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Memfis

Key progression

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Very idiot thread but we need to talk about it. Do you have a favorite key progression? Like yellow -> red -> blue or red -> blue -> yellow. I remember there was some 90s mapper who had the same key progression in all levels I think.

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I'm not a mapper, but as a player I sort of always expect the red key to be the final one. Don't know why really that's the way I "feel" it. As for the rest, perhaps the yellow one should be before the blue one, but it doesn't really matter.

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I liked how Descent's levels had the consistent Blue->Yellow->Red progression.

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Well in heretic, the key progression was yellow-green-blue as far as I know, so it would make sense for doom too.

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I usually do red > blue > yellow but I'm not strict. I might swap the order depending on where the key is placed for aesthetic reasons (area first key is found is blue themed) or practical reasons (first key is found in a lake of blood so avoid using red key in case the player doesn't see it).

The reason for this preferred order? KDITD. The first key the player finds is a red key in E1M2, the second is the blue key in E1M3, yellow is the final colour key to be discovered. The keys are found in this order in Doom II as well. I know this convention is not adhered to right through the games but this initial order stuck with me.

Also on this subject I never used to like mixing skull keys and key cards in the same level and although I quite like the skull door markings I'm not keen on the skull key icons themselves.

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I tend to use blue / yellow / red, but not strictly. Reminds of an Earth / hell progression, maybe? Sometimes I'll just match with the map color, if the locked section is reddish, the red key will open it. And I avoid the opposite, placing a blue key in a blue room so it can be hard to see.

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I can't be the only Doomer who simply does not have a preference for this sort of thing.

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The only reason to care is to have some meaning to the key color.
In my maps I choose a meaning for the key card, defined by what area of the buildings it would unlock.

The color meanings I choose were:
BLUE : low level clearance, labs, offices, armory, etc.
YELLOW : restricted maintenance key, mid level clearance
RED : security areas, highest level clearance

For example, the yellow key was needed to use one of the maintenance shafts. It also is the key to unlock any of the maintenance shafts.
Where that might get the player around some intentionally locked doors, the level can be adjusted with obstructions, grates, or additional RED locked doors, to maintain the RED security.

The armory is a problem. You might think RED, but the player needs the weapons before going in the RED area, so it has to be BLUE or YELLOW. If YELLOW is for restricted maintenance areas then you are now wanting of more key colors.

Use the skull keys to get 6 categories, that is where I ended up.

This also makes it interesting because there is some meaning to the design, and some players do recognize it.

If you have no meaning for the color, then it does not make any difference to the player what the color order is. If the level is non-linear then the order they are obtained is variable and thus lacking any order meaning. Being that non-linear is preferred, then I find that the key order loses relevancy for imposing a key meaning.
Look at the doors instead for key meaning.

This could be the editing forum.

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GoatLord said:

I can't be the only Doomer who simply does not have a preference for this sort of thing.


You're not.

I have wondered about it a few times but then dismissed it. Because there isn't really any standardisation in the original game or in the community, I never really felt the need to adhere to a system. In fact, I don't really think about it at all. Which colour I pick when mapping is pretty much random.

I do, however, tend to use keycards in human tech areas and skulls in more hellish ones. I don't think I'm alone in that though.

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I tend to never have a preference really, but tend to never use the blue key as the final one. Though I frequently put the blue and red as a choice with the yellow last.
I something imagine the yellow key as being gold and hence of higher importance. Maybe I've just played too much quake.

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I have a preference of cards over skulls :)

Progression? Wolf3d had just 2 keys (gold and silver) and I loved their placement in some levels, as well as door progression (sometimes you need both before the key doors, sometimes it's gold key leading to gold door leading to silver key leading to silver door, etc.). Three keys = more combos and I like when it's not uniform through a WAD.

MAP12 of BTSX was particularly cool IMO.

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i don't really have a preference, since i think E1M1 liked to switch up the order in which keys come in. i think a somewhat common one that appears is blue/red/yellow, though. Heretic has a pretty good standardized one that's generally adhered to, though (yellow/green/blue).

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To be honest, I don't even notice when playing. I just try to get the key that allows me to progress, without putting much thought into it beyond "I need the same color as that door trim."

That being said, do whatever looks good in the map. About the only thing that would ever bother me is if there was a skull key in a pure human tech area. I can write a keycard in an otherwise pure hell map off as stolen human tech.

