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

What is the most overdone thing you've seen in custom maps?

Recommended Posts

If you've played a ton of custom maps, you've probably come across a lot of things that seem to be abused. In my experience, I find that people place an abundance of strong monsters just for the sake of making their maps difficult as if making a hard map means making a good map.

So what kind of things have you seen that new mapmakers (such as myself) should steer clear of doing too much of, if at all?

Share this post


Link to post
TraceOfSpades said:

In my experience, I find that people place an abundance of strong monsters just for the sake of making their maps difficult as if making a hard map means making a good map.

Making a challenging map usually does mean making a good map, as long as the monsters aren't just tedious to kill (=it mustn't take too much time to not bore the player), but actually threatening and efficiently placed, while on the other hand it's not a completely unfair hopeless massacre. At least, that's how I personally see it.

Things I've seen overdone:

-RIPOFFS, TRIBUTES AND HOMAGES!!!
-Orthogonal based architecture.
-Monochromity (in texturing etc.).
-Symmetry.
-Linear progression (forced 1 path + forced 1 strategy to beat the map).
-Combat on flat ground.
-Maps entirely consisting of rooms connected by corridors and doors, without an idea.
-Little threatening high-HP monsters for the sake of prolonging gameplay (this is downright bad).
-Shooting gallery style non-challenging gameplay.

Share this post


Link to post

-Little threatening high-HP monsters for the sake of prolonging gameplay (this is downright bad).


That's what I was talking about, just loading the map with high-HP monsters.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure what you mean by 'overdone'. The word seems to imply that we're talking about ideas which, in and of themselves, might be fine/good, but which have been rendered less good/bad, simply through the fact that they've been used a lot. I guess this will vary from person to person, but I'm inclined to say that a good idea (or, at least, an idea that I find to be such) is a good idea - it doesn't really matter how many times I've seen or played it before - so long as it's been well executed I'll enjoy it again. At least, no examples leap to mind where this isn't the case. Of course, good ideas can be poorly executed, and no doubt there are an abundance of bad ideas (though what counts as such will of course vary from person to person), but in either case the problem then is not that anything has been overdone - rather, stuff has been done badly. Of course, variety is the spice of life, but still, there are some things I'll never got bored of. Apologies for the non-answer :)

Share this post


Link to post
durian said:

I'm not sure what you mean by 'overdone'. The word seems to imply that we're talking about ideas which, in and of themselves, might be fine/good, but which have been rendered less good/bad, simply through the fact that they've been used a lot. I guess this will vary from person to person, but I'm inclined to say that a good idea (or, at least, an idea that I find to be such) is a good idea - it doesn't really matter how many times I've seen or played it before - so long as it's been well executed I'll enjoy it again. At least, no examples leap to mind where this isn't the case. Of course, good ideas can be poorly executed, and no doubt there are an abundance of bad ideas (though what counts as such will of course vary from person to person), but in either case the problem then is not that anything has been overdone - rather, stuff has been done badly. Of course, variety is the spice of life, but still, there are some things I'll never got bored of. Apologies for the non-answer :)


I actually found your answer to be entertaining to read.

So I'll just ask you a question about your opinions. What is the worst map you've ever played and why? The condition is that the map has to have appeared to have been a serious attempt, and not an intentionally stupid map.

Share this post


Link to post

Pass. I'm not really sure if there are any worst maps - at least, I have no idea how I'd set about ranking them. Of course, there have been plenty of maps over the years which I didn't enjoy, or which didn't hold my attention - though, that will primarily be a reflection of my tastes, rather than anything intrinsic to the maps themselves - but I tend to forget those maps, and I doubt that there's any single map that I enjoyed the least, or disliked the most.

Share this post


Link to post
boris said:

Monster closets.

I agree, but this is the kind of design that, even if overdone, is not obsolete. It's not bad to use monster closets, their usage is commonly benefitial to gameplay. Of course, like everything else, they might be wrong if overused within a given one map. Same with teleport ambushes. All is just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post

Linearity.

Also, non-linearity.

Keep things reasonable and balanced, kids!

