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Doom 2 SP - Dungeon of the Rejected Imp(Beta)

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Today I would like to share with you my first Doom 2 level.

It's based on a Doom 3 level I had made but with some different level logic to fit Doom 2.

It's a fairly basic layout. I made it to mostly get my feet wet and get back in to mapping for older games, as I think it's a lot more enjoyable than making levels for newer games. It's pure level design :)




Download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5wloi0hx6prb3n/z13doom01.wad?dl=0

Please leave some feedback and let me know of anything I could improve!



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What compatibility, and what port was it tested with? Vanilla, Boom, ZDoom? And if vanilla or Boom, was it actually tested in it? If you tell me the proper compatibility before I start playing, I can provide you an FDA (first playthrough) demo. ;)

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I think that you've uploaded a wrong wad, all I can see there is an untextured mess, and entirely different architecture than in the screenshots.

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Oh shit you're right.

That's my new level I was blocking out.

Typical first timer problems hahah.

First post has been fixed. Sorry about that.

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Well, recording demos in ZDoom is not a common practice due to compatibility problems, but I did it anyway. Here is an FDA demo for your map, recorded in ZDoom 2.7.1. You can view it by placing the .lmp demo and your wad in your ZDoom folder, and typing this to the command line:

zdoom -iwad doom2.wad -file z13doom01.wad -playdemo z13doom01fda.lmp
But if you have another version of ZDoom than 2.7.1, then it might "desync" / not play properly.

Anyway, as it turned out, the map would be playable in any limit-removing port. The only thing that would cause problems were a couple hanging bodies, which are infinitely tall in vanilla and Boom.

The detailing work is good, everything in the map is nice looking, coherent while varied enough. But that's about the only good side of the entire map. It has a lot of distinct imperfections regarding structure and gameplay:
  • Really easy and really heavily underpopulated. Fights are too non-threatening and way too easily skippable, as demonstrated in my demo. They're also pretty boring and plain, read further.
  • Early on, you throw 2 mancubi against the player and let him fight them with a shotgun. It's tedious at best, threat is minimum and he doesn't have firepower to kill them quickly enough. That's no good.
  • Uninspired fights aka "shooting gallery". No efficient usage of the monsters. Think of the monsters as tools to challenge the player, and accustomize the map to give him an efficient challenge. Don't let him run away so easily, but also don't let him shoot tons of harmless meat for half an hour. There needs to be balance.
  • Extremely orthogonal, rectangular based layout. Doom engine allows non-orthogonal walls. Use them. They're so much more attractive than right-angled architecture.
  • Flat ground. Even though there are some stairs, they don't really affect gameplay / combat anyhow. It would be more entertaining to fight monsters attacking you from multiple heights, or the player having to outmaneuver them by running up stairs / leaping into a hole.
  • Hallways. Hallways connecting rooms, everywhere. As I've implied above, think about ways how to connect rooms of various shapes, in various heights, so that they're more appealing to look at and move around than just corridors and nets of corridors on and on.
  • The skull switch texture - you've used its on/off states oppositely than what is the standard. Not that it's a big deal at all, just be aware of that.
At least you're not from the ones who make ugly maps. ;) No really, you just need to get the understanding of what makes a better / worse gameplay and level design. Then you'll be able to make great stuff, I believe. Keep up the good work. ;)

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Thanks for the feedback!

That's really well written and pretty much bang on to what I felt the map was.

I have to get my head around thinking about how to make maps not in 3D which is what I've been doing for the better part of 10 years.

It's a completely different kettle of fish making levels in a 2D way.

My next map I'll be playing around with angular shapes/rooms and more varied combat

I'll check out the demo now.

EDIT: Watched the demo.

About the running away from monsters, this arguably could be done in most maps, having said that it was a little easier to do so in my level. That's something I'll have to work on.

It did feel a bit empty watching you run around the level, that probably stems from me making levels with fewer AI/heavy AI restrictions.

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Zombie said:

About the running away from monsters, this arguably could be done in most maps,

Not without a significantly increased risk of losing health and dying. What might help is usage of hitscanners, or tight corridors with small groups of monsters wandering them, or sniper monsters (revenants, mancubi, arachnotrons, groups of imps) overlooking a larger area, or preferably all of that at the same time. ;)

Better don't overdo it with dragging the player's speed of progression, though - running and gunning is very comfortable and enjoyable.

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Yeah that was one thing that crossed my mind when placing the monsters, I had all slow moving obstacles being thrown at the player and nothing that could be immediately threatening.

My next map is going to be a scifi map, so I'll be using more hitscan enemies for sure.

Thanks again for all your feedback, it's fun to discuss level design for older games :)

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In Doom mapping, level design and gameplay are more valued than mere visuals, realism and thematic consistency. You don't need to take these too seriously when designing a level or placing monsters. There are many awesome hell maps that use hitscanners in a great extent, simply because they help to make the gameplay better in that map's case. And so on for every other design decision. In good maps, form follows function, not vice versa.

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