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phobosdeimos1

Previously welcomed limitations of Boom are putting my enthusiasm to a stand-still.

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This post is essentially just a rant and an invitation for discussion, although it's something we've all gone over hundreds of times.

Creating Boom compatible WADs carries a dignity that I've been striving for in my time mapping, and I was completely happy with all the positive connotations of mapping for Boom when I was making Spire Complex:

- Great flexibility in map design through generalized actions.
- Easy alteration of gameplay elements with the wonderful extended dehacked format
- An all round acceptance of the community by keeping classic to the most well-known source port.

But now, half way through the next WAD for Raw Action, I'm getting greedy for more, but yet want to retain that sense of dignity a mapper gets for keeping his WADS multi-sourceport friendly.

Now I understand so much more about the unlimited customisation you can achieve with Zdoom than I did back when I started, I really think I could put the ability to add new elements to the game such as monsters and weapons to good use to improve the gameplay of my WADs.

Now although this may seem like it has an obvious answer (Duurrr.. Use Zdoom then?), I worry a hell of alot (I have pretty bad OCD) that I'll lose respect for limiting the people who can play my WADs, of which I so dearly want as many people to play and enjoy as possible.

And there's the little issue of high expectations when labelling your new WAD as Zdoom only, people are gonna expect it to be dazzling you with dozens of special Zdoom effects.

So alas, I sit here hoping for someone to reassure me, that Zdoom is on everyones PC and it's not frowned upon to map exclusively for it, and that you can still enjoy a Classic-feeling WAD that boasts some extra monsters, and not rare it 1 out of 5 for misleading you into thinking you were gonna get slopes and 3D floors.

Well, I'd like to hear your thoughts, and especially if you've enjoyed my previous WADs, whether you would stop playing them if I were to switch to Zdoom?

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I can't map so my opinion may not count for much but I've often found that maps that have extra monsters or weapons tend to lose something of the core of Doom. I'm not against the idea per se, I just feel that Doom is pretty much a perfectly balanced game with enough enemies to create any kind of challenge you like. Also, You could always do recolours of the stock enemies and change their behaviours a la Eternal or Epic 2 (both vanilla let alone Boom).

Failing that, there seems to be a certain cache in making Eternity maps these days... ;)

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Personally, I'm an advocate to using the minimum features required to realize the goals of the project.

Before you make the switch, be sure you have no alternative. Even if you have to compromise a little, it's better than closing off your wad to those who use something other than ZDoom. For custom monsters, I've seen DeHackEd do wonders, especially when we're talking about Boom extensions. A lot of people are so spoiled by things like DECORATE and ACS, you don't see the same sort of innovation and creativity as there was years ago. You also have people making ZDoom wads, that could have been done using Boom features, or would have been better off (gameplay-wise) by sticking to something simpler.

Your concerns about this are perfectly valid, in my opinion. You will lose part of your potential audience, because many people want to stick with their source ports of choice, and if ZDoom isn't in that list, they simply won't play it. Perhaps you're this way too? I know I am, and I know of several others that are the same.

I would probably never play your project if it required ZDoom.

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Thanks guys, yeah Earthquake I can see you really get what I mean,

After a few more Boom releases, if I receive more positive reviews then people may be more curious to try a Zdoom release.

I agree that there's a hell of alot you can do with Boom WADS, unfortunately it's just the limiting aspect of not being able to add things, only change things, of which there's not much I want to change within the original Doom, that will eventually lead me to need Zdoom.

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Digon Base already needed an engine that creates a jumping mechanic, so I wouldn't boycott you in the future for similarly requiring a more advanced engine.

Of course, in playing your maps released thus far, I thought they were mostly fun, but with ugly architecture, texturing, and general design. None of that is really a problem for me, since it's a style you seem to be good with, but if you were to add an influx of poorly-used monsters and weapons from Realm667 to the extant ugliness, your maps would probably not interest me at all any longer.

So, even if you decide to make ZDoom-exclusive maps, make sure you actually know what you're doing with the new features and additions, and not just cramming things in the map for the sake of it, or because they are cool.

