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PikaCommando

Ways that official levels could be better?

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We all have maps that we like, but what about the ones that we don't? Why do you not like a map, and how do you think it can be improved?

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I kind of wish Doom and Doom 2's maps had been a bit more like the Build-era games, because they managed to be both labyrinthine, clever and non-linear, while maintaining a certain level of abstraction due to the inherent crudeness of 2.5D engines. I think what would have been ideal is if the devs could have found a happy medium between the more realistic approach they were originally going for and the ultimately arcade-y direction it went it.

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Doom 2 or a later patch should have optimized the engine and raised the limits for more detail ... that would make the maps better, especially if they stuck to the episodic format (smaller and fewer maps than a megawad)

Or at least fix some annoyances/shortcomings like the blockmap bug, the save bug, the infinitely fall actors etc.

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Maes said:

Well, Doom 2 could be Doom ;-)

Waiting for the next project: "Doom 2 The Way Id Did Doom 1"

Wake me up when it's released.

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GoatLord said:

What's the blockmap bug?

This. A few other engine bugs are also related to blockmap, but the term "blockmap bug" primarily refers to the former one.

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Oh good lord. I loathe The Citadel, I think it's the worst official Doom map. There's not a single thing I find good in it. The texturing looks like ass, the layout is less abstract-but-creative and more "Sandy Peterson was having a stroke", it makes almost no use of its lighting, and the there's no difficulty or creative challenge, it's just a massive clusterfuck of imps.

I'm not sure the level could be saved in its current form, and would probably need to be completely remade.

I think I'd split The Citadel II into three recognizable sections. The first would be the outer wall, from which you could see the courtyard. It'd make use of narrow hallways leading into rooms with more vertical combat. After navigating that, it would lead to a waterway, the second section. This would be more maze-like, darker, and contain more ambushes. It would eventually lead into the courtyard, the third section, which would contain the heavy fighting for the map. It's all very traditional, but at least you know it works.

Between the courtyard and the outer wall, there would be a set of doors that could be seen between both areas that lead to the exit. This would use the same 3 key exit idea, though utilized differently. Ideally, it would be the "hub" of the map, and each key would give the player access to the previous area to collect previously untouched items or powerups. Again, nothing new here.

I'd like it to actually feel like you're breaking through a major fortress, transitioning from Earth-a-bit-like-Hell and into Hell-a-bit-like-Earth. The disaster that is The Citadel doesn't really feel like that when it should.

It's actually a major change, but there it is. I don't have many strong negative feelings for other official maps.

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I don't like the Citadel because I always found the layout fucking confusing, a lot like Mr. Erebus.

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Silly Mr. Erebus, he finds everything confusing. Spare a thought for Mrs. Erebus.

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Gonna take the cheap shot at Hand Slough of Despair. Seemingly pointless design and terrible 70s cop chase scene music. Only real upside to the level is it gives the false impression of non-linearity. Oh, and that it has an exit.

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Well, the city levels in DooM 2 were kind of garbage and pretty boring looking. And I'm not even a huge fan of Down Town. It was so abstract and looks like random blocks with random crap going on inside. And WTF is up with courtyard.

Odyssey of Noise from Plutonia is one of my favorite levels and I wish the city levels in Doom 2 were more like that. It actually resembles a city in a way and has some cool set pieces like that huge chasm with a cyberdemon on one area. I feel like I'm a survivor trying to make it out alive when I'm on that level.

I also remember playing Strain and there were what appear to be city levels in the beginning and I thought, wow, incredible, this is how Doom 2 city levels should have been.




Then in DooM 1 there were levels I don't enjoy at all like E2M3. I force myself to suffer through that bland giant brown level. Command Center and Unholy Cathedral kind of suffer from this as well. They are just so random and uniform looking and easy to get lost in. And E2M1 was just a giant gray brick level that didn't look terribly interesting either. E2M2 is cool though. And Spawning Vats is pretty damn cool too. Deimos Labs was kind of cool and creepy in some ways and very strange with lots of really random areas.

Episode 1 was for the most part really well textured and colorful and interestingly designed, and then Episodes 2 and 3 were kind of thrown together and it's OK since you were baited to buy the game when playing the free good levels. All the really really good stuff was in the teaser Episode 1.

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I don't like The Chasm. Mainly because of the narrow walk ways you have to cross back and forth. It's not even that hard crossing them, but it's just annoying as hell.

And yeah, Citadel is pretty boring too.

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I would have to agree with the Citadel, it's just not a fun map. The Chasm was an interesting concept, but maybe wasn't executed as well as it could have been. Another one that could do with an overhaul is map 25, bloodfalls. It's a good level, but it's too damn short! I was hoping for a huge outdoor map with seas of blood hurtling over massive cliffs. All we got were those little hallways with not much more blood than most other levels.

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I think Doom 2 overall could of been better if Peterson did less maps, and the level count was evenly balanced between all three of the level designers. There wasn't a McGee map I didn't like, all the city levels (with the exception of map20 Gotcha) I enjoyed. Yes, crucify me if you must, but I enjoyed The Citadel. I found it interesting to play, and I did't think it was bad map.

There were plenty of levels I didn't like though. Specifically The Pit, Nirvana, and Barrel's O' Flop, because of cheesy and uninspired design. And most of all the Chasm, oh GOD the Chasm. That's the only level in D2 I legitimately hated. Terrible design, poor texture choices, and boring navigation.

