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XenoNemisis

Help with mapping (Suggestions and criticisms wanted)

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So I've been wanting to make doom levels for a long time, and over the years I've amassed a good two or so dozen unfinished maps. This is mostly because I normally get to a point in a level where I keep editing the same sections over and over, or I keep moving enemies around and play testing ad infinitum.

Below are a few maps I've worked on, probably since 2011 or so. What I'm asking is for is any suggestions and criticisms (and you don't have to be nice about it) on both how I design the maps and how the game play holds up. Again, most of these aren't finished, so I will put a note next to each to indicate how complete each one is.

*Note: Intended for ZDoom

Link:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/2duazaw4ag5w72e/XNMaps.rar

1. Huh (I experimented with textures and object placements, level is mostly complete. As an aside, there is a map 6, but I had moved it from map 2 since it felt like a harder level)

2. Green (One level, I've been working on this one for the past week, It's about half done)

3. Crimson Skies (12-14 level wad, work In Progress, first level is mostly complete)

4. Ancient Base (One level, complete for the most part)

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Hey. It's a bit difficult to evaluate these maps or provide criticism because they're all so short, even the "mostly finished" ones feel like just intros to a larger map. That's OK if you want to keep it small though. In general the maps feel a little cramped, and generally easy. You've got some nice visual details here and there, especially on the more finished maps, which is nice -- but also not as important as other aspects like gameplay or just completion, so don't get too bogged down in making things nice.

I think probably the main thing you need to do is just to sit down and force yourself to finish some maps. (advice I've been trying to follow myself...) Don't worry about making them perfect, just try to get a complete map down, work out details as best you can, and then go to another. If you get stuck in one section just say "good enough for now" and move on, work on a completely separate segment of the map if you need to and join it together later on.

XenoNemisis said:

1. Huh (I experimented with textures and object placements, level is mostly complete. As an aside, there is a map 6, but I had moved it from map 2 since it felt like a harder level)


The most fun set of maps because they're pretty hard. I think short and hard maps work quite well a lot of the time, whereas short and easy tend to be forgettable. Visually there's a bit unrefined and have some weird bits, but it kind of works? The segmented skyfloor is what really sticks out, I don't know whether I like it or not but it's memorable at least. The start of the first map looks quite good.

2. Green (One level, I've been working on this one for the past week, It's about half done)


It's a good start though it peters out quickly. Seemed to be missing a lot of textures but I could still get a general sense of things. I think you're on the right track with this one, just get it done!

I don't like being artificially blocked off from that island which looks climbable, but no big deal I guess.

3. Crimson Skies (12-14 level wad, work In Progress, first level is mostly complete)

MAP01: Super short, what's there isn't bad. A few texture issues but don't worry about those until the end.
MAP02: Starting to get somewhere, was disappointed when it ended. Half-closed door was nice.
MAP03: I like the starting area.
MAP07: Things start to feel a bit more open here. The layout looks interesting.
MAP08/09: Scale still off, if those are supposed to be roads. Consider that a car should comfortably fit four Doomguys and still fit in one lane without being too close to the line or the edge. MAP09 is a little better than MAP08

4. Ancient Base (One level, complete for the most part)

Getting a real '94 vibe from the crampedness, texture use, and lack of alignments. That's OK though. This level feels like you made good progress in a small amount of time and then sort of lost focus? Some more artificial blocking which I don't really get, oh well.

Gameplay is OK, I'd say avoid 30s door closes where you can help it, especially if you're using ZDoom which has so many better options with scripts, etc. The yellow key door is one use only but since that's about where the map ends you probably know to fix that already.

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