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I always prefer the blue key of a kind to come first, then the yellow one, and finally the red one. I see skull keys should be more important than key cards, so a blue skull key should come after a red key card as an example. With this, blue keys (specially key cards) in general appear most commonly, while red keys (specially skull keys) appear very rarely.

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I like levels where the order in which you acquire keys does not really matter. Also levels where getting a key is optional as it only allows access to a bonus area.

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GoatLord said:

I can't be the only Doomer who simply does not have a preference for this sort of thing.

I'm with you on this, although, as a mapper, I imagine there's probably a key I've used most. Never really thought about it until just now...

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One thing that bothers me about the yellow skull key is that it's... orange. Gets especially confusing in wads that add the actual orange key. I'd like to see a recolor of YSK that would really make it yellow (I tried once but the results were rather crappy).

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I guess I like blue - red - yellow, for some reason.

I kinda wish that the keycards operated like in quake and you had to get a new one after every door you unlocked, or maybe that the skull keys were able to open all of one colored door, but the cards were used up after each door.

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In Wolfenstein maps I always used silver-->gold, and in my ECWolf Tech Demo and its successors I use iron-->bronze-->silver-->gold. In my Operation Serpent maps, since OS has keycards colored like Doom's, the progression is blue-->yellow-->red, which I'm not recycling for my Doom maps.

Memfis said:

One thing that bothers me about the yellow skull key is that it's... orange. Gets especially confusing in wads that add the actual orange key. I'd like to see a recolor of YSK that would really make it yellow (I tried once but the results were rather crappy).


Demon Eclipse has what you're looking for.

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When I make Heretic maps I try to keep the yellow-green-blue order. The official Doom maps just mixed them up however they felt like it, though, so there it doesn't really matter.

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I'm also not one to stick to a strict system of key cards. I have thought about it much like how wesleyjohnson has...then I thought, "nah, thieves...my maps will use random coloured keys for different types of areas cus thieves and futuristic robbers might want the tech...so random keys to confuse them.....yeah" That and some tech savvy monsters could re program the doors or something...both of those reasons

So from then on, I just use which ever colour I feel like.

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I don't care about color progression as long as they are fun and challenging to find. What I don't like is when skull keys open plain door frames, or key cards open skull frames, because I often assume they don't, so I keep looking for the "correct" key, sometimes for a very long time*. Also, I think that skull keys belong more in hellish maps, and key cards in tech or earth levels, but this last thing is mostly irrelevant for me.

*I assume this only happens in vanilla maps, since Boom and other ports make a distinction between skull keys and key cards, right? Or does it has to be specified while making the map?

EDIT

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I think I have a tendency to unconsciously expect a red-yellow-blue progression for some reason. Kind of interesting actually.

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I'm kind of with Rainbow Bacon on this one; Doom with single use keys would allow more map opportunities and a greater sense of inventory.
To expand upon this, what if keycards only lasted/were useful for the level they were found on, but skull keys were a treat of sorts that could open up goodies or neat secrets in later on maps?

Anways to answer the topic question, I've always liked yellow the best since red and blue are opposites, plus the yellow reminds me of gold. Same goes for Fragport with it's blue, red and green keys. The odd one out always seems the best.

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I tend to pick key colors based on whichever one I think best fits with the map theme (assuming not all 3 are involved). hurray monothematic ocd.

As far as progression goes I associate yellow with finality, probably engrained in my head from doom2 maps.

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I don't mind, in fact I like maps where you can find two or three keys and not necessarily need them in a certain order.

Although I feel red seems to come first really frequently. (E1M2, Map02, etc.)

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I tend to place keys to go in a non-linear order in the hud if they aren't a choice or when it's possible to pick another key before a key(like RYB, YBR, YRB, RBY, BRY...) and I also like having skull keys along with cards to give an 'infested base' in it; like demons purposley place skull bars in the middle of the way.
In addition, does anyone here uses the 'skull card' in some of their maps? I know I didn't use but I'll do so in some of my next maps.

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I like how Shadow Warrior gave the keys colours of precious metals with the red key being the exception, although I think it would've been better as jade instead of overused red.

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I place keys / locked doors based on the color, and which color that fits best with the surrounding textures and areas.

I also like keycards in hell maps and skull keys in tech-bases.

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Do you have a favorite key progression? Like yellow -> red -> blue or red -> blue -> yellow.

No. I say it can be completely random, or in a non-particular/nonlinear order. I think that's all.

But key cards in Hell aren't fitting at all, IMO.

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