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DoomKid123

Advice

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Can anybody give me some advice on making doom levels because most of my levels I try to create are either uninspired or linear because of how inexperienced I am

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Here's a few design ideas I tend to follow.

Tip #1: Don't make boring hallways. Focus more on making rooms and "areas" instead of corridors. This doesn't mean you can't do hallways, but you can always try to disguise the fact that it is a hallway with windows, for example.

Tip #2: Design your map to involve some revisiting of areas. You are free to decide how much, be it simply revisiting an area once to unlock a key door, or going back multiple times to travel down different paths. Non-linearity is a good thing!

Tip #3: Doors aren't great. Try to avoid moderate-heavy usage of doors (keydoors are fine though). Doors generally slow down the game.

Tip #4: Give the player a decent amount of space, moving around in cramped areas isn't enjoyable. Of course, there are exceptions to this, a cramped area CAN work if you do it right (if you make it more "tight" as opposed to just simply cramped).

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You should just re-release my WADs as your own. People would be confused as fuck and it would be hilarious.

Nah but really, AD_79 gave some great pointers. Another thing to keep in mind - after you become more experienced especially - is to try and keep the areas looking interesting. It's great to have windows into a bigger "inaccessable world" so to speak, it makes your level feel more real and part of something greater. Make sure to give them lots of interesting architecture and complimentary colors to gaze upon.

Unless you're releasing a WAD in progress stricly to get pointers and tips, Don't release it until it's "done". Does it meet these criteria: "Do I think this looks complete? Would I like to play this if someone else released it?" if yes to both, it sounds like you're just about ready.

Keep this in mind as you continue your mapping learning curve :) Some people are born with "the gift" and some of us have been working at it 14 years and still can't get it right, so most importantly - Don't be discouraged!

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DoomKid123 said:

Can you give me and example of what your talking about

Play any wad by AD_79 or by skillsaw, and you will get it (hopefully).

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DoomKid123 said:

Can anybody give me some advice on making doom levels because most of my levels I try to create are either uninspired or linear because of how inexperienced I am


What kind of Doom levels are you trying to make? FFA? Duel? Single/Co-op?

Doomkid said:

You should just re-release my WADs as your own. People would be confused as fuck and it would be hilarious.


LOL!

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The idea is to figure out what kind of levels you want to see. If it's something similar to a wad you know, then you study that wad and try to understand what makes it work, then proceed from there. If it's something that hasn't been done before, then first you need to make sure that you have a good enough idea of what you actually want. Lay down a plan and everything.

While working on the overall geometry of the level, don't overthink it. It's very hard to immediately come up with a good layout but the thing is, you don't need to do it. I think it's better to kind of let it build itself. Just draw some stuff that seems somewhat interesting and don't necessarily think about the overall picture that much. At some point everything will come together naturally and you'll understand how to connect all the areas in a good way. Or you'll get frustrated and delete everything, which is what I tend to do.

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Well have an idea to make a wad where you start off in this Uac mountain base and as soon as you get out you realize you have been hell....or are you

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I wrote two documents for wad editing, and there are others.

http://doomlegacy.sourceforge.net/
(It is offline at the moment, some problem at SourceForge)

Level_Concepts
- Suggestions on how to lay out a level, with emphasis on the model universe style.

Level_Designs
- Wad Design patterns, lookup tables, methods, explanations.

GreyGhost said:

DoomWiki's Editing tutorials category is probably as good a place as any.

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Height variation is good too. You don't want a level that has a floor value of 0 and ceiling of 128 throughout. Integrating vertical elements is where creativity really comes into play when your doing your design.
It's more than just stairs, pits, and lifts to higher platforms. You can have a courtyard of UAC base that is segmented by a high wall. In a computer room of UAC base, there's a hole in the wall which takes you in to a cavern. The cavern has a dead end and you fall into a slime pit. It has some platforms which leads you back to the open air right along the top of the wall. Crossing it could lead you to a nukage refinement vat, which has a key, or maybe leads you elsewhere, or has a switch which lowers the wall and triggers a monster trap.

Have a little story going on in your head, you're conveying it through the visual medium known as Doom :D Even though your audience is going to fire up, blast some demonic shit, and not think twice about your precious narrative. It doesn't need to be fully fleshed out, but enough of one that as a map you can begin to picture areas in your head, what they look like, how they mesh together.

I find Hell maps easier in this regard as they don't really have any natural frame of reference and lend themselves to being very abstract. You can call it "The Satyrs Offering" and it can be this unworldly void, containing seas of blood and warped marble structures. Where base maps are like "UAC Nukage Treatment facility" and need to lend their appearance to the title.

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To design a layout for a map can be quite difficult and complex to realise. The smaller a map is the easier it is to develop.

Tip: parallel routes
------------------------
An easy way to make a nonlinear layout for an area is, to draw parallel routes (blue A and B) and bring them together at the end. The red line indicates the subdivision of the routes. You can keep both routes -partial- inaccessible with windows, bars, walls or keep them totaly open.

- Use high variation to increase the fight situations or just for the look (better: for both)
- give progression like weapon, key, switch, ammo, door or so (here on the pic: a soulsphere, a bridge and a door (out of two) at the end

http://www.mediafire.com/view/09oostwjstoge3d/dub%201.jpg

The same area/room from the other side:
http://www.mediafire.com/view/8z8oex3hr9a55zk/dub%202.jpg

- more routes (C and D)
- use contrast, light variation
- again hight variation


Tip: make it obvious
-------------------------
Make a switch, lift or so well to be seen. The green dot in the second pic indicates a very important 'switch'. But it isn't obvious (my mistake). So, choose a way to make it to a 'not missing part'.


Tip: believable world
--------------------------
One more thing I learned from this forum is: make different designs/rooms/areas but make the/your world -whatever it is- "believable".

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Tip for the atmosphere
-----------------------------
To increase the atmosphere: the foreground is dark, the backgraound (via monitors, light sources) is bright or vice versa

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Use Ultimate Doom As An Example.

If You Want More Realistic Windows, Create A Linedef In A Window Space (Or Where Ever You Want One At) And Then Give It A Matching Texture That Fits For A Window. Then Go To The "Custom" Tab And Set The Transparency To "Additive".

I Use The Black Ceiling As A Window Usually, But For Fancy Windows, The Floor From E1M1 In The Starting Room Would Also Work Good Sorta.

Or You Could Use This Texture.

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Enderkevin13 said:

Use Ultimate Doom As An Example.

If You Want More Realistic Windows, Create A Linedef In A Window Space (Or Where Ever You Want One At) And Then Give It A Matching Texture That Fits For A Window. Then Go To The "Custom" Tab And Set The Transparency To "Additive".

I Use The Black Ceiling As A Window Usually, But For Fancy Windows, The Floor From E1M1 In The Starting Room Would Also Work Good Sorta.

Or You Could Use This Texture.


This looks (G)ZDoom (or UDMF) specific. Vanilla Doom does not support transparency at all.

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Don't start from the level editor. Start away from the pc. Start with paper and pencil. Draw a lot of shapes. Try copying natural shapes.

Then when you find a shape that you like, try to use it as base for a level.

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