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NuMetalManiak

Getsu needs help with making a "publicly acceptable" map.

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when people start talking about certain maps and how they are designed, sometimes they complain that a map is bland due to having just one texture or one predominant color. but on the opposite end of the spectrum if one makes a map with a lot of texture variation people also complain about that, using terms like "mishmash" and other terms i'm not familiar with.

so is there a "just right" amount of texturing to a map? if i am going for a certain theme, what are the correct textures to use and what shouldn't be used? also, i'm not sure if this belongs in Editing or WADs and Mods, either way, i'd like to know what i'm doing wrong in my work.

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largely personal preference. some people like variety, others like strong thematic consistency. I tend more towards the latter, but from what I've seen the denizens of dw have extremists on either end. follow your heart!

I completely encourage you do design maps in whatever way appeals to you, no such thing as objectively correct texturing. personally I tend to follow this sort of idea:

- infinite amount of neutral textures: i.e. grays, blacks, browns, etc
- 2 or 3 strong colors: e.g. reds, greens, blues, whatever. Usually 1 or 2 of them are used very extensively, as structural textures or primary floor or whatever, and the remaining ones are used sparsely as highlights and whatnot

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I'm not sure there is a correct formula for this as it is not down to the number of textures, but how they come together to form the general visual design. Judging that takes a degree of artistic perspective, to see when things look too busy, or too bland, or too garish. And to a degree this will also depend on personal taste. Certain textures look ugly when next to each other, either visually or materially.

From what I have seen of your maps the texture colour is only a part of the problem, you also have a lot of arbitrary texture usage where the material of the texture has little relation to the architecture and seems more like wallpaper, and the architecture itself is fairly random and illogical, both of these factors join to make unrealistic environments. You also have a lot of uniform texturing.

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mouldy said:

From what I have seen of your maps the texture colour is only a part of the problem, you also have a lot of arbitrary texture usage where the material of the texture has little relation to the architecture and seems more like wallpaper, and the architecture itself is fairly random and illogical, both of these factors join to make unrealistic environments. You also have a lot of uniform texturing.


i'm a bit confused here. you talk about me having a lot of color in terms of texturing in my work, but then last sentence says that i'm basically monotexturing. also, a lot of my past work has been picked on for "flatness" moreso than randomised architecture.

perhaps i just have a problem choosing the correct texture/flat for something, and end up putting a "placeholder" texture/flat when i can't think of the right texture to put, forgetting about it later on.

Ribbiks said:

largely personal preference. some people like variety, others like strong thematic consistency. I tend more towards the latter, but from what I've seen the denizens of dw have extremists on either end. follow your heart!


cool, but it sounds like i should just ignore what other people think, which seeing as how a majority seem to want others to take their advice, is kind of a bad thing. really i'm still not sure what to think about others here.

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It's not really a quantifiable thing. You can even monotexture a map and still make it navigable and aesthetically pleasing if your shapes and lighting are used well enough to differentiate areas and create contrasts.

I'd recommend studying some maps that you find good to look at, and see how they're using textures, angles/shapes, and lighting. When building and lighting your map, understanding how to make use of Doom's fake contrast feature is also beneficial to creating contrast without adding more textures.

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Getsu Fune said:

i'm a bit confused here. you talk about me having a lot of color in terms of texturing in my work, but then last sentence says that i'm basically monotexturing. also, a lot of my past work has been picked on for "flatness" moreso than randomised architecture.




What I am saying is that you are talking about colour usage being the problem when it is more a combination of things. The randomness of the architecture refers to the angles rather than the elevation. Here are some pics from your mayhem map to illustrate:


This room is a jumble of shapes and textures with no visual coherence. The grey wall covers various surfaces arbitrarily, cutting directly into badly aligned and highly contrasting textures in the middle. Those 2 light grey overhangs, what even is that texture meant to be? Some kind of gothic carved stone pattern? Whats it doing in this room?


Ceiling lights that mysteriously disappear into the wall. Again, overhanging carved stone section for no reason. Random wall angle as room becomes stairs that lead into corridor off to the right. Abstract architecture like this is fine as long as there is some kind of overall sense of place, but here its just random shapes joined together to make a series of rooms.