Share this post


Link to post

Scifista42 could you show an example that isn't "shooting gallery" gameplay? That term could describe 99% of ultimate doom in my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post

Honestly I couldn't really say much about this without coming across as a huge hypocrite because all I really do is attempt to emulate that "old school" style that I love so much that is just filled with cliche designs like tough enemies to pad out gametime, flat ground, symmetry, monster closets, orthogonal layouts, homages and linearity.

I doubt I have even created one thing original outside of the strange cave systems I like making.

The thing is (For me at least) is that these overdone things and designs are my idea of what Doom is, the very characteristics of Doom that make it so appealing to me are these "overdone" things, the fact that they are what makes Doom for me is probably what makes them overdone in my eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
BlackFish said:

Scifista42 could you show an example that isn't "shooting gallery" gameplay? That term could describe 99% of ultimate doom in my opinion.

By shooting gallery, I mean that the players keeps encountering monsters from the front side only, usually he can also see them at quite a distance and therefore kill them without a challenge, time press or space press. A difficult and/or fast sudden fight isn't "shooting gallery", as well as fights against monsters coming from multiple directions, or fights that simply force you to move more than a few steps in order to avoid damage, enough to keep you entertained. Nonlinearity itself also helps to prevent "shooting gallery", because in nonlinear maps, it might naturally happen that a few monsters will approach the player from the back or from a side without him expecting it.

For what's not a shooting gallery: You've mentioned Ultimate Doom, I'll give examples from Ultimate Doom, then. In the room behind the yellow door in E1M5, as soon as you go far enough, a couple of monster closets open around you and press you from multiple sides. This stops to be a shooting gallery, because it's a - relatively - challenging moment (shotgunners might even kill you) that requires a quick reaction. Even if this reaction is running back and sniping from there, the movement of rushing away itself is what makes it a non-"shooting gallery", because the player simply came to a conclusion that it's better than just stand it place, shoot and occasionally dodge (trivial). In addition, in this particular map and place, the monsters will still be able to approach you from 2 directions if you rush back behind them.

A few more examples of distinct non-"shooting gallery" in UD, as I see them:

E1M5 - The last dark room. Darkness gives you a harder time.
E1M6 - The final ambush room, if you take the challenge of not camping next to the switch.
E1M9 - The start, specially from a pistol start.
E2M1 - The plasma secret isn't that difficult, but might be slightly tricky.
E2M3 - The SLADWALL maze. You never know where the monsters will come from (unless you have their positions memorized).
E2M8 - Again, not so difficult, but dodging lost souls on UV while shooting the Cyberdemon is more than just shooting gallery.
E2M9 - Well it's really cheap, but at least you have to deal with presence of powerful monsters who initially approach you from multiple sides.
E3M1 - On the shotgun ledge, you need to run fast unless you want to sink in damaging blood. Once you're on the other side, you face 3 imps close range.
E3M5 - The rooms where you're ambushed by pinkies or lost souls, the room where you have to fight on a damaging floor.
E3M6 - A lot of areas where the monsters are all around you.
E4M1, E4M2, E4M6 - Challenge.
E4M9 - Monsters all around you.

And there are many more such moments, more or less falling into the category. "Challenge" is not a 100% objective term, different people have different standards of what's difficult and what's not, what's entertaining and what's boring or trivial. That.

Share this post


Link to post

It's Doom man, don't worry about it and just make something. You'll learn by doing, by making mistakes, and you'll figure out your own style.

Anyway read Tricks of the Doom Gurus; it has all the basic advice and technical info a newbie needs. You can find the ebook version as part of Instant Doom Levels shovelware CD. It's on archive.org and cd.textfiles.com, so you don't even have to buy it.

Share this post


Link to post

1. Ammo Starvation. Some maps, I suppose when playtested by the mapper alone, are way too stingy with ammo, so I often catch myself pistoling a hell knight or cacodemon or something just to conserve precious shells for revenant ambushes or an archvile or something. I can't stand this. It's not difficult but I end up spending 3 minutes or more on a trivial monster encounter. I've since learned some effective infighting techniques to help deal with this, but it's dangerous and can cause a lot of damage if not executed correctly.

digression: For example, if a hell knight hits a pinky demon with a fireball, shoot the hell knight with the pistol just before the pinky gets the first bite. That way the hell knight will be focused on you for a duration of time, while you can leave the room and let the pinky get a few good free chomps. This will drastically reduce the hell knights health after the infighting threshold is over.

