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Technician

Vanilla Or No?

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I'm nearly finished with a map I'm planning on releasing, and I'm wondering if I'm hurting myself by choosing to go ZDoom-centric rather than going strictly vanilla. I enjoy the slopes and deepwater effects, but I could do some modifications to remove said effects and go strictly old school.

So is the community vanilla-mad or ZDoom liberal?

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Do whatever best suits your intent for the map. You can always do something totally different for another port later.

A benefit to limiting yourself to vanilla, limit-removing, or Boom-compatibility is that you'll be far more likely to get interest from demo recorders, but if you'd rather work with more advanced port features, there's not much sense in limiting yourself arbitrarily.

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OK. By looking over the recent community projects, I was just under the impression that the community as a majority prefers vanilla over advance ports.

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At the end of the day, one should always map to one's own preferences. A quality project will speak for itself, regardless of what port it's for. Ed's Valhalla was extremely well-received for the community, but was for ZDoom. There certainly are a number of purists in this community (though oddly, Purist doesn't seem to fit in this niche), but for the most part, most people are just hanging around and playing good wads without worrying.

Hell, a lot of people play vanilla wads on Zdoom anyways, so fretting over what the community prefers winds up kind of moot in the end, anyways.

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Just make sure to test with doom.exe or chocolate-doom if you're going to go the vanilla route. It's surprising the number of maps that get uploaded these days that simply crash when you try to play them... So disapointing because it's usually something dumb that could have been avoided if the mapper knew about it.

I also think that to some extent, the tools are to blame. Since 99% of people use Doom Builder, it should at least have some kind of "vanilla" mode that doesn't allow using non-vanilla constructs, and doesn't save the 3D-view "thing" inside the actual PWAD. In Yadex, at least the editor clearly annotates what stuff is Boom-dependant, and the "test" functions are pretty damn thorough.

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if you made a map for ZDoom, there are plenty of people who will play it. besides, some of those features are really nice to have - i would love to use slopes, for one.

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With some careful thought, you can actually have slopes in a vanilla-compatible map. This requires you to use the ZDoom in Doom format configuration, and vanilla will simply ignore all the slope line specials, but will display them in any ZDoom-derived port.

This is useful for making a staircase turn into one continuous slope! With additional things like MAPINFO and LOADACS, you can do some nifty things to a Doom format map when played in ZDoom. Just be careful to not use any ZDoom features that would otherwise break the map under "vanilla mode".

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EarthQuake said:

With some careful thought, you can actually have slopes in a vanilla-compatible map. This requires you to use the ZDoom in Doom format configuration, and vanilla will simply ignore all the slope line specials, but will display them in any ZDoom-derived port.

This is useful for making a staircase turn into one continuous slope! With additional things like MAPINFO and LOADACS, you can do some nifty things to a Doom format map when played in ZDoom. Just be careful to not use any ZDoom features that would otherwise break the map under "vanilla mode".

I hate these ZDoom privileges. A map should play identical between intended ports!

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printz said:

I hate these ZDoom privileges. A map should play identical between intended ports!

Why?

In ye olden days, map packs were often released with optional add-ons (such as a dehacked patch). The most dramatic example being The Sky May Be, for the absolute insanity of its "Blessed Engine"; but more classical packs like Obituary also have an optional weapon pack.

That made it two different gameplays out of one single intended engine. So why not two different gameplays out of two different intended ports?

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I don't think it's necessarily a "ZDoom privilege" either, in general, as people playing it in vanilla mode will want to only see vanilla features. It's just a privilege for those who like the ZDoom features without ruining anything for the ones who prefer vanilla... or some may, for example, play the ZDoom version and then record a speedrun on the vanilla version. It's also a privilege for some people that may otherwise have felt less interested in either purist choice.

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Exactly, it's not like G/ZDoom costs any more to download than ChocoDoom (both being equal to $0.00, of course). Nor are ZDoom's features any more taxing on modern computers (unless one goes completely insane).

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Go for Vanilla unless you want to add extra stuff that ZDoom offers. But I normally prefer Vanilla personally...

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EarthQuake said:
It's not about "privileges", it's about catering to two different audiences.

While printz may have meant something else, it is in that sense we see in IRC disclaimers. Designers aren't obligated to do anything for us, so every time they offer a WAD that suits our preferences, they're granting us the privilege of enjoying what we prefer, as opposed to us having the right to get the WAD under whatever specs or style we like.

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Vanilla for purism/serious play, and for the challenge of making a truly old style map.

Newfangled EXEs like ZDoom if you want advanced features.

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So I decided to try mapping for vanilla and I must say, vanilla mapping is an entirely different animal. Some of the limitations are actually liberating, while a few effects I've taken for granted are thoroughly missed.

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hex11 said:

I also think that to some extent, the tools are to blame. Since 99% of people use Doom Builder, it should at least have some kind of "vanilla" mode that doesn't allow using non-vanilla constructs, and doesn't save the 3D-view "thing" inside the actual PWAD. In Yadex, at least the editor clearly annotates what stuff is Boom-dependant, and the "test" functions are pretty damn thorough.

