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Yuki Senmatsu

Do you sometimes have trouble what things to put and where to put them?

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So trouble with thing placement then.

I kind of have a bit of difficulty with thing placement: I lean more towards decoration with sectors and linedefs than things and all too often I don't think monster placement through as thoroughly as I should. It helps to build the map around the fighting rather than the other way around, but that can always throw up its own unique problems.

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I do frequently have trouble. Trial and error helps a lot, you have to play the map a lot, and then change on what you intuitively think needs changing. I do this a lot with the monster placements, like some of the original monster placements I make in maps are excessively difficult or impossible. For what it's worth, let the layout flow guide your item/monster placements. Do all the essentials first, such as keys, weapons, essential items like blue/green armour and soulsphere, stand-out monster encounters (cybers, archviles, hellknights, chaingunners, revenants for example), and then put in all the other stuff (ammo, health, less essential armour/spheres and fillerish monsters).

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Most of the time I have trouble placing appropiate monsters for the maps, generally because of balancing and etc

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I've not had this problem for years, as I always map for that encounters these days. Even when I'm making something purely decorative I know the monsters well enough to have a first idea on what to place.

That's not to say my ideas are always perfect first time, mind, as I do revise monster placement sometimes and frequently have to add to the ammo I provide, or make more of it available sooner. I tend to guess how much health I'd need correctly though... Probably because I'm happy to have some spare laying around.

This strikes me as the sort of thing that becomes intuitive with experience, as around 10 years ago I was still going with my gut, but as the mapping was less conducive to good gameplay, the monster placement was limited in scope and effectiveness.

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No, I do not have any of those problems as I made all of my 1024abc maps within 2/3 hours each and that includes everything, although DB decided to remove the textures for the red brick stairs at MAP14 for some reason.
The only difficulty for me is to deal with the crap that DB2 does without my permission, that's about it.

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If I playtest my maps multiple times (which I always do, many times) and keep tweaking thing placement until I'm satisfied, then I don't have these problems. Or at least, I don't put more thought into it.

If anything, it's attempting to craft out an interesting architecture, which gives me trouble all the time... This time, I feel a need to put a thought into architecture.

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I have this problem relatively rarely. Usually when thinking about thing placement, I figure out a rough area instead of an exact spot.

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This is a problem that reduces with experience over time, though it does not disappear completely. The more you understand the properties of things the more you are intuitively aware of what should go where.

Obviously stronger layouts makes this easier. If you've just mapped a bunch of flat rectangles joined linearly with doors or hallways then you will probably get stuck for ideas for interesting scenarios after a couple of rooms.

My advice then would be to start with one or two battles or setpieces in mind and work out a layout to accommodate these. The more incidental fights should still be interesting e.g. involve cross-fire or surprises if the layout is good.

Playtest often and tweak. If you're really stuck for ideas build your layout and walk around it with no things in and some ideas will probably come to you - e.g. 'Imagine if that wall opened up with some Revenants behind', 'that would be a sneaky place for sergeants to flank from' or 'an Arachnatron on that ledge would add a bit of risk to using this architecture as cover'.

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I usually put all decorative sort on the map, along with player starts, and the important items (like BFGs, Megaspheres, berserks and all the fancy stuff), once I have sorted the critical area.

As for ammo and health, I try to give logical estimation how much ammo is going to be used, and trying to figure routes players are usually passing by. And with that, I put the minimum amount of stuff needed, and the extra stuff in places players are not likely going to pass. Exploration should be rewarded, after all.

But most of the time, monster placement gives me a major headache. I know how monsters behavior, and how they should be put. But it won't always cut.

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Ever since I started mapping, but a method of planning things beforehead usually cleans things up more or less.

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