It's pretty cool to learn these things over time but a rocket launcher and an ssg with infinite shells is much preferred!!

2. Bullshit traps. I like really mean traps sometimes, but the traps I'm referring to have no "bait" to indicate that a trap is happening. Sometimes you'll just be walking down a hallway, doors will shut all around you and you get spammed to death with hell barons and I die because I didn't think to have my BFG out for this seemingly innoccuous hallway. Why not use a trap like that for a key pickup, a switch, or a new weapon? I'm also not a big fan of really deadly traps that have no reward at the end. Sometimes you spend a lot of fucking ammo killing off a mancubus ambush and all you get is an empty SSG in the end and half the health you had when you started. Lame.

3. Journey Maps. It seems as though some mappers don't know when to end their maps. So a map that may seem like a long exciting adventure on paper is really just a 30 minute slog that drags on forever and ruins my demo (and a major fraction of my day) when I'm hit by a random cacoball backtracking for health. I much prefer short bite-sized maps with fierce traps and imp or revenant spam.

Share this post


Link to post

projectile "snipers", particularly revenant, arachnotron, and cyberdemon snipers, tend to be incredibly dangerous even though their in a fixed position most of the time. it's just that if you aren't paying attention you'll run into their projectiles and they fire way too much for their own good (this applies to all sniper monsters). it sucks even more to attempt to hit them with a non-hitscan weapon, since they dodge projectiles just as much as they fire. more and more people are using these.

Share this post


Link to post
40oz said:

I like really mean traps sometimes, but the traps I'm referring to have no "bait" to indicate that a trap is happening. Sometimes you'll just be walking down a hallway, doors will shut all around you and you get spammed to death with hell barons and I die because I didn't think to have my BFG out for this seemingly innoccuous hallway. Why not use a trap like that for a key pickup, a switch, or a new weapon?

Lol, I hear you but I find it ridiculous that Doom community twisted the definition of trap so much that now it's supposed to be something completely predictable. That's pretty funny.

Share this post


Link to post
40oz said:

3. Journey Maps. It seems as though some mappers don't know when to end their maps. So a map that may seem like a long exciting adventure on paper is really just a 30 minute slog that drags on forever and ruins my demo (and a major fraction of my day) when I'm hit by a random cacoball backtracking for health. I much prefer short bite-sized maps with fierce traps and imp or revenant spam.


I'm definitely guilty of this one. Avoiding map sprawl is a constant struggle.

As for myself I'd say Baron(s) in forced close-quarters. Yes, it's better than just having one that isn't a threat (can be simply avoided to save ammo). I feel a lot of mappers have listened to the complaint of harmless Barons and figured that every single one should be a one-on-one melee. Basically turns these fights into high-stakes shooting-galleries.

For my part, I'd rather a progress-blocking Baron with some imps, etc. taking pot shots from the side, which forces you to dodge in two dimensions.

But overall, Barons are usually boring or needlessly frustrating unless you have an overabundance of ammo (which is boring, IMHO, in its own way). So I usually only include Baron(s) in the UV difficulty, because I figure players that go for that difficulty usually have a higher tolerance for bullshit.

Share this post


Link to post
Memfis said:

Lol, I hear you but I find it ridiculous that Doom community twisted the definition of trap so much that now it's supposed to be something completely predictable.


Uh, I think 40oz is just speaking from his opinion, not reflective of the 'Doom Community'.

Share this post


Link to post

Traps are just a good blanket word to cover surprise encounters. But most examples of good gameplay feature consequences and rewards. Kill monsters; get ammo. Get item; ambush by monsters etc. Bullshit is the part where you get monsters after monsters until you e exhausted your inventory and still get nothing for it.

Share this post


Link to post

Overdone: Something I did not care that much for the first time, and
after encountering it several times have come to dislike more.

Monster closets: ...

Monster teleports right behind you: Hated these right from the start.

Take the key-on-the-pedestal and the walls fly open, then you die:
When you see it, at least you know you are going to die. Knowing has not managed to bring it to the level of enjoyable.