This room looks like pyjamas. The variety of angles suggest a structure made from various materials, buts its all coated in the same wallpaper.


Wall textures that magically transform into different materials when they go round corners or across thresholds. Random corner angle again.


This room has one section of wall made of a totally different material for some reason.

The problem with your maps is that they are visually incoherent. Doom is great at creating surreal places, but the thing about "surreal" is that its needs that "real" part, it needs to feel like a real place.

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ah angles, i get it now. to tell the truth, much of THAT map was improvised since i had no idea what i'd put for the whole thing. but i'll get to fixing it hopefully. one thing: in the last screenshot, that vertical gray slab happens to be a custom SUPPORT texture.

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You should only use three textures: DOORTRAK, GRAYTALL and FIREBLU1.

As for flats, F_SKY1 everywhere.

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Someone pls make a map according to what Gez said. One extra flat is allowed :)

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Have you played Reticula? MAP02 is mostly DOORTRAK and a black flat. :)

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True, I played and I forgot... Also facepalm counts. So nevermind, it has been done.

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There's no proper amount.... I mean I have over 1100 custom textures in my megawad project now so that better be ok. ;)

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mouldy:

I decided to change that map's texture usage, in accordance to what esel said about monotexturing a map.



ATM I haven't done any texture alignment or brightness/fake contrasts yet. you just tell me if I am going in the correct direction by avoiding too much combination of things and leaning towards a more consistent color scheme. if i'm not, then i'll scrap it altogether and keep the apparently messed-up original as is.

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I should probably clarify that my mention of monotexturing wasn't a recommendation, and was only intended to demonstrate that even at one extreme or the other, a map can still be successful aesthetically.

With that said, though, the level of difficulty in keeping a map feeling cohesive probably increases as more textures are used, and there's nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

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Getsu Fune said:

mouldy:

I decided to change that map's texture usage, in accordance to what esel said about monotexturing a map.

ATM I haven't done any texture alignment or brightness/fake contrasts yet. you just tell me if I am going in the correct direction by avoiding too much combination of things and leaning towards a more consistent color scheme. if i'm not, then i'll scrap it altogether and keep the apparently messed-up original as is.


I'd echo what essel said: look at other people's maps you think look good, and try to figure out what it is about them that makes them look good. Its not all down to texturing, there is lighting, geometry, detailing and architecture. You can make a map with one texture look ok if the lighting and geometry is interesting, and you can use as many textures as you like if they compliment each other.

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Yeah, there's not really a rule about this. Look at night tomb, it was made with only 2 textures but is one of the more atmospheric maps you'll play. I can't think of an example of a map with loads of textures but as long as they are tastefully applied it will still look good. One tip is where you have a texture transition change the architecture so it also looks like the material has change. Also agree with essel, go check how others do it.

Personally, once I've used about a dozen textures it for some reason bothers me to use more. I sit looking at my palette of used textures thinking, won't one of these fit?

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perhaps I should just stick with textures that fit at least two color schemes, something in the vein of A.L.T. MAP15, which was blue/white. then i could fit what i do to a two-toned theme.

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hi it's me again! and i've changed the thread title too.

i've pretty much getting down to the wire when it comes to designing now, but i have another quibble. whenever somebody talks about the gameplay in my wad, i've been in only two possible areas. either my map is deemed boring in gameplay (most likely due to having too much supplies or not enough monsters, or no tricky monster usage) or my gameplay is too difficult that it goes into the "dick move" category (kinda the opposite of what was in parentheses above).

people are begging for a challenging wad these days. how do i balance the gameplay so that combat is efficient enough that it's not boring but not so annoying that i'm allegedly pulling "dick moves" on the player? do I look at some highly-revered wad's thing placement just as I looked at other peoples' design as well? or can I try something of a unique concept?

I really hope that my questions aren't getting snooty, because I want to come out as an enjoyable mapper instead of an annoying/boring one.

