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40oz

Doors that close behind you

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What is your opinion on these? From a player's and/or mapper's perspective, preferably. Is it fair to use this feature gratuitously in your mapping? Is this a cheap way to make an ordinary situation more difficult? Are there any maps that really abuse it? How much can you get away with it before it gets too repetitive? Hate it? Love it? What do you think?

The only other alternatives that yield similar results is a one way teleport. (which is kinda lame given the instant-ness and the disorientation of it, the brief freezing of the player, and teleport fog blocking your vision.) or if the player descends from a really long lift. (the player is required to wait for the lift to come all the way down, make it on the lift during the short duration of time, and wait patiently for the delay and for it to go up in order to escape.)

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Either as a mapper, or as a player, I don't mind doors closing behind me, granted that the map will allow me to backtrack/visit previous areas later again. Traps and other mechanics sometimes just require to limit player's space, and it may actually turn into an intense and fun fight.

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It bugs me when it's a door I opened from the other side, or if it uses the same texture as doors I can open. It might make sense conceptually, but I'd rather have consistency. Throw thin metal bars instead, and we're cool.

If there is a time limitation before it opens back up, the fight better be airtight. Killing everything then being stuck in the room until magic happens: not fun.

I find it best to have the exit opens after player actions, i.e. switch behind a tough monster stuck in place, or series of switches. When you close a door, you're taking control away from the player. It's good to give some of that control back so they don't feel like a living prop in a railroaded adventure.

Another alternative: have the player drop on a lower floor height. Obviously anything over 24 pixels will do if there's no arch-viles, but I think it's good to try to shoot for at least 96 or 128 pixels, so the room doesn't end up feeling too "gamey". It's harder to accept the doomguy can't jump or climb when the only thing against you and horrible, horrible death is a waist-high wall.

Then, later on, you can raise a lift or stairs from the ground. Or perhaps you can even have the way out accessible right away, but just harder to get to (like some stairs in the back of the room, behind the monsters in front of you as you enter the place).

IMHO Ribbiks is the master when it comes to these tricks. He uses them pretty extensively, and he manages to not make it stale. At least that's my opinion... Other people have disagreed. But if you're looking for reference material, his maps showcase a pretty good variety of ways to close off the player path (and variety is key when it comes to these things, if it's always the same kind of door closing in the same kind of way, it gets old really quick).

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Earlier in my mapping career I used closing doors/bars quite a lot to prevent people from trivially backing out of a fight and doorway camping, all 3 of my Hadephobia maps use this somewhere in them, but I've come to realise since then that in my case it was largely layout issues, using them as a crutch to fix bad layouts. Doorways are inherently a very defensive position due to the way they funnel all the monsters toward a single area, so obviously if survival is your main concern its much safer to take on all your enemies from a single direction. I'm not saying that maps should never have hallways or doorways, but smarter map design can eliminate the need for closing door traps. Sometimes, a simple set of shotgunner closets or teleporters that trigger a little behind the doorway is all you need to kill doorway camping dead, but it depends on the layout.

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