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Raptomex

My first map. Looking for feedback

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I've literally been at Doom Builder 2 for 3 weeks. I've been working on this on and off since finishing up the tutorials. It's my first map ever. My attempt here was just to see if I could create a semi-decent map with everything I've learned so far.

It's a map for Doom 2 which I'm calling "Raptomap". I used vanilla textures. No special features or anything fancy. It's a small map so it shouldn't take long to complete.

Originally I didn't have a theme planned or anything really coherent. I was just going to do whatever and see what I can accomplish. However, I ended up having more ideas of a tech base so that's what I ended up sticking with.

Please test it out and give feedback.

Download

http://i.imgur.com/yGbCtN8.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YMvhu6Q.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YRgLn1r.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/3J8TgEs.jpg

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Good job for a first map ever! I played on UV, killed all the monsters, and beat it in about 5 mins. I missed the secret because of all the monsters at the end, and also with the exit in sight, I ran right past it.

Going back I noticed the secret can be seen on the map, you can set the line to 'secret' in the properties to make it seem like a normal wall on the auto-map. (depends on how well you want the secret hidden, I guess)

Texture use was decent, altho I'd suggest breaking up huge spans of one texture, like in the blue comp room, with some detail sectors. Even thin strips of metal edging can help break up the visual field and add more variety to the look of larger rooms.

Enemy placement was well done, but I found there to be too much ammo on the level for the monsters that were there. With a plentiful supply of shells at the start of the map, most others except for a box or 2 by the goatman is probably excessive, for example. That's just one ammo type and balance is one of the harder parts of level design, so it's just a matter of trial and error.

Layout and construction of the map was also good, with enough height and atmosphere changes in the level to keep each area distinct from one another, without anything too crazy or unexpected. It's a small level but you show a lot of potential! Gameplay balance is the only thing I would say is too easy... also if I was you I'd put the secret somewhere in the middle of the level, as it is in the last hallway it doesn't have a whole lot of benefit to the player.

Overall, well done! Keep practicing and each map will get better and better! :)

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reflex17 said:

Good job for a first map ever! I played on UV, killed all the monsters, and beat it in about 5 mins. I missed the secret because of all the monsters at the end, and also with the exit in sight, I ran right past it.

Going back I noticed the secret can be seen on the map, you can set the line to 'secret' in the properties to make it seem like a normal wall on the auto-map. (depends on how well you want the secret hidden, I guess)

Texture use was decent, altho I'd suggest breaking up huge spans of one texture, like in the blue comp room, with some detail sectors. Even thin strips of metal edging can help break up the visual field and add more variety to the look of larger rooms.

Enemy placement was well done, but I found there to be too much ammo on the level for the monsters that were there. With a plentiful supply of shells at the start of the map, most others except for a box or 2 by the goatman is probably excessive, for example. That's just one ammo type and balance is one of the harder parts of level design, so it's just a matter of trial and error.

Layout and construction of the map was also good, with enough height and atmosphere changes in the level to keep each area distinct from one another, without anything too crazy or unexpected. It's a small level but you show a lot of potential! Gameplay balance is the only thing I would say is too easy... also if I was you I'd put the secret somewhere in the middle of the level, as it is in the last hallway it doesn't have a whole lot of benefit to the player.

Overall, well done! Keep practicing and each map will get better and better! :)

I really appreciate this.

I didn't notice you could already see the secret. In fact I didn't know I had to hide the lines. I just designated the sector a secret and thought that's all I needed. So thanks for the info. It was also one of the last things I did because I wanted one secret in the level.

As for the ammo and enemy placement. I play tested this so many times, lol, and tried to get it perfect. A few times I got to the last hallway with little shotgun ammo left which was good because I had some in there. I'm not big on ammo scrounging, so I don't want it to be scarce but I didn't want to just give the player everything. I had a feeling it would need more balancing. I tried adding more enemies and then more ammo, then removing enemies, etc. It was back and forth.

I've just been playing through some more recent, excellent wads and admiring the detail. I know mine is nowhere near those levels. I plan to make more maps and one of my first goals is to focus more on detail. I wanted to keep this very vanilla while seeing how much detail I can add that would make sense. I wish I could split or cut sectors in more ways than what's provided but I learned a lot from this experience that gave me more and more ideas.

Right from the moment I started, I've always noticed any decent map has height variations, so that was always on my mind and I wanted to make sure it wasn't boring in a flat way.

Thanks a lot.

