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GoatLord

Automap: Necessary?

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I suppose it isn't. I'm slowly accepting that. But these layouts are clearly going to be complex in some instances. I always liked having the automap help guide me in older Dooms and I can see it being tremendously useful here. It seems like it would be a natural thing to throw in, this transparent layout of the map over your visor. I know that when I mentioned this in another thread, someone commented that a clear, easy-to-read overlay of a bird's eye view of the map just won't work when you're dealing with so much verticality. But why couldn't it look a bit like a transparent version of how a layout looks in SnapMap? Or why couldn't the layout adjust to different heights? I've seen rudimentary versions of that in older games and I felt it worked. My guess is, we won't be seeing an automap.

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I remember there was an automap in the 2003 game Firestarter that was technically a 2D top-down rendering of the actual level geometry. Similar to how the map looks in a game editor. It worked well enough.

Is it really necessary? Not really, when the visual level design is good and doesn't present you identical looking rooms and corridors all the way, you can memorise the layout quite well.

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FPSes have become so linear that I doubt there will be an automap. I know we're all holding out hope that level design will be more reminiscent of Doom II than CoD, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I feel like the level design will be 90% linear with a few "secret" rooms...

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@YMB
The first level that was shown in the E3 reveal had a significant amount of non linearity to it and I think that was referred to as being the second level in the game (or thereabouts). If you look closely at the single player trailer and the released high res screenshots you will find further proof that yes, most routes that are visible, are actually traversable by the player.

The level from the mp alpha also gave a good indication of level design where form follows function. Even for a dm level it had lots of shortcuts, smart jumps and mantling options. The way railings were cut at certain places, similar to the sp levels shown at the reveal and in the trailer, all served a purpose. Allowing jumping up and grabbing the ledge from below or allowing the player to fall down to lower levels.

Will it be doom1/2 level crazy? Probably not. However what I've seen stems me hopeful.

As far as the automap. The framework for it is in the doom alpha if you know where to look so yes, some kind of map will be available. I don't think it will be an overlay. That is about all I will say about it though, NDA and all.

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I doubt Doom 2016 levels are going to be overly non-linear, so much so that you get lost making it necessary to have an automap. But we still might get a map of some kind, correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't the new Wolfenstein games have an automap?

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Yeah even the new Wolfenstein (and its standalone old blood) had an automap. And it really did not need a map. I don't expect D4 to -need- it either but I am pretty certain its going to get one.

About the level complexity, perhaps I was unclear in my wording. I don't expect D4 to be all maze like. But I do think we can expect more non linearity then what we got with Wolfenstein based on what has been shown so far. There were multiple routes in the map shown at E3 and that was described as being early on in the game. We shall see I guess.

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It would be nice. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the [TAB] key (by default) was used to trigger the Automap, just like old times.

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redrage said:

Yeah even the new Wolfenstein (and its standalone old blood) had an automap. And it really did not need a map. I don't expect D4 to -need- it either but I am pretty certain its going to get one.

About the level complexity, perhaps I was unclear in my wording. I don't expect D4 to be all maze like. But I do think we can expect more non linearity then what we got with Wolfenstein based on what has been shown so far. There were multiple routes in the map shown at E3 and that was described as being early on in the game. We shall see I guess.


TNO and Old Blood had adequate level design but I still think it should have been slightly less linear. Old Blood was better in this regard and if Doom is even less linear I will be quite satisfied.

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I think the automap was useful in Doom because FPS was still a relatively new genre and people just weren't that accustomed to finding their way through mazes from a first person perspective. Then again, the mainstream game market today is so dumbed down that if the levels are going to be anything approaching "complex", the automap may indeed be necessary for some modern gamers. I mean, for christ's sake, I remember seeing posts from people who couldn't figure out where to go in Doom 3, and the maps don't get much more simple than that.

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I had trouble navigating Doom 3 because all the places looked repetitive (that's less an architecture thing and more an overly consistent theme thing). Not only that, the maps were baked in black shadows. I was constantly losing my bearings. Now, compare that to Blood, Quake or some of the really dense Doom user maps, where I've rarely had navigational issues.

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GoatLord said:

I had trouble navigating Doom 3 because all the places looked repetitive (that's less an architecture thing and more an overly consistent theme thing). Not only that, the maps were baked in black shadows. I was constantly losing my bearings. Now, compare that to Blood, Quake or some of the really dense Doom user maps, where I've rarely had navigational issues.


I must be a real bloodhound then because I never got lost. Full disclosure, I suck at games.

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If the levels are anything like Classic Doom (fingers crossed!), then yeah, auto map would be required.

But I never really use the automap (unless I'm desperate). I've playing through the UDoom campaign and I'm already lost in E3M3/4/2 (I forgot, like I said, I really don't pay attention to the map names, but to the layout).
But an auto map in a modern FPS would be considered... unrealistic. Maybe some sonar radar or radio transmitter/receiver, sure. But really, we can see the map with our own eyes. Its not that hard (I could be wrong in some cases).

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It seems like iD is trying to provide reasoning behind a lot of the gameplay features. For example, the main character isn't just some regular dude who's able to rip apart demons and jump 20 feet. He's wearing a special suit that provides extra strength and jetpacks.

So with that said, if the auto-map is present in DOOM, I wonder if iD will make it some type of graphic that shows up using the marine's visor.

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ChickenOrBeef said:

It seems like iD is trying to provide reasoning behind a lot of the gameplay features. For example, the main character isn't just some regular dude who's able to rip apart demons and jump 20 feet. He's wearing a special suit that provides extra strength and jetpacks.