If you're trying to stick to the same minimalist aesthetic as in the rest of the Raw Action releases, then this is even more important, because new weapons and monsters that justify being more than a DeHackEd patch are likely to ruin the "classic" feeling; they're liable to stick out awkwardly, or to draw attention by contrasting with the bareness of the old-school design in the levels themselves.

Or something.

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Mithran Denizen said:



Yeah don't worry dude, I've come along way from there and Realm667 DECORATE monsters wasn't really what I had in mind, I'm not a massive fan of them anyway but they can be used for good effect (see Phobus' Maps)

Essentially it's the freedom of having a completely modifiable Doom that attracts me about mapping for Zdoom, and I'm interested in taking up the challenge of using that to stick within the Classic boundaries. If that makes sense.

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There's other possibilities too, that maybe you haven't considered: Doom Legacy, Eternity Engine, and others with various features. I'm just mentioning it because it seems like a lot of people just jump on ZDoom bandwagon without looking at other ports. I don't know if they would be appropriate for what you have in mind, that's for you to decide.

Maybe you're afraid nobody will play your maps if you use a non-uber popular port like ZDoom or *Boom, but it seems like the others have some fans, at least here on DW.

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hex11 said:

There's other possibilities too, that maybe you haven't considered: Doom Legacy, Eternity Engine, and others with various features. I'm just mentioning it because it seems like a lot of people just jump on ZDoom bandwagon without looking at other ports. I don't know if they would be appropriate for what you have in mind, that's for you to decide.

Maybe you're afraid nobody will play your maps if you use a non-uber popular port like ZDoom or *Boom, but it seems like the others have some fans, at least here on DW.


Yep hex, that IS the fear. I was looking into doing stuff for Eternity as I really like the engine, it really has a classic feel, but after some investigating it seems the EDF is not very user-friendly, I mean as someone with no programming experience, I've found Decorate very simple to learn.

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phobosdeimos1 said:

Yep hex, that IS the fear. I was looking into doing stuff for Eternity as I really like the engine, it really has a classic feel, but after some investigating it seems the EDF is not very user-friendly, I mean as someone with no programming experience, I've found Decorate very simple to learn.

Using EDF to create monsters and decorations is at least as simple as DECORATE -- it can be a bit misleading to look at some of the existing examples, though, because there are a lot of different possible ways to accomplish the same thing in EDF. For instance, for a few years now it's been possible to use DECORATE-format definitions for states, so much so that you could rather easily port over many existing DECORATE monsters with some copy and paste plus a few minor alterations here or there.

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esselfortium said:

Using EDF to create monsters and decorations is at least as simple as DECORATE -- it can be a bit misleading to look at some of the existing examples, though, because there are a lot of different possible ways to accomplish the same thing in EDF. For instance, for a few years now it's been possible to use DECORATE-format definitions for states, so much so that you could rather easily port over many existing DECORATE monsters with some copy and paste plus a few minor alterations here or there.


It's funny you should say that, I was just playing your vaporware demo and it certainly showcases lots of Eternity features, it was great! Then of course afterwards I had a look in Slade 3 and saw that it doesn't look too complicated, although you had so much going on in that one WAD, I'm sure just doing something like adding in a new decoration wouldn't be too hard.

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hex11 said:

There's other possibilities too, that maybe you haven't considered: Doom Legacy, Eternity Engine, and others with various features. I'm just mentioning it because it seems like a lot of people just jump on ZDoom bandwagon without looking at other ports. I don't know if they would be appropriate for what you have in mind, that's for you to decide.



If someone is concerned about losing audience, the same applies here as it does for ZDoom. There's people who do not use specific engines. That can be for valid reasons or just sticking rigidly to their port of choice.

so here's your choice:


ZDoom: lose those who can't accept its changes in gameplay mechanics
Legacy: lose those who can't get it to work in a stable fashion (myself included) unless you make sure it also works with GZDoom or the recent 3D-floor additions in ZDoom.
Eternity: lose those who don't like software rendering or 35 fps.