Some Door shuts behind you as the trap is sprung:

BLINKING rooms: Completely dark, THERES A MONSTER, completely dark, OUCH,
I can feel a headache just remembering.

Lifts that drop the player into a monster pit: I no longer take lifts up or down into unknown territory because so often it is just another trap.
I will send the lift empty as a test, to see if any monsters come back.
A map design that forces a panic fight style of play only leads me to more elaborate tests and evasions of the trap. I prefer to get some peek into where I am going before risking my skin in tight quarters. A window is preferred.

Share this post


Link to post

In megawads:

-MAP07 arena.
-Icon of Sin.
-Silly Wolfenstein secret maps.
-Any other ripoffs, tributes and homages, as I've already said in my first post.

Share this post


Link to post
Getsu Fune said:

projectile "snipers", particularly revenant, arachnotron, and cyberdemon snipers, tend to be incredibly dangerous even though their in a fixed position most of the time.

Projectile snipers don't bother me so much because they usually just force you to pay attention to your surroundings. They can be placed in trollish ways though, bringing me to a big point: When maps don't provide the player with enough cover, that really brings my piss to a boil!

I hate hitscan snipers - They're bullshit, a lot of my old WADs suffer from hitscan snipers, but I usually loaded up the maps with health to counter that. Still, not a good design choice and I've definitely learned from it!

As 40oz said, traps that don't either give you some sort of bonus immediately before or after the monsters come in. You feel really accomplished when you just have a few shells left after a big fight, then you're rewarded with fresh ammo and some health. If there's nothing to show for the battle you just endured, you feel totally jipped - I hate that crap.

Other than these few points, I love Doom's inherent gameplay so I rarely find myself saying a map/common mapping theme flat out sucks. Tributes, monster traps, tricky situations.. When done right, I love 'em, and when done poorly I hate 'em.

Share this post


Link to post
Doomkid said:

Projectile snipers don't bother me so much because they usually just force you to pay attention to your surroundings. They can be placed in trollish ways though, bringing me to a big point: When maps don't provide the player with enough cover, that really brings my piss to a boil!

The problem with snipers is that some mappers feel a need to put a lot of them everywhere, wanting to make them threatening. And when they put a lot of them, it demotivates the player to play because it forces him to choose between 2 options (sometimes only 1 of them is possible): First, camp and kill the snipers from a safe, distant place, which might be tedious. Second, rush through the place while ignoring the snipers, but that's risky if you don't have foreknowledge, and also you don't get 100% kills, unless you go back to tedious strategy 1.

Doomkid said:

Other than these few points, I love Doom's inherent gameplay so I rarely find myself saying a map/common mapping theme flat out sucks. Tributes, monster traps, tricky situations.. When done right, I love 'em, and when done poorly I hate 'em.

"Overdone" doesn't equal to "It always sucks." It implies that the design choice is not unique at all, therefore it's very likely to be seen as cheap, therefore it easily might be seen as boring / uninteresting / disgusting, and therefore it might suck.

Share this post


Link to post
GeckoYamori said:

Changing the HUD for the sake of it.

Not that I disagree - but keeping the default HUD is even more overdone. :) In addition, the changed HUD is usually a different one in different wads, and usually nice to look at (although this is only subjective).

Share this post


Link to post

Teleport ambushes and monster closets, I am notorious for using them in my maps. See the "Edgy" map for a good example.

Share this post


Link to post

'Instant' traps, whether that means floors that snap up/down instantly to reveal monsters, or scripted teleport ambushes that immediately place every monster exactly where it needs to be to hurt you the hardest. The first is something I can deal with if a level uses it once or twice, but it's a trick that rapidly loses its effectiveness as more and more encounters within a level use it. By the time I've hit my seventh instant-floor-raise ambush I'm in full-on turtle mode, creeping slowly through every unfamiliar section of the map feeling like I could be surrounded at any instant. Scripted instant teleports... they work, but in their immaculate and instant placement of monsters they lose the chaotic nature of Doom's classic teleport traps, the ongoing waves of monsters and the sense that you're trying to stem the tide only to be gradually overwhelmed.

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×