So with that said, if the auto-map is present in DOOM, I wonder if iD will make it some type of graphic that shows up using the marine's visor.

Or his gauntlet/forearm-armor machine...

I'm glad things are finally making some sense with Doom, and also glad they are not taking the suit approach like Halo(heh, it worked for halo, but wouldn't really fit the simple gameplay of Doom).

Hmm...why does Doomguy even does such unecassary kills? Is he angry or insane (or confident)?

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I'm kind of torn on the subject. I think it won't necessarily be needed, but at the same time, I reckon it might be necessary to an extent. Either way, I feel as though the automap might be cool if it's implemented as a hologram of sorts, similarly to the Echo Device thingamajig.

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Voros said:

Hmm...why does Doomguy even does such unecassary kills? Is he angry or insane (or confident)?

Because it's implied that in the new game, it's literally his job to get in there and beat the shit out of Demons, so why not have some fun with it?

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MFG38 said:

I'm kind of torn on the subject. I think it won't necessarily be needed, but at the same time, I reckon it might be necessary to an extent. Either way, I feel as though the automap might be cool if it's implemented as a hologram of sorts, similarly to the Echo Device thingamajig.


The UAC's teleportation experiments have inadvertently unleashed hostile, powerful demons who are violently slaughtering everyone in the place. You, the Doomguy, have just been activated. Your mission is to hunt them all down, and terminate them.

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Maybe Doom 2016 is acting like a tribute to classic Doom: simple unrealistic fun, compared to the modern FPS games we know of.

IMO, the echo device is PROBABLY some scripted event for the newbies who can't find the hand. Really, anyone can walk down the stairs, and see a body, go near it, and see a spinning triangle in their, which means they press use and PRESTO! Hand found! But that event is pretty cool for adding the realism of the brutality of those demons... Do Imps do death kills like the way the Revenant did?...

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The Civ said:

Because it's implied that in the new game, it's literally his job to get in there and beat the shit out of Demons, so why not have some fun with it?


Because my doomguy is not a sick sadist.

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I don't think a automap will be necessary, unless the maps are openwide, where you lose track of where you are, whereas in wolf3d the automap is essencial for completing a level 100% and also the 6th episode, because the mazes are confusing.
But netherless, if the map design is less linear than in Wolfenstein:NWO, then that would be enough to satisfy me.

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J.B.R said:

whereas in wolf3d the automap is essencial

Wolf3D didn't have an Automap. Times were tough back then :(

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Tetzlaff said:

Because my doomguy is not a sick sadist.

The original Doomguy literally tore Demons in half with his fists and turned Zombiemen into fine red mist.
Not to mention shooting Archviles in half and making Mancubi melt through their own spines.

Yeah, he's not really very different now. Just a bit more "realistic".

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Well, in the original Doom everyone could imagine the Doomguy's character as he wanted him to be, and I think it will be similar in the new game. I am glad that I won't be forced to use that splattery finishers. To each his own.

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Tetzlaff said:

Well, in the original Doom everyone could imagine the Doomguy's character as he wanted him to be, and I think it will be similar in the new game. I am glad that I won't be forced to use that splattery finishers. To each his own.

Yeah, I probably won't use them a ton either, but I'm probably the only person here who thinks that they'll be fun to use every now and then. I really like the finishers where you kind of get the drop from above, and land on the enemy, like in the Hell demo.

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Gonna completely ignore id's rip 'n' tear interpretation of Doomguy, because for a lot of modern Doomers that's how they see him, so for them it's canon. Also it's not related to the topic of the OP.

I don't exactly want to jump on the New Doom hatewagon, because fundamentally it looks like a fun game, despite my reservations; HOWEVER, ... (:p)

Re automap necessity: I will say that if an automap isn't necessary, then it doesn't exactly get me excited about the levels. Say what you will about the progress we've made in map design (valve lighting*, objective arrows, encouraged player paths, etc), if I can't get at least a little bit lost in a map, then I feel like the exploration component has suffered. I should be able to lose my way, or go off into completely off-the-path branches of the map, only to find my way back.

It's entirely possible that I'm just sore about anything that isn't "classik DooM" (that ephemeral quality tied all-too-closely to nostalgia), and that I'm blind to the fact that the level designers will keep us from getting lost by designing visually distinct areas, and that I won't even notice the lack of automap.

Also, I haven't actually played the damned game, so idk. I just enjoy maps in games.

* Where the 'way forward' is indicated by, eg, a light over a door, in an otherwise dark room.

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Honestly, I'm just hoping this game returns to the level format.
I know that it's kind of asking a lot of a modern shooter to do that, but I feel that the long, continuous areas in DOOM 3 made it seem even longer, and more stretched out.

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In the ne pcgames.de article they say there is a 2D and a 3D automap:

http://www.pcgames.de/Doom-2016-Spiel-56369/Specials/Gespielt-Video-Hands-on-id-Software-1183922/

Beim Level-Design geht id Software alte Wege. Schläuche wie in Call of Duty sind verpöhnt, die Levels im Reboot erstrecken sich über mehrere Ebenen, enthalten versteckte Secrets und altmodische Schlüsselkarten. Nach über einer Dekade vermeintlicher Casual-Shooter ist es da (trotz zwei- und dreidimensionaler Automap) gar nicht so einfach, den Überblick zu behalten!


My translation attempt for you (I' m German, not sure how some of the sayings translate correctly):

"With level design id Software is following old paths. Hose shaped layouts like in Call of Duty are frowned upon, the levels in the reboot expand over multiple floors, contain hidden secrets and old-fashioned key cards. After more then a decade of alleged casual shooters it became hard (despite of 2- and 3-dimensional automap) to keep the orientation!"

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