EDIT: I just played through this again via Zandronum and didn't see the secret in the map screen until I discovered it in-game. Maybe it depends on the source port?

Sqrrt121 said:

Wow. This map is a very detailed map. Pretty good for a first map. Hope you make more :)

Thank you.

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Yeah the balance can be tough to get right, given that everyone has different skill levels etc... better to have too much than not enough when it comes to ammo and health though.

You say your map is nowhere near detail levels of other more accomplished mappers, but the seed is there in your construction. The shotgun room at the beginning caught my eye the most, any more detail than that would almost be overdoing it. Where detail is concerned there is something of a tradeoff - you can spend hours on a single room that a player will only spend 5 seconds in. It can be helpful to detail only focal points or parts the player has to go through multiple times.

Really it's all up to you though, the most important thing is that you have fun doing it and challenge yourself. It's easy to get discouraged or burn out while mapping and that usually happens when you try and force creativity. Whatever you did to make this map, keep doing it and just expand on it :)

At the end of the day your skills are evident, it's just a matter of honing your work. Gameplay balance is tough and like mapping style it all comes with practice... Keep it up!

EDIT: I just played through this again via Zandronum and didn't see the secret in the map screen until I discovered it in-game. Maybe it depends on the source port?


That's possible, I'm not familiar with anything but Zdoom and vanilla. 'Secret' and 'Hidden' flags are valuable for other things too - I use them all the time to keep the automap in-game as free of extra useless sidedefs as I can, I like to think it makes the automap easier to read when you can look at a room and not see any number if invisible lines that are of no consequence. That's maybe overboard though. ^_^

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Hi, I tried out your map in Crispy Doom (Chocolate Doom with increased limits), what I saw so far was quite good, but the red key door has a vanilla incompatibility - it needs a tag, so using it in vanilla makes a bunch of walls shut instead of opening the door. I'll give it another go in ZDoom where I suspect it will work better.

As a general rule, it's good to state what port(s) you're targeting, and what you've tested it in. If you're making vanilla maps then testing in Vanilla/Chocolate is a good idea; ZDoom and derived ports can handle a lot of "errors" that other ports won't like.

There were also some weird things going on in the sky outside, because of differing ceiling heights I imagine.



Anyhow those are all understandable mistakes for a new mapper. Apart from those the level was put together nicely, and I suspect you just need a bit more practice before you're making really great maps.


If you want, here is an FDA up until I got stuck:
http://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1249382

you'll need PrBoom+ or a vanilla compatible port to play it in.


edit: GZDoom worked fine. Nice little hallway at the end.

Here is what reflex17 meant about the automap:


You can see the secret door is light brown, instead of dark brown like all the other walls, because it is a two-sided linedef instead of a one-sided one. Marking the linedef "secret" will draw it solid like the other one-sided linedefs.

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plums said:

Hi, I tried out your map in Crispy Doom (Chocolate Doom with increased limits), what I saw so far was quite good, but the red key door has a vanilla incompatibility - it needs a tag, so using it in vanilla makes a bunch of walls shut instead of opening the door. I'll give it another go in ZDoom where I suspect it will work better.

As a general rule, it's good to state what port(s) you're targeting, and what you've tested it in. If you're making vanilla maps then testing in Vanilla/Chocolate is a good idea; ZDoom and derived ports can handle a lot of "errors" that other ports won't like.

There were also some weird things going on in the sky outside, because of differing ceiling heights I imagine.

Anyhow those are all understandable mistakes for a new mapper. Apart from those the level was put together nicely, and I suspect you just need a bit more practice before you're making really great maps.

If you want, here is an FDA up until I got stuck:
http://www.doomworld.com/vb/attachment.php?postid=1249382

you'll need PrBoom+ or a vanilla compatible port to play it in.

Thanks. I wasn't sure how to specify so I guess it's not pure vanilla? I didn't aim for any real source port features. Just using vanilla resources. Good to know for future reference, though.

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Pretty good for a first map. A lot of stuff has already been mentioned, the only other thing I noticed was it appears that you did the aligning of textures by hand, and it's a little bit noticeable in some areas - for example, the texture above the door in the first room is off by a pixel or two vertically, and often upper textures above doors aren't aligned horizontally. Just takes some getting used to with the auto-align tool or unpegging, I think. :)

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Not bad for a first level. I think the texturing was a bit repetitive and some of the architecture looked kinda copy and pasted, though. The only real big offender was the hallway leading to the red door, which looked extremely blocky and plain compared to everything else.