So, bottom line, regardless of which engine you select, you can't make it a win for all solution.

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But how many people who actually exist and breathe are going to pass up a wad that otherwise looks interesting to them solely because they don't prefer the software renderer?

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Agreed, I doubt users entropically favour software rendering. Some just have a general dislike for GL ports because they typically fail to replicate all aspects of the vanilla DOOM renderer (e.g., colormaps light attenuation and sprite clipping).

Speaking of which, are there any software DOOM ports which implement techniques like texture mipmapping and anisotropic filtering (Delphi DOOM perhaps)?

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esselfortium said:

But how many people who actually exist and breathe are going to pass up a wad that otherwise looks interesting to them solely because they don't prefer the software renderer?



You can bring the same argument for everything one source port has and another has not.

For example:

- some people get nauseous from having to play at 35 fps
- others think 60 fps is 'too smooth'

- some people can't stand the color and banding artifacts of a software renderer
- others can't stand the differences a hardware renderer introduces

and so on and so on.

Of course I think that the people who refuse to play because they have to switch engines from their pet port is normally far greater than those with genuine concerns.


Anyway, a project that already uses Boom features already has lost a large potential user base, namely those who exclusively use Doomsday.

So my ultimate advice would be to use the port that serves the project best. Do not use one just because some people recommend it if you are not convinced. If you can keep it Boom compatible please do so. I can understand how frustrating projects can be that use only minor advanced stuff from one port that keep it from working with others.

Another alternative would be to do an Eternity/ZDoom compatible project. There's quite a number of features both ports support so if you restrict yourself to those you'd still be able to keep the majority of users while still having some advanced options.

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To answer the original question.
I cannot play ZDoom based wads (I have several setting around that I downloaded). I have not been able to get ZDoom to compile on my machine due to requirements.
I use DoomLegacy almost exclusively (because it had the features I liked and would compile). I also have prboom and EDGE.

I have download many others too, but they will not compile (Linux 2.4).

Boom based wads are much better than plain doom wads. DoomLegacy specific wads like Phobiata and hth2 are great, but they totally use and rely upon the DoomLegacy enhancements.

If you want to use ZDoom features, it should be in a major way, not just getting your toes wet.

Otherwise, you can make sure the level is playable and does not bomb when played on a non-ZDoom port. That is not that difficult to do.
Most ZDoom features are just ignored by other ports. Just make sure the ZDoom uses are not show stoppers.

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wesleyjohnson said:

If you want to use ZDoom features, it should be in a major way, not just getting your toes wet.

I get tired of hearing this. How are people supposed to learn?

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^ Agreed.

You tell people they shouldn't use ZDoom unless they use tons of features from it, so they end up using features for the sake of using features, and we end up with terrible wads.

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wesleyjohnson said:

To answer the original question.
I cannot play ZDoom based wads (I have several setting around that I downloaded). I have not been able to get ZDoom to compile on my machine due to requirements.



What's your problems?

Anyway, that's more or less your problem. Most Linux users over at the ZDoom forums have no problem whatsoever and one of the developers even uses Linux exclusively.

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I had a little (big) dabble with my possible options. Although I love a true boom compatible map and my needs aren't greater than that yet, I like the idea of adding mobjs to the game. I've been playing around with Doomsday and found it's limited by Doomer's machines, yet it has a great Dehacked-like modding system.

A while ago, I started off with Zdoom, ignorant to it's status within the doom community. However, after doing a lot of trawling through forums here and there, Zdoom does seem to be pretty popular port. Of course the gameplay mechanics are different, and after a comment here expressing the need for a "Zdoom only" WAD to be expected to show off many Zdoom only features, I'm unsure,

HOWEVER, after reading the responses of alot of Modders I respect, I can see keeping a classic-style WAD with a few new mobjs in zdoom wouldn't be frowned upon to the extent I though, i'm reassured you guys will play anything that takes your interest, which is what I was hoping for,

anyhow, I've had a lot of players enjoy my previoys projects, therefore will hope to see the same number enjoy my 100% Boom Compatible WIP.

