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Hi all - as you know (well, some of you) I'm new to the editting side of this community. Working on my very first WAD and I actually want to run a quick question by some of the more experienced editors in this community.

I'm curious, how do you go about creating your levels? All of the "good ideas" that comes up in one's head is sometimes a little difficult to shoot out all at once, whether it be room design, texture, traps, enemy placement, secrets, etc. I'm curious if in the process of building a level, do which do you usually do first? Or is it so common to have as much conflict as I am?

Do you start with room design, then perhaps put your means of "getting through" to the next sector, and then do that room, and leave all design texture until later? Or do you do 1 room at a time, make it as amazing and detail oriented as possible, then jump to the next?

I guess either way works, but at the moment I am trying to finish entire rooms at a time (with sometimes going back and creating openings after certain things happen later in the level). But I'm certain one way keeps an editor a little more "sane" than the next - just looking for opinions and tips on this one!

Thanks all!

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I'm not a very experienced editor but I know where you're coming from. We all do really, it sounds like you're going through "Mappers Block". There are many threads about it.

A popular tip is to take a break from mapping and don't force yourself to make a room just for the sake of progress. You should be inspired to make a unique encounter, be it a hellish landscape with various turret monsters surrounding the player, forcing him to take cover as Cacodemons slowly surround him or a dickish ambush with the door closing behind you and monsters appear out of closets.

Some mappers tend to make the entire layout of the map (or much of) before they start detailing it all. For me, I try to complete a room before I move on, however I tend to suffer from mappers block frequently with that method.

You should play test other peoples wads, popular ones in particular. I guarantee You will find unique ideas you will want to incorporate to your own. And with an observant eye you will begin to admire others work a bit more as well.

If you want to base your level around one gimmick, say crushers for example then I say keep the levels short and sweet. Don't drag it on otherwise the gimmick and level design will get repetitive too quickly.

I advise to plan 2 rooms ahead and design a unique way they connect. Personally I have fallen into the "Door - Room - Door - Hallway - Door - Room" routine which can result in very linear and mediocre designs. Try not do much of that.

Before you start your room or level, it's always good to first know:
- Your intended difficulty curve
- Your intended level's theme
- The next level's intended theme
- The weapons you want the player to have
- The monsters the player may face
- One particularly interesting aspect about the level - again it could be a gimmick like crushers, or a large room with a Spider Mastermind in the middle of it, a room with a BFG 9000 behind a large group of monsters etc. It doesn't have to have a Gimmick mind you, but it is always good to have something to inspire you into making it happen.

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