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Does a mapper's playing skill affect their mapping style?

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This question stems from Feedback I got from my mapsets.

How much does a mapper's playing skill and playstyle affect the maps they make?

For example: do mid skilled players predominantly make mid-difficulty maps etc?
Is this a detriment to the maps?
And is there a work around to this?

This is what keeps me from making slaughter maps, my skill.

Most of my maps tend to be on the easier side due to the fact that I have a hard time testing my maps if they are to hard to play.
My skill has increased so I should be able to make harder maps.

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I believe skill is definitely a factor, sure. I consider myself average and only higher when I really need / want to. However I prefer my games to be a little less intense except for occasional moments. I don't like retreating or hiding in cover all that often so I tend to design my maps to allow players to constantly push forwards for the most part, the delays would mostly be from exploration and a few minibosses.

Again, I think mapper's skill will affect his map difficulty but there are so many other variables and preferences that can justify why they don't develop slaughter maps or very difficult ones in general.

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My very first maps were super easy (and design-oriented), and indeed I was a very unskilled/inexperienced player back then. I started making harder (and challenge-oriented) maps partly for becoming more skilled at playing, but mainly (IMO) for becoming familiar with the community's standards and realizing that I enjoy playing challenge-oriented maps more, even though my skill can't handle some of them and therefore I don't enjoy most slaughtermaps. Example: My Doomworld Mega Project 2012 map (The Space Base) was design-oriented with a trivial gameplay, but only a year later, I made hard maps like 100LINET MAP31 (which I found exciting although I could never beat) and DMP2013 map (The Space Base 2, whose post-start encounter used to be a lot harder than it is currently on UV, but I toned it down to not be too sadistic towards the player, I made the additional monsters multiplayer-only I think).

Conclusion: One's playing skill probably influences his mapping style, but not necessarily defines it at all.

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I think it does. One saving grace is that your own maps are easier to beat than other peoples by virtue of the fact you have designed them and know them well. As such a modestly skilled player can produce levels slightly above his own skill level.

Of course you could make even more difficult levels that are even beyond your own skill level and rely on trusted playtesters to ensure it remains possible and fun. This is a legit process but if relied on too heavily it might not count as your style anymore as stated in the OP.

Another factor is your skill and playstyle might affect how well your design is executed. For example in the last year or so I realised I don't naturally look for exploits and instead try to play encounters as I feel it was intended. Turns out I map with the same assumptions of my players as I found out on FDAs where players could quite easily use the given space to cause all sorts of nerf tactics.

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purist said:

One saving grace is that your own maps are easier to beat than other peoples by virtue of the fact you have designed them and know them well. As such a modestly skilled player can produce levels slightly above his own skill level.

This is pretty interesting, how people actually can make a mapset that is higher in difficulty than their skill because of their mapping process and playtesting.

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This is a good question and I asked myself this a few times before. I was fascinated by people like Joshy, Insane_Gazebo, ArmouredBlood, dannebubinga, Ribbiks and TimeOfDeath who make some seriously crazy hard maps. It gives the impression that these guys are super crazy good Demon slayers (and many of them are). For some of these guys, I've observed from watching demos or talking to them personally, that they either play pretty heavily with saving/loading to break up a large difficult map into a series of compact difficult scenarios. Others have a very "technical" play style where they will very cautiously seek out every secret, hiding place, and exploit every possible weakness of a level's design to get the optimum advantage while playing. Its not particularly what I would call fun for a normal playthrough, but thats what they like to do and so that usually makes them a more thorough mapper when it comes to trapping the player.

I often test my maps a lot when mapping, so naturally, replaying a hard level over and over can get exhausting, which in my early years of mapping, drove me away from making harder maps.

If you would like to ramp up the difficulty in your map without wearing yourself out, I created some dehacked patches that will soften the gameplay by making fireballs fly slower, and monsters have longer delays before attacking which makes your map a breeze to play for testing purposes. It basically makes Doom into a wimpier version of itself without destroying the intrinsic behavior of the monsters. Just test your map often with the dehacked patch loaded, and when you're done, you can release the map without the dehacked patch so that players get the true experience when they play it.

I made a slaughter map with it recently that didn't play much differently with or without the patch, but in general, the dehacked patch is a pretty good indicator of whether your map will be boring or not for an experienced player. If you find yourself bored to death while playing it with the dehacked patch it might be a good indicator that you gotta spice the map up a bit more to get the adrenaline flowing. It's not a surefire solution but it's a good start IMO.

More details here: https://www.doomworld.com/vb/doom-editing/69211-difficulty-detection-dehacked-patches-v0-1/

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