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LightningBolt101

Architecture

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I'm putting this under WADs & Mods as I feel this is more of a map question than it is an editing question, but I'm sorry if it is (I'm sure a mod will just move it if he sees appropriate).

Let's discuss the topic, shall we? Architecture. It plays a huge roll in how a Doom map is played. What is it that stands out most? The textures? Maybe. Room variation? Quite possibly. Architecture? Absolutely.

And I come here asking for tips on where to get ideas for this, because I am absolutely awful at it. Whenever I think of maps in my mind, I think of flat floors and ceilings. I want to add in good design as it really helps with a map. However, every time I try and think of something to add, my mind draws a blank.

Any tips on getting some good ideas? I've played other WADs and know what it should look it, but, once again, every time I try to apply it to my map, my mind goes blank. I just can't think of ways to do it. Maybe some tips on where to get some good ideas would help me apply these, making Facility and future projects a bit more pleasant to the eye. For now, massive mappers block.

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Here's some initial ideas:

- Height Variation: Any excuses will do to have height variation, particularly in one room. Add in monster ledges for extra challenge, but at the same time, present some architectural differences. It's the simplest exercise for mastering architectures in doom-mapping.

- Make more outdoor rooms: Mapping buildings and the outdoor surroundings provide plenty of opportunities for architectural creativity. Add in beams or supports, fences, crates, or whatnot. You can also make huge caverns indoors, the same principles apply.

- Use windows: Windows are a great way to start for architectures/details, it provides more vantage points and views, and challenge as well for monsters to shoot through.

- Use borders: It might sound silly but borders are a great way to start, and you can build upon them. Say, a room for example, border 32 units from the walls, and raise the square inside the room up 64 or 128 units, and there you have your basic architecture. It will only work if you use texture choices wisely. For icing on the cake, add in lights or use the sky flat and add in one more border which could be made into a metal supporting bar designed to stop the room from caving in. Possibilities are endless.

- Take advantage of the sky flat: If a room seems empty, the sky flat can be a great help. A good excuse also for changes in lightings.

- Create light sources, and change the surroundings according to how the lights are designed: You can even create light-posts outside or inside, and differences in lightings are quite attractive traits in a doom map (Episode 1 in Doom used lightings quite well).

Check out Alien Vendetta, Scythe1/2 and (shameless promotion) Speed of Doom, they are IMO pretty good examples of architectures. If you're having mapper blocks, just do speedmaps (don't even care about how good it looks), and practice making a tower, a swimming pool, your house, a street, a cave, etc etc. The more practice you have, the more you can create, and thus, the more ideas you will be able to have when you map. One of the most difficult things in doom mapping, is not the process of mapping, but knowing what to map and whether it would work or not.

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I find it helps to connect rooms n' halls in ways that make the structure you're in feel like a cohesive whole instead of a series of segmented chambers. Things like providing an outdoor view of your base, having windows connecting areas, and having multiple areas complement each other in shape and function will seriously improve the look and feel of the map. Plus, this also leads to opportunities for more connectivity, which is always nice. ;)

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I think "solid structures" is important.

This often has to do with the texturing. Like, if you are making a wall using the GSTONE texture, do NOT make it 8 or 16 units thick, 32 is minimum (IMO, of course). And regardless of textures, make it look "believable", like...appropriate thickness of pillars according to what they are carrying and stuff like that.

As Joshy said; "Alien Vendetta" (in general), "Scythe" 1 and 2 (for "simple" yet solid and believable looking architecture) and "Speed of Doom" (how to mix buildings, non-organic structures and organic shapes with great success, and also a good example of massive and epic looking buildings) are great examples.

Also "Vanguard" by skillsaw, that WAD is the perfect example of what I was trying to explain about "solid structures" =)

edit: oh yeah, and what Xaser said!! That too is very important I think, but I really struggled with that in the beginning. Now, I do it with all my maps (at least big portions of them). Again I have to use the word "believable". It really makes you feel that you are in a "real" place, not just in some hallways made of paper.

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