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I don't know if that's a suitable answer, but I think playtesting your map from the start each and everytime without cheats or saves can help you zone in on unfairly hard traps or general tediousness; because things you might be tempted to let go in a first playthrough (as in, "eh, it's not that bad") will start to become irritating by the fifth and infuriating by the tenth.

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Getsu Fune said:

or my gameplay is too difficult that it goes into the "dick move" category (kinda the opposite of what was in parentheses above).


Dick move traps are a good thing in many cases. The trick is how you present them. You can't just be running down hallways mowing down imps with your chaingun when "fuck you -- 3 archviles and a Cyberdemon" happens. You have to build up a suspense, and there's a variety of ways you can manipulate an area of a map to signal to the player that something is "just not right" here.

The most common way is to cut down on the monsters. A room with nothing to kill in it is very weird in a game like Doom. The longer you can keep the player in it without giving him anything to shoot, the higher the anticipation will be.

Another way to is to show off an item a player might want, by putting it on a pedestal or shining a light or something on it. If the player spent the last five minutes trudging through revenants and hell knights with a regular shotgun then -- hey an easy to reach super shotgun! There's obviously strings attached with that offer.

Something you'll see Ribbiks do a lot, like in Swim with the Whales, is you'll see a tough monster, like a cyberdemon, a couple archviles, or a horde of hell barons frozen behind an invisible wall. It can't hear you, and more importantly you can't shoot it. But its lingering in your comfort zone and something you do is going to make it mobile at the most inopportune time.

Almost any level of difficulty is acceptable because you are visually communicating to the player that something is going to happen.

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Gez said:

You should only use three textures: DOORTRAK, GRAYTALL and FIREBLU1.

As for flats, F_SKY1 everywhere.


YOU FORGOT SUPPORT3 YOU FRAD!

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Ribbiks said:

- infinite amount of neutral textures: i.e. grays, blacks, browns, etc
- 2 or 3 strong colors: e.g. reds, greens, blues, whatever. Usually 1 or 2 of them are used very extensively, as structural textures or primary floor or whatever, and the remaining ones are used sparsely as highlights and whatnot


This is pretty close to what I consider to make for a good scheme, color-wise. Too many bright colors look busy, but you want some vivid colors to avoid the map looking too bland. I find that things tend to look nicest when they have one or two strong colors, mixed with the neutral colors as an offset.

Some of it depends on the map, as well. If you're doing a city level, then obviously each building will probably be a different texture scheme. I try to think of my levels as real places - what would they be made out of? Generally, it doesn't make sense for one place to switch texturing schemes every room. Of course, there will be some variation - part of it might be made with bricks before switching into marble, or something. Breaking up the areas with support textures, archways, etc helps a lot.

As far as the most recent picture you posted... while there's a definite nice cohesion with the red, it's almost TOO red - there's nothing really neutral to balance it out. Also, that pink is a flesh texture I believe, so it looks a bit weird (I'm assuming it's supposed to be a rocky cavern given the redrock). It also looks a bit blocky, especially the bloodfalls (why would they be so square?)

Gameplay is a lot more difficult, I think, because what people like or want varies wildly. Sure, people can disagree when it comes to visuals, but people generally agree on how most things look. Gameplay-wise there's a lot more variation in skill and what a Doom map should be to them. Some people like slaughter, some don't.

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for what i'm doing now, it seems i'm making the map in a tan/reddish pink color scheme (yes i'm even using CRATOP2 as a tan flat). also that picture is quite outdated as i've removed most of the REDROCK and adjusted brightness HEAVILY for most of the map, i posted a few pictures of my progress in the picture thread, but reposting one of them here for more clarity.



i looked to maps from Alien Vendetta and how they do brightness, plus Ribbiks' maps for this. hope it isn't too bad.

as for the gameplay in the original, i tried to avoid slaughter as much as i can, well, at least the obvious type of slaughter which was monster hordes. but this new map will probably have an interesting type of ambush, as 40oz had put it. hopefully my placement is a bit more decisive and my map won't look and feel like a disoriented cracker.

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Looks interesting. But, how the shadows are being done? And I don't mean in technical standpoint, more about aesthetic point.

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