Lastly, as already mentioned, you need to make sure you tag all of your doors. I got hung up on the red key door as well, and I couldn't quite finish the level.

FDA, recorded in PrBoom+.

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This looks quite decent for a first map. Make sure that when making an outdoor area, the height should be taller than the connecting indoor area(s). This visual technicality can be overlooked easily.

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This is quite a fun map here. You'll improve a lot quickly, and as others have said this is awesome for a first map.

I always, ALWAYS reccomend using a new sky texture and replacing the music in your map with a MIDI you like which will give it a unique quality. This is really easy thing to do with SlumpEd or XWE.

Keep it up man!

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Doomkid92 said:

This is quite a fun map here. You'll improve a lot quickly, and as others have said this is awesome for a first map.

I always, ALWAYS reccomend using a new sky texture and replacing the music in your map with a MIDI you like which will give it a unique quality. This is really easy thing to do with SlumpEd or XWE.

Keep it up man!

My only experience is with Doom Builder. I wanted to add a different skybox but I was going to save that for a later project. I have ideas for a megawad and I want to create my own textures. Including a skybox. I have no idea how to make music for Doom so I don't know what I would do for that. Community Chest 4 uses the song "Oooh Baby" by Anvil in map 2. If not, the rhythm is extremely close. So converting metal songs seems like a cool idea. But I don't know if that's legal, allowed, or even how to do it. Other than the music I'd like to create some of my own textures and skyboxes and see what I can do. I have SLADE and XWE downloaded but I just haven't tried them out yet.

I have another question. I assume it's possible to create maps in Doom Builder and import it to SLADE for texture and skybox editing, correct?

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Yeah, it should be easy as saving it in Doom Builder, then closing DB and opening it up in Slade.

Any music in MIDI format is allowed, unless the creator really doesn't want it used for whatever reason. Metallica, Slayer, and tons of other non-metal stuff are pretty common to hear in maps. Other video game MIDIs often sound great in Doom as well. It's generally easy to just Google "slayer reign in blood midi" or some such and find the song you want. Just make sure it sounds good before you use it :P

With XWE, importing new music is fairly simple. I believe the process is the same in SlumpEd. If the level replaces map01, open your map in XWE and create a new lump in your WAD. Rename the lump to D_RUNNIN, select the lump, the click the 'Entry' tab at the top, and click 'replace'. Then find the MIDI file you want to use from your PC, and you're all set.

Here's an easy to understand reference on what music lump name matches what level, so you can replace all music tracks when/if you end up making a wad with multiple maps: http://doom.wikia.com/wiki/Doom_II_music

The skybox technique is great for a custom sky, but you can also replace the "RSKY1" patch from Doom2 with another graphic, this is the more oldschool way of setting a custom sky.

Hope this helps :)

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Doomkid92 said:

Yeah, it should be easy as saving it in Doom Builder, then closing DB and opening it up in Slade.

Any music in MIDI format is allowed, unless the creator really doesn't want it used for whatever reason. Metallica, Slayer, and tons of other non-metal stuff are pretty common to hear in maps. Other video game MIDIs often sound great in Doom as well. It's generally easy to just Google "slayer reign in blood midi" or some such and find the song you want. Just make sure it sounds good before you use it :P

With XWE, importing new music is fairly simple. I believe the process is the same in SlumpEd. If the level replaces map01, open your map in XWE and create a new lump in your WAD. Rename the lump to D_RUNNIN, select the lump, the click the 'Entry' tab at the top, and click 'replace'. Then find the MIDI file you want to use from your PC, and you're all set.

Here's an easy to understand reference on what music lump name matches what level, so you can replace all music tracks when/if you end up making a wad with multiple maps: http://doomwiki.org/wiki/Doom_II_music

The skybox technique is great for a custom sky, but you can also replace the "RSKY1" patch from Doom2 with another graphic, this is the more oldschool way of setting a custom sky.

Hope this helps :)

Yes it does thank you. As for XWE, I was trying to change the skybox of this map to test it out. I exported a separate one from Doom 2 just to replace it with the current one but my map has no patches in XWE. So I really don't know how to do it. Are there tutorials?

EDIT: Well I successfully swapped out the skybox via XWE. Very cool. My next question would be for texture replacements. Can I import custom textures into Doom Builder 2? If I must use XWE, I can just replace textures or must I define them in MAPINFO?

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I couldn't find an exact tutorial, but the skies in Doom don't seem to need to be identified as patches. As long as there is a lump in your pwad named RSKY1 that is in the right image format, it should show up in your map just fine.

