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Zulk RS

Mars base Alpha

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Well, after I uploaded the horrible Explorers: Ruins of Baevon wad, I thought I try my hand at making yet another wad. It's nowhere near finished yet, so I don't have a download link. But here are some screenshots. As you may have guessed, the wad describes a tech base on mars. How does it look?















EDIT: Can any also help me select a custom midi for this map?
I don't want to us D_RUINNIN here.

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Zulk-RS said:

How does it look?

Very flat - not enough use of floor height variation (and ceiling too). That's a bad thing from both aesthetical and mainly gameplay (combat) perspective. I can see misalignments here and there, better try to fix them. Also beware of using textures as monochromatic wallpapers, specially those with distinct tiling patterns. Otherwise OK, simplistic, but nice techbase rooms. Oh, and I don't like the green lighting effect, looks unnatural and random.

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Square rooms connected by hallways don't make interesting layouts, even if it's realistic. More windows may make this more interactive.(like the one between the pillar room and the storage room)

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Consider adding more height variation to the map(s).

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Glaice said:

Consider adding more height variation to the map(s).


And a bit more texture variation, that would be nice.

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Okay, I'll try to figure out where I can put more height variations
Also, different textures will be used later on (I haven't gotten that far yet). Also, I can't find any misalingments. A little help?

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That's probably more of a personal choice, but I don't like much when maps try to emulate real-world objects, like chairs or tables, it doesn't make much sense in a game like Doom, but that's probably me.

Everything else looks quite simple, probably too basic though. Probably some bigger rooms/corridors with height variations with some battle setpiece in mind would help a lot.

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Zulk-RS said:

Also, I can't find any misalingments. A little help?

Anywhere where a texture's seam does not match borders of walls. For example, TEKGREN has bold black seams, but you often disregard their vertical and/or horizontal alignment:

1st screenshot: TEKGREN on the very right - inside the window and above the window.
2nd screenshot: TEKGREN on the top left, TEKGREN next to the left side of the window.
3rd screenshot: I think the light textures are cut off, they are 32-unit wide textures on 16-unit wide walls.
4th screenshot: TEKGREN in the middle background, and the chair is particularly misaligned!
5th screenshot: The UAC sign, and TEKGREN next to it is cut-off.
6th screenshot: Cut-off STARTAN on the right, cut-off TEKGREN everywhere, both vertically and horizontally cut-off METAL, cut-off floor tiles.
7th screenshot: TEKGREN next to the gate (both sides) is cut-off by 32 units.

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scifista42 said:

Anywhere where a texture's seam does not match borders of walls. For example, TEKGREN has bold black seams, but you often disregard their vertical and/or horizontal alignment:

1st screenshot: TEKGREN on the very right - inside the window and above the window.
2nd screenshot: TEKGREN on the top left, TEKGREN next to the left side of the window.
3rd screenshot: I think the light textures are cut off, they are 32-unit wide textures on 16-unit wide walls.
4th screenshot: TEKGREN in the middle background, and the chair is particularly misaligned!
5th screenshot: The UAC sign, and TEKGREN next to it is cut-off.
6th screenshot: Cut-off STARTAN on the right, cut-off TEKGREN everywhere, both vertically and horizontally cut-off METAL, cut-off floor tiles.
7th screenshot: TEKGREN next to the gate (both sides) is cut-off by 32 units.



Thanks for the help. But some of these cut-offs were intentional (I was experimenting with the textures) like:

3rd Screenshot: Cut-off lights are intentional
5th Screenshot: UAC sign is intentional but the TEKGREN isn't
6th Screenshot: Everything except the cut-off TEKGREN was intentional
7th Screenshot: That was intentional

But thanks anyway. I'll fix these if they look bad.

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http://www.doomworld.com/vb/doom-editing/44143-essels-mapping-tips-and-tricks/

#1 and #3 in this thread are a good How-To wrt to aligning and using panel-based textures in general. (Read the rest of the tips at some point too.)

Zulk-RS said:

Thanks for the help. But some of these cut-offs were intentional (I was experimenting with the textures) like:

3rd Screenshot: Cut-off lights are intentional
5th Screenshot: UAC sign is intentional but the TEKGREN isn't
6th Screenshot: Everything except the cut-off TEKGREN was intentional
7th Screenshot: That was intentional

But thanks anyway. I'll fix these if they look bad.


Imo, all of the intentional ones look bad except the UAC sign in the 5th and the floor-tiling. The cut-off STAR panels looked fine at first, but after several seconds they started to bother me -- simply because it makes absolutely no sense for the gray bullet-perforated panel to stop abruptly like that. I'd be able to tolerate one of the emptier STAR panels.

The first pic looks pretty cool imo (except for the tek panel in the transitional area on the very right). The lighting gives it an eerie character, and the locale (medium-sized crate storage room) is one where the completely featureless architecture sort of works.

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After reading the posts about texture misalignments, I put a hold on the overall progress of the map and focused on fixing existing alignment problems. I took the tips suggested by rdwpa and started work, 2 rooms per day (Due to a sudden increase in more important stuff, I had to greatly reduce my mapping time).
Here's how it's going.








Well...
How does it look now?

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The first screenshot still gives a bad impression particularly due to obvious misalignments. I've highlighted them for you:

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In that first screenshot in the first post, the shadows behind the crates look quite silly (the way they darken the ceiling, even though the crates don't reach there.) You might want to use Boom's Transfer Ceiling Light special to fix that (removing the shadow from the ceiling).

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scifista42 said:

The first screenshot still gives a bad impression particularly due to obvious misalignments.


Thanks! I'll fix them next.

