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Inkie

What makes a good map/project stipulation

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This is like, my opinion, man.

Map Stipulations are a common gimmick used in modern maps or even community projects. Stipulations are limits towards making the map, either in time, size, things, or textures. Some popular ones include speedmaps, or the size restrictions of 1024 or 2048.

Successful stipulations should strive toward goals such as these:

A learning experience for the mapper

A stipulation map should help the mapper improve by forcing him outside of his comfort zone.

This could be for improving on a deficiency by directly working in that area, for example someone who makes very flat level attempting to make a map with a heavy vertical focus.

Another way is doing without certain key tools, such as right angles.

A last way is dealing with limited resources, as a limit in lines, time, or map size.

Intriguing for the player

At the end of the day, a stipulation should be a playable and interesting map for the player as well. Sure, you could make a map with only three textures, a flat, one kind of linedef action, and only Barons, but would that be fun?

It should expand creativity, not limit it

I say this more for projects and megawads, and it kinda ties with the first point.

A stipulation should not be too limiting as to kill map variety. Would it be able to carry over 20 or more maps without becoming too stale?

On the other hand, it shouldn't be too loose as to not set itself apart, and lose its defining characteristic.

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Theres a discrepancy between what players want to play, and mappers are willing to make.

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You make good points, Inkie. Now, how would you evaluate some particular stipulations (for example those you mentioned; speedmaps, 1024, no imps + no keycards, etc.). Are these good or bad?

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I'm beginning to think that the idea of categorizing each possible stipulation into it's own multi-map wad file is the biggest problem for players. Perhaps the best of both worlds would be to come up with 32 seperate gimmicks and have mappers choose which one works best (or purposefully, the worst) for them?

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I was thinking of something very similar in the no imp/key thread but decided not to post in case it derailed. My idea was along the lines of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies (look it up). The OP would contain around 100 messages and anyone wishing to make a submission would get drawn one or two at random. Would be challenging to the mapper but not repetitive for the player.

I'm not in a good position to run a Community Project right now but if I was going to do a limitation one that is what I would do.

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scifista42 said:

You make good points, Inkie. Now, how would you evaluate some particular stipulations (for example those you mentioned; speedmaps, 1024, no imps + no keycards, etc.). Are these good or bad?


Speedmaps seem pretty good. There are a lot of ways to tackle a time limit, depending on which aspects of the level you wish to devote more time to than others. It also forces you to learn your tools, and how to use your editors efficiently. There are even a few mappers that use speedmapping as part of their style.

1024 has been done quite a bit. I guess my main gripe is that it is almost too small, the crampness really kills off doomguy's strengths in his maneuverability. Its sister, 2048, is a bit better and not as done as often as 1024.

I think a big pitfall in some resource-based limitation maps (such as 100 lines, x sectors, maybe even 1024/2048) is for someone to sort of map normally up till he hits near his budget limit, then throws in the exit with what's left and calls it a day. End up with half a map, so to speak.

No Imps, could be interesting, maybe. No other critter can quite cover the imp's role. The other projectile lobbers have too much meat to them, and the other minion types use hitscan attacks. However, many layouts can do just fine without a lot of imps/minion enemies and just rely on enough big bad dudes.

No keys could also be interesting. The best outcome I could think up of is a big non-linear 'sandbox' map. Everything is open to the player, no locks or switches. Its just a matter of moving about the level to get the right resources and picking the right fights to make a path to the exit.

On the other hand, you might expect plenty of straight-forward linear path levels.

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Personally, I think mapping is its own reward, and I tend to think a lot of mappers share this view, even if they don't realize it. Of course, there wouldn't be much a Doom community if we never considered the players of these maps, or the objective quality (i.e. community acceptance) of these maps. But I compare some mapping to doodling on a scratchpad - just something you do because it's enjoyable, and not necessarily because you want to improve or share your art, or any other practical goal.

90%+ of my maps will never be played by anyone but myself, and I'm alright with that.

40oz said:

I'm beginning to think that the idea of categorizing each possible stipulation into it's own multi-map wad file is the biggest problem for players. Perhaps the best of both worlds would be to come up with 32 seperate gimmicks and have mappers choose which one works best (or purposefully, the worst) for them?

I'm calling it now: Someone will announce a "32 Gimmicks" megawad within the week. :P

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Stipulations are one way to get mappers to produce something for the short term that their interest lasts. The biggest problem for any project is to get the maps finished. Stipulations that limit how expansive the individual levels get will help with that.

Most of those stipulations are like "can you do this with one hand behind your back". Not greatly interesting to the player.

No keys, or one key: An interesting difference in play. Gets the level maps out of the regular rut. One time interesting.

Theme: Makes it more than a collection of the whatever got thrown into the bin. The theme stipulation should be limiting enough to keep the maps to the theme, such as keeping the tech wads out of the Hell and Stone wall themed projects.

Dead Line: obvious, gets it done by New Years.

Connections: Pick 30 scenes that form a sequence that the marine
goes through from first map to last map. Each mapper has to connect their start scene to the next scene. The transition scenes can be stipulated by a description, picture, or actual level map portions.

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