EDIT: lol youm fixed it before I finished posting. Awesome :)

With new textures, it's fairly simple. No MAPINFO needed, you simply import images that are divisible by 64, for example 64x64, 128x128, etc. A texture can only be 128 units tall for old Doom, and 256 wide, I think up to 512 or maybe more for a zDoom based port, but I'm not positive.

All of your texture lumps (the bitmaps of your new textures) must be stored between PP_START and P_END markers. Making them is easy, just create 2 new lumps and rename them, XWE converts them to markers for you.

Finally, select all of the new textures (called patches) between the marker lumps, right click, and select 'add to patch names'. Then do it again, only this time, select 'add to texture'. Now you should have new textures ready to use :) This will also create 2 new lumps called PACTHES and TEXTURE, just make sure they're out of the way. I usually put them at the very bottom.

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Doomkid92 said:

I couldn't find an exact tutorial, but the skies in Doom don't seem to need to be identified as patches. As long as there is a lump in your pwad named RSKY1 that is in the right image format, it should show up in your map just fine.

EDIT: lol youm fixed it before I finished posting. Awesome :)

With new textures, it's fairly simple. No MAPINFO needed, you simply import images that are divisible by 64, for example 64x64, 128x128, etc. A texture can only be 128 units tall for old Doom, and 256 wide, I think up to 512 or maybe more for a zDoom based port, but I'm not positive.

All of your texture lumps (the bitmaps of your new textures) must be stored between PP_START and P_END markers. Making them is easy, just create 2 new lumps and rename them, XWE converts them to markers for you.

Finally, select all of the new textures (called patches) between the marker lumps, right click, and select 'add to patch names'. Then do it again, only this time, select 'add to texture'. Now you should have new textures ready to use :) This will also create 2 new lumps called PACTHES and TEXTURE, just make sure they're out of the way. I usually put them at the very bottom.

Awesome thank you. So there's no way to import into Doom Builder then? Or must I make the map first and use XWE to add new textures?

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Gave it a quick play (well, really two- more on that in a sec).

First off, the red door can't be opened in prboom. Fix that.

After loading it in GZDoom...

Second off, this is really dull. Ok for a first map, but something you'll want to improve on.

The monster density is ok, but the selection and placement leaves a lot to be desired. This is a simple turkey shoot; there's nothing preventing the player from endlessly circle-strafing almost every projectile shooter, the player can draw them out to wherever he wants, and there's no real traps deployed; it's pretty much a turkey shoot. Likewise, the layout has no real interconnectivity; it's just a bunch of rooms off of a hallway.

I'd recommend studying Map 6 of Alien Vendetta (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/megawads/av.zip), Map 29 of Scythe (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/megawads/scythe.zip), Maps 19, 21, and 22 of Deus Vult II (http://www.moddb.com/mods/deus-vult-ii/downloads/deus-vult-ii), Death Destiny's Grime (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/g-i/grime.zip), all of Vanguard (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/Ports/v-z/vanguard.zip), as much of Sunder (http://doomedsda.us/lmps/1193/sunder.zip) and Combat Shock 2 (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/Ports/a-c/c-shock2.zip) as you can handle, and maps 14, 17, 19, 27, and 28 of Unholy Realms (http://www.doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?file=levels/doom2/megawads/ur.zip). Study how their layouts connect into themselves, and how the path the player takes flows back into itself, like a digital ourobouros, with rooms connected in multiple places. Look at how they place enemies that complement each other, and how they take advantage of architectural features to make monsters more meaningful than just "so much meat to plow through".

I really wish that DavidM's "deathmatch map flow guide" was still on the internet, but a quick look around Google shows that it seems to be gone, and the wayback machine doesn't have it either.

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Raptomex said:

Awesome thank you. So there's no way to import into Doom Builder then? Or must I make the map first and use XWE to add new textures?


What I do is, I actually have a separate "texture resource wad" with all the resources for my project in it, and nothing else. When you load your map in DB2, there's a section below called "load additional resources" or something like that. I load my resource wad there. Then, when I go to release the mod, I use SLADE to merge the two together. (Just copy the map lumps from your map WAD over to the resource wad and save it as a different file.)

And please God don't use XWE in 2014. It's buggy, it's ancient, it crashes, it saves over your original wad automatically with every button press, it's ugly (compared to SLADE) and overall, it sucks. Switch to SLADE immediately; it's got the exact same interface but a thousand times better.

I'll give this a play through in a day or two.

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