Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Lycaon

Some please dont's

Recommended Posts

There are certain things that can absolutely break gameplay and are actually really basic stuff to know. I'm making this post to start generating some awareness on things most people tend to ignore. It's not something very technichal, but common issues that even people who know nothing about mapping is able to understand. In many wads that recieve a lot of stars, I see basic gameplay problems such as:

- Monster placement. This one is so, so important. Perhaps the most important, that's why I'm putting it first. Monsters shouldn't be there just to fill a spot, like they are just waiting to get shot. Opening door after door and seeing a bunch of bad guys right in front of you and nothing else is just so boring that you don't want to keep playing the map. If you look closely at E1M1, you'll see most monsters are placed in unique, special places that makes them take advantage of their treats to generate a moment which doesn't feel mechanichal and autogenerated. The best example is that dark flickering area at the end, where you are ambushed. It sounds really simple but how about all this thousands of maps filled with monsters that come at you all the same without any kind of surprise element. Traps, tricks, scary situations, that's what doom is about. Not zombie warehouses to mechanichally kill stuff room after room. It feels empty, it's boring. Anyone can make a square room and fill it with monsters, there's nothing to that.

- Having to shoot many imps with a pistol. That's annoying. They take too many hits and it's ridiculous. It's ok if one of them leads a zombie squad, but killing 7 imps with a pistol is just nonsense.

- Baron of Hells as soon as the first level starts, and you only have a shotgun. This is also pretty ridicule. When an adventure starts, action needs to be eased, you know, zombies, then sargeants and imps, then demons and perhaps hell knights. But having to spend the first 2 minutes shooting at 2 minor bosses doesn't make any sense either. It's gamebreaking before the game starts. I quit this wads right away as they
usually are badly done all over.

- Overall, never force the player to kill big monsters with small weapons, unless it's a big moment and you want to introduce a monster in a kind of mini-boss moment, like, a mancubus in the centre of a closed area surrounded by imps while you have a shotgun. but in general, killing big guys with small gear is boring.

- If you are going to use a new weapon sprite to replace a classic one, be sure it doesn't absolutely suck ass and take all kind of joy from it. Especially if you change the SSG. Make really sure the new model is AT LEAST as fun as the classic. New and just new isn't good, it needs to be good.

- Maps completely brown or completely gray with big, empty enviroments makes you want to destroy the wad rather than playing through it.

I know I sound like I'm raging (and my innerself probably is), but It's just soultakingly annoying to download all these wads without these basic common knowledge. It's all so simple and intuitive, I really don't know what makes so many people neglect it.

Share this post


Link to post

I personally agree with most of your points. I think most seasoned mappers around here know these "rules" of mapping, and you'll most certainly find authors that have a style you like, and other authors that have a style you dislike.

If you're browsing on idgames and you want a clean Dooming experience, unless it's a well known classic like Momento More or Doom City, you're probably best downloading stuff post-2000. Many things that are common knowledge to modern mappers were not back then - information about mapping is plentiful these days.

In terms of design, it seems you know your stuff. Do you make maps? I'm always keen to find new authors!

Share this post


Link to post

I'm thinking of all this points from the player's perspective. I know people that play doom and don't make maps and still find those things annyoing. I'm not a seasoned mapper at all, I did a bunch of maps a couple years ago and lost them in a failed backup. Now i'm back at mapping, and I'm working on a map that isn't entirely classic in terms of aesthethic and storyline, but i'm still trying to mantain all this basic stuff(you answered the project's post, remember?).

Could you name some of your favorite authors?

Share this post


Link to post
Lycaon said:

- Baron of Hells as soon as the first level starts, and you only have a shotgun. This is also pretty ridicule. When an adventure starts, action needs to be eased, you know, zombies, then sargeants and imps, then demons and perhaps hell knights. But having to spend the first 2 minutes shooting at 2 minor bosses doesn't make any sense either. It's gamebreaking before the game starts. I quit this wads right away as they
usually are badly done all over.

Disagreed. Starting a map with a bunch of powerful monsters in the player's face that he needs to run away from is a fantastic way to kickstart the action.

- Maps completely brown or completely gray with big, empty enviroments makes you want to destroy the wad rather than playing through it.

There's nothing wrong with sparse environments. Sandbox maps rule, and maps with particularly large monster counts need massive environments.

Share this post


Link to post
Cynical said:

Disagreed. Starting a map with a bunch of powerful monsters in the player's face that he needs to run away from is a fantastic way to kickstart the action.


There's nothing wrong with sparse environments. Sandbox maps rule, and maps with particularly large monster counts need massive environments.


Usually I don't see that you have to run away from it but rather kill it first, and it's just not cool. Perhaps if he was comming from a hallway you are in, maybe that would tell you to do that. Thing is, the map doesn't communicate with the player in the cases I'm thinking about, I don't really know how to explain this.

About the big enviroments, I'm talking about actual empty giant rooms with almost no monsters, in maps people have recommended to me, not just any crappy wad nobody knows.

Share this post


Link to post
Lycaon said:

Usually I don't see that you have to run away from it but rather kill it first, and it's just not cool. Perhaps if he was comming from a hallway you are in, maybe that would tell you to do that. Thing is, the map doesn't communicate with the player in the cases I'm thinking about, I don't really know how to explain this.

The map communicates it in a very simple way -- there's powerful enemies, you don't have enough ammo to take them down, and killing them with a non-Berzerk fist would likely be fatal to the marine, so instead you run away and try to find a weapon.

It's a standard Doom map feature since Sandy Petersen did it in, like, almost every one of his maps back in 1993.

Share this post


Link to post

The beauty of Doom is there are no "rules" beyond what your imagination and the editor of choice will allow.

Also - just because YOU don't like something doesn't mean that someone else doesn't like it. Some people LIKE being blasted with tons of monsters. Some people like tight maps and some don't. Some like lots of switches and some don't. It's all very personal and that's why reviews, as much as they can help you decide if you want to check out a map, definitely come from the perspective of that individual.

Share this post


Link to post

@Lycaon: Even though I'm willing to admit that your points don't apply absolutely, I agree with them. Indeed, what you describe are player-unfriendly design choices. They don't make for a good design in the largest majority of cases, unless the map does something special / impressive to balance it out.

However, I'm (often) personally okay with running away from monsters when I don't have ammo to kill them, even if a little annoyed, and whether it was an intentional design or not.

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

@Lycaon: Even though I'm willing to admit that your points don't apply absolutely, I agree with them. Indeed, what you describe are player-unfriendly design choices. They don't make for a good design in the largest majority of cases, unless the map does something special / impressive to balance it out.

However, I'm (often) personally okay with running away from monsters when I don't have ammo to kill them, even if a little annoyed, and whether it was an intentional design or not.


Exactly, what I was trying to say is not that these kind of this should be banned or something, but that to accomplish them in a player-friendly way is hard, and such cases are very rare.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×