low. For example: I've seen often the "cut" or the ugly placements of the flat-textures which wasn't good. I saw that e.g. in Doomsday of UAC, which although was a really good level.

Also, sometimes I saw really bad using of textures, like adding rock-texture for the metallic flat.

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Katamori said:

I would like to discuss: what's the reason of that?

If you're serious about that massive "duh" assessment...

No "visual mode" in editors back then to let you view the effect of texture offset changes in real time. Instead, you had to save, rebuild nodes (and it could take a while for that to be done), quit editor, load level with game, play, look, quit, restart editor, reload level, adjust, etc. Understandably, people didn't both with this too much except on a few important linedefs, like e.g. a big MARBFACE display. Certainly not every single wall.

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Gez said:

No "visual mode" in editors back then to let you view the effect of texture offset changes in real time. Instead, you had to save, rebuild nodes (and it could take a while for that to be done), quit editor, load level with game, play, look, quit, restart editor, reload level, adjust, etc. Understandably, people didn't both with this too much except on a few important linedefs, like e.g. a big MARBFACE display. Certainly not every single wall.


When I started to learn Doom map editing, I used only WinDEU. I didn't have Internet access, so I asked my friend about the information and he was, who sent me WinDEU. That doesn't contains visual mode, as I remembered, so I made this way of map editing, which you said.

It was a bit frustrating, and I hadn't much results, because I was too lame (I was 12 so it's not suprising) but if I was able to repeat this frustrating method, somebody else also might have been able to do that.

(sorry for the language mistakes)

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Try using any of the early editors and the reason why should become abundantly clear. No 3D preview, no visual offset alignment, not even automatic sector insertion. The node building time is often cited as a culprit, but IMO it was exaggerated: it was in the order of a few seconds on a 486 DX/40 (only if you lacked a math coprocessor it could become annoyingly longer).

Also, check out the average stated build times on those early maps: most of what you'd call "1994 crud" actually took anything from 1-3 months for a novice mapper to make. Compare it with how quickly e.g. someone with no experience could produce the same result with Doombuilder and Doombuilder 2 today: no comparison, plain and square.

Only an experienced mapper could produce decently detailed maps with those tools, and then it was a massive time tradeoff.

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Theres also the fearsome visplane, save game size, visible sprite limits and countless other limits in Vanilla Doom. In fact these limits were even lower in early versions of the engine.

Also computer speed and memory.

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I used to use WADEd to make maps and while they weren't masterpieces they didn't have the horrible texture clashes Katamori describes. I think the editoring utilities available at the time might explain texture misalignments and lack of detail/complex architecture but I think the fundamental 90isms such as illogical texture usage, paper thin walls, poor design choices and other sloppiness are of a different cause.

Firstly, notice how often when a first time mapper uploads something it gets compared to 90s maps. In the 90s many maps were made by casual Doom fans who might make half a dozen maps and disappear completely. Filling a few arenas with a BFG, Megaspheres, invulnerability spheres and Cyberdemons was oftern enough to quell the thirst of creating something new in Doom.

Secondly, there were less benchmarks to compare your work against. Producing something near IWAD quality, even visually, was considered a feat. The authors of standout PWADs of the era were considered to potentially have a future in the games industry. Some of which fulfulled that potential. Compare that to now and a level of detail comparable to Doom 2 is pretty much a minimum standard.

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Katamori said:

Also, sometimes I saw really bad using of textures


Sorry, but Katamori 1024 comes to mind for it's bland and uninteresting 1 color texture themes.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Sorry, but Katamori 1024 comes to mind for it's bland and uninteresting 1 color texture themes.


But I used them logically.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Sorry, but Katamori 1024 comes to mind for it's bland and uninteresting 1 color texture themes.

Look bud, it's just okay in that theme. Right?

Anyway, map building in those times wasn't really that easy task indeed. Romero must have spent entire months working on one map and they're still "not okay" as they're supposed to be. I'm assuming that he would have been able to correct eye-raping solutions, such as misalignments and flats not going well with lower textures edging them, but it wasn't even possible to do in that way without consuming enormous amounts of time, and developing Doom consisted of not just building "pretty-looking" maps. Today's technology lets people do their maps in their taste, and I'm still mapping Vice Versa, despite not being that famous with the regular guys in this place - the subtitle is "Doom intertwined in a more harmonically way it is ought to be in". Those maps follow classic mapping stlyes at most, progressing like the "original" games, but really don't tolerate bland visual solutions like DTWiD does.