I think what I previously mentioned (the pit, etc) could of been fixed by tweaking the layout, and for map23 better/more height variation and anything else to make it interesting. I don't see how The Chasm could get any better though.

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It's funny how Doom 2 is notorious for having a lot of ugly maps yet some maps from Final Doom, particularly those in TNT Evilution, get ragged on for their design. The most obvious examples are Metal and Habitat. In all honestly, and I think some people here will hate me for this, I have no problem with those maps. I mean sure Metal seemed too uniformed and the tunnel maze in Habitat may be confusing and frustrating, but there was at least some sense in the design aesthetics compared to a lot of the maps Sandy Petersen did for Doom and Doom 2. I mean, some of them are okay (The Factory) and some are amazing (Monster Condo), but at lot of them (such as Nirvana, The Chasm, Barrels o' Fun) are lacklustre. Looking at John Romero's, American McGee's, Shawn Green's, and even Tom Hall's maps, you can tell by the design what they're supposed to be. Sandy's, many of the maps seemed to feel so random in design, rendering them into a hodgepodge. Going back to TNT Evilution, while some of the maps may not be perfect, they at least look aesthetically pleasing to a certain degree. The only complaint I have for Evilution would be Administration Center and Mount Pain. Those maps were just so long and tedious for an official wad.

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nxGangrel said:

Peterson


It's Petersen.

Btw in Doom 2 maps 04-05, also map 06, end in a very similar way, Mc Gee could think to something different.

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Doom 1:
* make the levels harder. They're just too easy, they need more monsters and fewer items.
* make Episode 3 harder than Episode 2. As it stands now, they're roughly equal.
* Better E3M8 and E4M8

Doom 2:
* too many levels are low quality Sandy Petersen sector vomit. What can you say when you're faced with empty rooms with disorganized hordes of monsters?

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gaspe said:

It's Petersen.


eh?

McGee's maps weren't that original either, I never said they were, but his maps were the most enjoyable to me regardless. And they actually looked half decent. I would say map 04 was the worst McGee level for it's simplicity and short length.

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I liked Doom 2's maps... except for "The Inmost Dens", which irritates me for some reason.

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nxGangrel said:

eh?


That it is Sandy Petersen, not Peterson. And the other sentence was a reply to this thread and not to your post, sorry I didn't set well my post.

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gaspe said:

That it is Sandy Petersen, not Peterson. And the other sentence was a reply to this thread and not to your post, sorry I didn't set well my post.


Oh okay.

@Vorknkx. Why? D: The inmost Dens is the best D2 level, or at least my fav anyway.

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The only way to make Doom and Doom 2 better is to replace every map with The Chasm.

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Yeah I've got to agree that most maps in Doom 2 sucked, it's one of those experiences that leaves me a bit queezy and I find it hard to stomach...I think the textures and overall look of Doom 2 is too drab and too plain...I can handle abstract if it looks good..but Doom 2 was poorly done I think.

It is the same problem I have with Final Doom, it just leaves me feeling a little bit sick, like with my mild car sickness or slightly high blood sugar. I think with better texture design it would have been different. The layouts of the levels are alright, running around and shooting and pressing switches, it's mostly fine gameplay wise for me but again the look of it....But with Doom 1 and Master Levels, nothing, happy as a sandboy all the way through it.

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I can only stomach Final Doom in PSX form. I tried the PC version and there's a fair bit of shit maps and really bad texturing.

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GoatLord said:

I can only stomach Final Doom in PSX form. I tried the PC version and there's a fair bit of shit maps and really bad texturing.


Plutonia has a lot of excellent maps, sure the texturing is basic but I think it works well in the context of what they were going for when designing it.

TNT, ok, I'll bite. It definitely has it's share of garbage but there's some gems hidden inside.

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TNT is usually my favorite. It's got what I like most. Loose story that sort of ties things together and gives context to all the slaughter like DooM 1 did. The levels look like some sort of tech base, and have great atmosphere and music. There are a few levels that are kind of tedious and I force myself through whenever I make a play through. I've come to appreciate some levels more over time that I used to dislike when I was 10 or so because they were so huge and confusing. Now I replay maps like Deepest Reaches and am in awe of the crazy atmosphere and other things going on in that level. (I also feel the same about Spawning vats and Refueling Base. I used to hate those levels when I was like 10, but now love it.)

I remember seeing moving crates and a van with ACTUAL WHEELS and thought that was the coolest thing ever considering this was DooM.

On the other hand there's Plutonia which has some pretty cool maps like Odyssey of Noise. And then there are what I can only think are random abstract maps strung together because mindlessly shooting demons is clearly what DooM is all about right? Which is also what I see happens a lot in map packs everyone loves like Alien Vendetta. It ends up being a mashup of maps I like/love and maps I force myself to play through. (Suicidal Tendencies in Alien Vendetta, love it)

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nxGangrel said:

@Vorknkx. Why? D: The inmost Dens is the best D2 level, or at least my fav anyway.


Mostly because of the bare stone walls all over the place. And the layout is somewhat confusing to me, though I'm not sure why.

At any rate, I rarely enjoy my visits to this level. Downtown and Industrial Zone give me a lot more fun.

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