Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
WoofDg79

What do you keep in mind while designing a WAD?

Recommended Posts

I've seen so many incredible WADs over the years, but when I sit down and start designing I get WADder's Block something fierce. What kinds of things do you guys keep in mind when developing your own WADs and/or where do you draw your inspiration from?

Also, I'll expand it into what general design tips do you guys think are worth noting when trying to create a good WAD?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

I haven't released my first WAD yet but on at least one level, I've started with a "theme". There's only so many themes you can do with an unaltered Doom2.WAD, but still. I made a level themed after a trash compactor, which was perfect to integrate crushers into. I made another level based on a geothermal plant, into which i placed pools of lava. Then there's the level I based on a burst battery, which I eventually dropped becuase it was too small and symmetrical, but still. Perfect place for some nukage pools and cylindrical platforms.

Don't be afraid to take inspiration from other WADs, too. If you see something that works in a really popular deathmatch map, there's a reason it's there. See what advice you can take from that map.

Share this post


Link to post

Keep in mind that your map should be enjoyable for other, experienced Doom players, who have already seen a lot during the years and who got rather hardcore in their demands, playing skill and even their own mapping skill.

Focus on gameplay in the first place (efficient x "random", challenging x plain, exciting x tedious); secondarily focus on aesthetics (impressive x ugly, varied x same-y); tertially on realism, backstory and anything unimportant to the player.

Make the gameplay challenging by efficiently taking advantage of strengths of particular enemies. At the same time, player should be able to kill monsters sooner than he gets bored by shooting into a mass of them non-threatening bullet sponges.

In your map structure, try to avoid symmetry, orthogonality, repetition, linearity, too closed or too open spaces without a special purpose. Work with height variation, light variation, texture combinations, interconnection of various parts of the map in different ways than just door-corridor-room. For example windows, alcoves, ledges...

Take inspiration from whereever, even other wads, but realize that original design and ideas (if good) are superior to homages, tributes, ripoffs and remakes of the same models all over again. Try drawing (random or purposeful) shapes of rooms on paper, maybe it'll help you to come with a layout (for me it doesn't really work).

These are not absolute truths, just tips that seem good from my point of view.

Share this post


Link to post

I usually start off by jotting down the theme/core idea along with main textures to use and primary enemies that I think will work. I also sketch up an initial area and then go from there.

When I get stuck, I print off a copy of the map or map area using Wadauthor and then sketch/draw off of what I have currently made for the level. This let's me keep things in scale and helps me look at the map in a different way. Ideas can also be tested easily on paper before sitting down at the editor.

Inspiration literally comes from everything; walking past abandoned factories, playing other games, movies, books, other Doom levels; etc. There really is no limit to what can trigger inspiration.

Best advice I can give is to start small and don't rush to release. Learn how to make a fun 5 minute map, then a fun 7 minute map, then a fun 10 minute map. (playing time not editing time).

Share this post


Link to post

Sketching out a layout beforehand is a good idea. I found that I tend to finish levels more quickly if I do so. In the mapset I have in Wads & Mods right now the maps I did that for also tended to be more well received. It doesn't need to be anything fancy/to scale.

Also just play a shit ton of wads and try to emulate what you like with your own twist.

Share this post


Link to post

There are loads of mappers blocks threads already, which pretty much have the subject covered. It certainly seems that what works for one person does not work for another and sometimes using the same way to find inspiration does not work for the same person multiple times so try a few of the suggestions on those threads and I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.

One thing I've not really noticed covered is that flawed WADs are a a great source of inspiration as you can often spot good ideas that are poorly executed and steal that idea whilst executing it better! This can apply just as well to your own earlier work.

Share this post


Link to post

If I'm making a WAD with more than one level, I try to make each map have a similar theme, but not similar design/architecture.

Share this post


Link to post
purist said:

There are loads of mappers blocks threads already, which pretty much have the subject covered. It certainly seems that what works for one person does not work for another and sometimes using the same way to find inspiration does not work for the same person multiple times so try a few of the suggestions on those threads and I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.


Pretty much this, people have mentioned sketching the level down first? Doesn't work for me, I come up with an idea and hold it in my mind until I bring it to life, and edit from there if and when needs be. I find it easier to just think of the basic premise and make it up as you go along. Finish the basic level if need be then add to it and make it more or less complex.

Just doing it may or may not work for everyone...which is why asking for advice can be a bit of a headache, the conflicting comments and all that. Everyone needs a bit of advice from time to time I know, especially in how to do specific things which is always worth asking for...but for a general WAD, I tend to never ask for advice and I just make it.

Share this post


Link to post

Ah yes, mapper's block.
I know it well.

What I usually do is, I load up Oblige 6.10 and have it generate a few maps, specifying various settings.
While those maps can be rather repetitive, the layouts are just begging to be modified. And, while doing
that, new concepts for architecture and customization come to mind. In no time at all, you develop the
foundation for your own new map.

http://oblige.sourceforge.net/

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
×