DB2 lets you use the features that are specified in the game config you chose. So when you want to make a vanilla WAD, but choose some ZDoom config (and use its features) things are bound to go wrong. If there's something wrong with a config you can report it as a bug on the DB2 dev forum.

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I'd say always map for the lowest common denominator in terms of port features. If all you really need are vanilla features, then do vanilla. If Boom is enough, then do Boom and not ZDoom. Also, having too many tools available to you can make you lazy as a mapper: If you can do this and that easily with scripts, you might avoid doing all the cool and more impressive stuff that you would have come up with the more limited tools in less feature-laden ports. For example, in ZDoom you can just spawn monsters in with a simple script, while in vanilla you need to think about how to get them to appear in a way that works and looks cool.

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Technician said:

I'm nearly finished with a map I'm planning on releasing, and I'm wondering if I'm hurting myself by choosing to go ZDoom-centric rather than going strictly vanilla. I enjoy the slopes and deepwater effects, but I could do some modifications to remove said effects and go strictly old school.

So is the community vanilla-mad or ZDoom liberal?

If you've already made it as a ZDoom level, don't waste time by spending extra time making it Vanilla compatible.

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Technician said:

OK. By looking over the recent community projects, I was just under the impression that the community as a majority prefers vanilla over advance ports.


Community projects have always been vanilla/Boom (presumably cos there's more mappers), with one or two exceptions like ZPack and ZDCMP. But unfortunately on these forums we get comments like this:

Vanilla for purism/serious play


by a vocal minority that gives the impression of "vanilla/Boom or gtfo", at least in terms of winning popularity/awards. (which you shouldn't be mapping for anyway, a map should be made how you want it and not how others want it)

Jodwin said:

Also, having too many tools available to you can make you lazy as a mapper: If you can do this and that easily with scripts, you might avoid doing all the cool and more impressive stuff that you would have come up with the more limited tools in less feature-laden ports.


Not really...while ACS not too difficult to learn, it still takes time nonetheless, and I wouldn't classify something that takes time to learn as something that makes you lazy.

If you've ever tried to make something complex with ACS and ZDoom features, you'd understand they can be just as "cool and impressive" as complex vanilla/Boom stuff. (not to mention with less boundaries and less hacky than the vanilla/Boom equivalent, although it's certainly possible to make ZDoom stuff that's just as hacky)

An "impressive feature" is defined by the feature itself, not the port it was made on, and innovation is not confined to working within limits...in fact working without limits is perhaps more impressive as there's more pitfalls to watch out for. (which is why we see these fail projects like mobius etc.)

Jodwin said:

For example, in ZDoom you can just spawn monsters in with a simple script, while in vanilla you need to think about how to get them to appear in a way that works and looks cool.


Not really, as you still have to choose the type and position of the spawns, and use the appropriate tid's for the teleport stuff...the only difference is writing a script and drawing a box with some monsters in. (not to mention the ZDoom method has much better control and reliability than vanilla spawn traps)

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Technician said:

... I'm wondering if I'm hurting myself by choosing to go ZDoom-centric rather than going strictly vanilla. I enjoy the slopes and deepwater effects ...

You can't hurt yourself if you enjoy mapping one way or another. By your own admission, you love some ZDooM features. If you believe they will add appeal to your map, then that's what you ought to do.

Having mapped for both vanilla DooM and (G)ZDooM, I find both types of mapping to be very rewarding.

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You could always hold two versions of the map on your hard drive and release one or both of which meet with your appeal. I released the vanilla version of DCV.WAD but I still have the Boom version on my hard drive.

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Make it for whatever you want. If your project requires some stuff ZDoom has, do it. At best, making a project use ZDoom means that only a handful of purist types won't play it, and that's not a lot of people. Hell, you may get more from the ZDoom features than you would from trying to make the map vanilla-compatible.

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The Ultimate DooMer said:

Not really, as you still have to choose the type and position of the spawns, and use the appropriate tid's for the teleport stuff...the only difference is writing a script and drawing a box with some monsters in. (not to mention the ZDoom method has much better control and reliability than vanilla spawn traps)

And looks artificial and fake most of the time. I prefer seeing monsters randomly streaming out of a well designed vanilla monster teleporter that uses multiple destinations to having them pop in always in the same formation as defined in the script.

Seriously, mappers should learn how to do some things in vanilla first, it'll give them a much better grasp of the gameplay mechanics. Maybe then I wouldn't have to keep seeing horribly broken monster teleporters in 2012.

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Belial said:

And looks artificial and fake most of the time. I prefer seeing monsters randomly streaming out of a well designed vanilla monster teleporter that uses multiple destinations to having them pop in always in the same formation as defined in the script.

And there's nothing to stop you from using traditional monster teleports in ZDoom, precisely because they work that random kind of way.

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