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getting started with doom 3 mapping

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Doom 3 discussion, printz here.

Not necessarily a lot harder, but the lower number of enthusiasts to talk to compared to Doom 1, 2 may be unfun. You may have to get used to the huge number of textures and decorations (which still lack variety), but you can extract the Id maps from the PK4s (which are ZIPs) and get inspiration from them. May seem daunting but you can get used to it.

How to use DoomEdit? This video tutorial is useful, but you might need to register: http://www.3dbuzz.com/vbforum/sv_videonav.php?fid=8dc33728bdb19e21a0080588bdcadee6

Also, don't forget to look through this. Though laconic, it shows some crucial help: http://www.iddevnet.com/doom3/
However, I found it quite helpful to teach me the interface.

Also, Doom 3 / idtech4 editing wiki: http://www.modwiki.net/wiki/Main_Page
Also laconic but useful.

Other things not covered in the video tutorials:

- patches. They're essentially curved surfaces. You create them from brushes, using the Patch menu.
- lights. They can be configured to cast shadows from a position different from the direction they cast light. Or they can be made to be parallel, like in classic Doom -- see the Id site.
- textures. They're composed of diffuse (regular but flat-looking), normal (blueish images which actually define the direction the texture goes) and specular maps (dark gray shininess maps) as TGA files, and managed using .MTR text files included in /materials, which are pretty similar in purpose to Doom's patching of textures (with extra special effects -- see the wiki). There's a GIMP plugin which transforms heightmaps (gray altitude maps) into normalmaps (blueish direction maps), but you can use heightmaps directly. Search the Doom3world.org forum for a link to the GIMP normalmap plugin.
- modding. Some features are easily editable using Notepad and changing .script or .def files. I was able to create pain elementals or make gameplay closer to classic Doom. More advanced features may require DLL recompiling, and I haven't explored that part.
- scripting. Just add an accompanying file to the map, and the scripts will work! Refer to the video tutorial how.

Some neat features, owing to game's true 3d:
- you can make sliding, rotating or just free-moving platforms and such puzzles in Doom 3.
- trains, moving transporters and so on...
- physics puzzles with realistic (albeit sometimes buggy) gravity-affected objects.
- you can attach (bind) objects to others. Some objects can be hung to flail around.

I think even more interesting would be Prey editing though, because that game is less gimmicky and has portals and gravity bending galore, flying vehicle combat, allowing some awesome gameplay if you have imagination. The learning curve may be more comfortable too, because the game doesn't have as many cutscene-like and one-time-deal effects as Doom 3.

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