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Speaking from my own map-making experience, I found the Visual Mode in Doom Builder 2 to be a God-send. I noticed a LOT of problems in my map that I wouldn't have noticed without it. It's really hard to tell what's going on in that overhead view sometimes, and I once discovered that I had a door going through the ground, which I probably wouldn't have noticed if it weren't for visual mode.

My point is, I can understand that it must have been murder for early mapmakers to create something of today's standards. I think it may be because they didn't have the tools that we have today that make this so much easier. You have to admit, the new wave of map-making tools is truly something special. If I wasn't using Doom Builder 2, and DEU was still the standard, I probably would have given up pretty quickly.

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esselfortium said:

DTWiD's maps are bland? ._.

WTF. Sometimes I have to make my thoughts more obvious.
I meant, there are solutions which aren't real feasts for the eyes. But I didn't even mean to say anything bad about DTWiD... you see, different people, different ways... I'm just not keen on for example, edging a dirt flat (FLAT10 or FLOOR6_2) with a red brick wall (SP_HOT1), which was used by both UD and DTWiD. But the project uses sometimes even more beautiful solutions than the original Doom that I really appreciate.

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Arjak said:
If I wasn't using Doom Builder 2, and DEU was still the standard, I probably would have given up pretty quickly. [/B]


If you happen to run a Unix-like OS, then DEU's still pretty much all you've got to work with. I mean apart from running something in DOSBox (dirt slow), or Wine (crashes, well at least on my system).

I've been playing around with Yadex, but it's slow going... real slow. Even the editors I used back in the day (EdMAP, DCK) were faster to get stuff done with. Or maybe I just don't grok the DEU mindset yet.

Oh BTW, there's an interview in which Romero mentions he mapped all of E4M2 in one 6-hour session, one night between midnight and 06:00. If he could do it that fast, his tools must have been at least decent.

http://5years.doomworld.com/interviews/johnromero/

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hex11 said:

Oh BTW, there's an interview in which Romero mentions he mapped all of E4M2 in one 6-hour session, one night between midnight and 06:00. If he could do it that fast, his tools must have been at least decent.

http://5years.doomworld.com/interviews/johnromero/

Well, id Software did have access to NeXT machines during their development of Doom and Quake. You've seen the photographs of their DoomEd and QuakeEd programs, complete with an angry Tom Hall glaring at the camera. Unlike virtually all the people on DOS at the time, id Software was able to actually work on Doom and play it at the same time.

I'm also pretty sure I once heard that DoomEd was fairly sophisticated, and it wasn't until later editors such as DeePsea and Doom Builder that modders ever had a mapping program comparable in functionality to the original DoomEd.

So yeah, the community I'd say was much worse off at first.

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hex11 said:

If he could do it that fast, his tools must have been at least decent.


AFAIRC, id software had a visual editing tool (DoomED) more advanced than DEU, and I don't know if they ever "cross-developed" their levels using public tools and BSP builders.

My point is, that they had something at least as "flexible" as DEU, even if not necessarily easier to use. And I would bet that Romero, after designing E1 single-handedly a couple of years before, surely knew the tricks of the trade and which corners to cut by then.

Then again, pit any modern semi-skilled mapper with a modern editor and he will be able to cut this time in half, if not less, with the automatic sector insertion, 3D preview etc.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Or maybe he's just John Romero.

Pretty much. By the time E4 was being created Romero had a lot of experience with the tools, in fact if I'm not mistaken wasn't it Romero who programmed the tools?

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Katamori said:

When I started to learn Doom map editing, I used only WinDEU. I didn't have Internet access, so I asked my friend about the information and he was, who sent me WinDEU. That doesn't contains visual mode, as I remembered, so I made this way of map editing, which you said.