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I'm thinking of using the d_victor music in my wad.
What do you guys think?

Also, the misaligned TEKGREN5 is intentional

EDIT: I tried to fix the unintentional misalignments but failed. So, I'm going to run with it.

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I made very little progress since my last update. But I did finish 3 new rooms. How do they look?





I used the 'KILL MONSTERS' command, so those cacodemon are supposed to be alive when you play this.



I was trying to make a carpet.







I was trying to emulate the bluish darkness you get at night.




As for the music, I decided to go with D_OPENNIN in the end.
Tell me what you think. Good advice is really helpful to a new mapper

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Zulk-RS said:

I made very little progress since my last update. But I did finish 3 new rooms. How do they look?

Too orthogonal and symmetrical. You might need to change floor textures on the stairs and similar structures to be less contrasting with surrounding textures. And use less FLAT20 for the sake of FLAT20, its detailed tiling pattern might be slightly disturbing for eyes when used over large floor areas.

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scifista42 said:

Too orthogonal and symmetrical. You might need to change floor textures on the stairs and similar structures to be less contrasting with surrounding textures. And use less FLAT20 for the sake of FLAT20, its detailed tiling pattern might be slightly disturbing for eyes when used over large floor areas.


Um... Any suggestions on less contrasting stair textures?
Also, how do you suggest I map to prevent being orthogonal and symmetrical (without my map looking like shit).

And like I said, good advice is really valuable to a new mapper.
Thanks in advance.

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Zulk-RS said:

Um... Any suggestions on less contrasting stair textures?


You want something that's of a similar colour and shade to the texture. FLOOR7_1 is probably your best bet.

Similarly, the tops of the metal light in the second shot in your first post should use a dark brown or grey flat like CEIL5_1, CEIL5_2, or RROCK03, not a bright silver flat like it is at the moment.

For that matter, the abundant FLAT19, FLAT20, and FLAT23 ceilings and floors you have at the moment give the map a very "my first map" look. I tend to only use these for things like borders and windows.

The FLAT3 floor you have in some shots works well, and CEIL3_5, FLAT24, FLOOR3_3, SLIME14, SLIME15, and SLIME16 are other good fits for TEKGREN. Try playing Doom 2 map01, Evilution map01, and other maps with a TEKGREN theme for ideas (EDIT: and of course look to Doom E1 style levels to improve the texturing in the STARTAN areas).

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Thoughts on the blue room: Architecture looks bland and unprofessionally basic. Textures got desaturated to an ugly unicolored smudge. I can see too much ammo in one place, probably going to cause imbalance. The pistol's muzzle flash will be recoled to blue while firing, and I don't think I would like it.

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I've been working on this map again and I ran into some trouble.

http://i.imgur.com/EHqdxfs.png?1

Here, the lights in all the sectors included in the red border was supposed to blink at the same time at a rate of 2Hz
I gave all the included sectors the property of "Light Blinks (2Hz Synchronized)" but when I tested the map, It didn't work.
I'm using Zdoom (doom in UDMF format) BTW. Can someone help me fix this problem.
Thanks!

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Each sector with "Light Blinks (2Hz Synchronized)" will be repeatedly changing brightness between its own brightness and brightness of its darkest neighboring sector. You might need some dummy sectors outside the map and joined with each of the lighting sectors, so that you can give them a neighboring sector with the proper brightness you want them to fade to.

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scifista42 said:

Each sector with "Light Blinks (2Hz Synchronized)" will be repeatedly changing brightness between its own brightness and brightness of its darkest neighboring sector. You might need some dummy sectors outside the map and joined with each of the lighting sectors, so that you can give them a neighboring sector with the proper brightness you want them to fade to.


Okay I did this:




Red: Lighted sector
Black Lines: Textured Impassable Lines
Grey Lines: Texture less passable Lines
Numbers: Brightness
Blue: Dummy Sector


It didn't fix the problem. What did I do wrong and what was I supposed to do?

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This map is still nowhere near finished but I need some regular doomers.
See, I'm not that good when it comes to playing Doom, so I need some feedback on the difficulty of this map. Is it too easy or too hard?

Link: *Changed see next page*

Thank you for play-testing.

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The demon horde spam was downright annoying, because it featured too much repetitive chaingun shooting for too much time to kill them all. Once the player found a good camping spot, this kind of combat was a real chore, but if he ran out of ammo, he would get hopelessly overwhelmed. Avoid it, please. It adds nothing good to gameplay.

The map was easy, and also quite unimaginative in monster placement. The monsters are simply there, put right in front of you, and the weapons and ammo too. Combined with the blocky rectangular rooms, the experience was underwhelming. Feel free to add traps and experiment with balance. Don't force the player to spend too much time shooting into a wall of enemy meat on one place, that's tedious and annoying. Place monsters so that they will challenge the player while taking a reasonable time to be killed. That should motivate the player to fight them, instead of running past them or ragequitting, both of which you should try to prevent as well as you can. ;)

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Thanks. I'll reduce the demon number and amp up the difficulty a bit.
Don't worry about monster placement. I have a crate maze with monsters waiting to ambush you at every corner (1 or 2 lower tier ones) planned. I also have waste tunnels and an engine room planned.

I do however, wonder what I did wrong with the lighting effect.

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It seems that the sector special doesn't work in UDMF, even though the editor lists it as available. This page implies that UDMF doesn't inherit Doom specials:

Doom sector specials
In the Doom format maps, these are the same as the sector types used by Boom with the following four new specials:
...

Hexen sector specials
In Hexen format and UDMF maps, the sector specials available are:
...(different ones)

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