At the end of the day, you either download a WAD or not, considering there's tens of thousands of Doomers, I'm not going to worry (anymore)

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phobosdeimos1 said:

A while ago, I started off with Zdoom, ignorant to it's status within the doom community.


Seriously, now. If you listen to some people here you get a very skewed picture because there's a very vocal minority here that doesn't like ZDoom and tries to make it sound like anyone should avoid that port. Bashing ZDoom seems to be a favorite pastime of those people.

phobosdeimos1 said:

However, after doing a lot of trawling through forums here and there, Zdoom does seem to be pretty popular port.


Don't worry, it is. Just have a look at the ZDoom forums. There's a lot more activity than in any other port specific forum I know of.

phobosdeimos1 said:
Of course the gameplay mechanics are different, and after a comment here expressing the need for a "Zdoom only" WAD to be expected to show off many Zdoom only features, I'm unsure,
[/B]


That argument is bollocks. You won't ever hear it from the ZDoom community. Even here it was said by a person who admitted that he can't even run ZDoom on his Linux machine so it's hardly representative. Is there envy at play...? ;)

In fact, many of the more popular ZDoom projects are popular for the precise reason that they do *not* overuse ZDoom's features. Very few of those feature driven projects ever mature to a releasable state and many of those who do get released are crap.

phobosdeimos1 said:
HOWEVER, after reading the responses of alot of Modders I respect, I can see keeping a classic-style WAD with a few new mobjs in zdoom wouldn't be frowned upon to the extent I though, i'm reassured you guys will play anything that takes your interest, which is what I was hoping for,
[/B]


Again, the ones who will frown upon it are mostly the same people that refuse to use ZDoom because it means they can't play it without leaving their little sandbox.

The Ultimate DooMer said:

Ask not what others want, but what you want.



And that. If you listen to others' opinions of what features you should and should not use the only thing that will suffer is your own project because everybody has an opinion of what should and should not be done for a map to be considered 'Doom' and many of these opinions differ significantly. Do whatever you feel is right for it.

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Search for "ZDoom" on DW and take a shot everytime you see Graf Zahl or Gez complaining about ZDoom bashing. It's a good drinking game... Although you might want to have 911 on speeddial.

On the other hand, don't strain yourself trying to find the supposed ZDoom bashing in question. It's an urban myth, that Graf Zahl and Gez keep alive by bringing it up in every thread remotely related to ZDoom.

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GZ: Thanks man, again some great reassurance and I'm glad you support the idea,

also, that was suprisingly coherent considering how drunk I was!

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entryway said:

By the way, few years ago I implemented support for MIP levels for prboom-plus. Look at the same demo with prboom-plus software renderer and MIPs enabled:

http://prboom-plus.sf.net/longdays_software_mip.mkv.zip

Implementation is dirty, with no dizzering and only 8-bits -> ~50 lines of code. Probably I need to finish it.


!!!

Amazing! Yes please!

I always hated the software renderer (on modern hardware) because it looks all blocky and stuff. But that looks sweet.

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Personally I don't use ZDoom because it depends on closed-source software (FMOD) that isn't available for my OS, but even if there was a binary-only version of it, I wouldn't feel too great about that. I've become accustomed to having source codes for everything. The lack of it always seems to lead to problems down the road.

But that point, which by itself is enough to keep me away from ZDoom, is unrelated to the fact that I greatly prefer vanilla old school Doom style over everything else. Occasionally I'll play a Boom PWAD, but it's really just for a change of pace, not my regular diet. :D

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Graf Zahl said:

Just have a look at the ZDoom forums.


On second thought, don't.

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hex11 said:

Personally I don't use ZDoom because it depends on closed-source software (FMOD) that isn't available for my OS, but even if there was a binary-only version of it, I wouldn't feel too great about that. I've become accustomed to having source codes for everything. The lack of it always seems to lead to problems down the road.



So, give me an alternative that

a) has a comparable feature set and
b) is as easy to use

There's a good reason why the OpenAL branch is going nowhere.

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