When I started Doom mapping I also had no internet and used DoomCad, and the only help I had was from The Doom Hackers Guide (came with a CD of tools n stuff), which I found in a store for $3.99. No visual mode, just a basic old school editor. By the time I got the internet I was mostly done a crappy megawad (2000 I think it was). I remember larger maps taking many minutes for the DoomCad nodesbuilder to do it's thing. Nowadays Doom Builder builds a much larger map in seconds. It was all good learning experience tho.

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There are quite a few factors. Obviously the engine and tools were a limitation to physical detail. If your node builder is inaccurate you can forget closely spaced nodes. You'll battle slime trails, the dreaded VPO and all sorts of fun limits.

As important is the resolution of vanilla Doom, 320x240 is very small.
Intricate textures will look messy at a distance, Physical detail will likewise disappear. So people will concentrate on simpler structures.

Expectation also plays a part. The first maps are based on Doom but later games (eg Quake series) influenced mappers approach to lighting, detail and architecture. The community's standards have risen and people wont download your map just because its Doom.

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deu was a slow and painful process.

also, there were a lot more people playing doom and trying their hands at editing it. you'd have one or two good maps uploaded for every 100 bad (1000?) that and it was a new thing. of course 17 years later people are going to strive for better visuals. back then a lot of the maps didn't seem to look bad. it was very easy to not even notice texture mis-alignments that, today, are glaring.

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There are lots of things to consider here. First off as everyone has said visual made a huge impact as far as texture alignments, I still remember trying to align crap by hand, which was good fun back in the day.

Really its an evolution of tools, and just games in general. People continually strive for that level of detail they see within later games and as time goes on, the players of such mods come to expect it, thus people begin to think any level they play that isn't up to that quality, instantly becomes a "bad mod"

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My first maps were as shitty as bad 94 maps. I think the technology affects how quickly one can improve their mapping and rise to the level of modern visual quality. But it's still on the individual - and as was said before, in 94 there was no comparison, people were just fooling around. My biggest improvements in mapping came from getting involved with community projects where people gave me heavy criticism. Trying to work your map up to that standard makes you push yourself, people in 94 were not doing that (as much)

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I made maps in the 90's. And the simple fact is, you had to make well designed levels, coz relying on eye candy was just silly. Either it took forever to make, or it would just not work within Doom's limitations.


Also

Most of 90's WAD weren't as detailed and nice than recently...


New Doomworld meme right there...

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So, let me introduce the progress itself:
1993: The released game has all of its visual flaws mentioned above.
1994: Some people want to make their own mods into the newly-released great DooM!
1995: They take all the mapping styles of the original IWADs as a general base and scratch to their maps.
1996: The first released wads with all the other horrible solutions.
1997: They're still evaluated as five-star ones, because of gameplay being much over than visuals.
1998: Some other people are starting thinking about some aesthetics
1999: More aesthetical fixes and beautiful solutions in each WAD releasing as the time passes by.
2000: Millennium!
2001: Aesthetics becomes a vital rival of gameplay.
2002: Sometimes people are messing up their maps with great detail...
2003: ..., while leaving gameplay as a giant horde of shit.
2004: Modded engines with aesthetics and beauty all over.
2005: For the purpose of the lookings being even more realistic, people don't even shame to copy mapping styles from Final Doom or several famous megawads.
2006: Fun and beauty balances moreorless, but stupid overestimated port effects are about...
2007: ... to be released sooner or later, driving people's minds crazy.
2008: Sophisticated and confusing, following modern technology.
2009: Dumber people start to hate classic style because of its "flaws" all over.
2010: Nothing so special. Even flying between blinking and flaming evil eyes in the sky, over the city of New York at 26:78 A.M. can't make people think about the border amongst unrealistic classic, realistic postmodern and futuristic modern mapping, modding and scripting.
2011: Enormous time passed by, Doom is soon an adult. What would we do?

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StoneFrog said:

I'm also pretty sure I once heard that DoomEd was fairly sophisticated, and it wasn't until later editors such as DeePsea and Doom Builder that modders ever had a mapping program comparable in functionality to the original DoomEd.

I remember right around the time I found Romero's blog he was talking about playing ZDaemon and Skulltag, and using Doom Builder to make a new map. He claimed that even DB1 was still behind DoomEd in terms of functionality.

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