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Kapanyo

Post your in-dev Deathmatch maps!

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So, I have this mapping tendency to just poop out a map, overdetail everything and make everything cramped. So, I had an idea: I would pretend I was making a tutorial and give myself ideas. I would also force myself not to detail, and to just use test textures. Then, I would develop it from scratch based on feedback.

Obviously, I'll iron out all the flaws when I remake it.

So, this thread's premise is for people to post their in-development maps and get feedback on the fly.

[DOWNLOAD]
Try testing with bots.

Is this a good idea? Yes? No?

The idea is for users like me who have trouble developing maps to be able to actively view criticisms and tips so that they can improve their work, or for experienced mappers to pick up on ideas.

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Making a bare-bones layout, testing, re-editing, testing, repeat-until-plays-well, then detailing, is the best way of making mp packs. AeonDM is a prime example if you go and look for the earlier betas; you can see the some of the maps in b20 looking radically different than those of b15, since we got around to testing them properly. This way you don't waste time detailing bad maps that almost invariably need structural editing, creating more wasted time and effort in the fixing.

The thread is a good idea if people are making stand-alone maps, though I would kind of like to see more mp project threads in general springing up.

Also testing with bots is entirely worthless, just fyi. It's best to utilize the information found here and maybe even here to try and find other actual players to give live feedback.

As for your map I will take a look at it a little later today.

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I suppose I should explain the philosophies I went through while making this (alpha) map:

I first decided it would be in the style of most modern DM maps, with an indoor section and an outdoor section. Deciding what the style will be can help alter the way you create your sectors and rooms, and to size areas accordingly. For example, I decided the area with the pillars would be the outdoor area before I even put the pillars in; I created a horseshoe that wrapped around part of the building so you can always see it.

I always feel that each map has a more "popular" area, a part where all the players occasionally converge and duke it out amongst each other. An outdoor area is perfect for this, since they're generally wider and airier. I wanted the most "popular" area should be the middle of the horseshoe, since that's where most of the SSGs are located, and since it has one of the main entrances to the building nearby. I also placed a Security Armour there to make it an area people would race to get to - in an area where players are constantly blasting each others' faces off, you'd want armour to have a better chance of escaping alive. The area itself is on a raised hill.

Next, I placed the pillars. Another thing to note is that, as soon as I created the horseshoe, I tested it - I tried circling around in it to try and get a feel for how easy it is.
I then decided an open area needed some form of cover (you only want wide areas where people can "snipe" you either for popular areas or for important items), so I added the pillars. It was here I discovered that the smallest area a player should really have to go through (mostly) is 128 units (which coincides with the generic size of a door). I discovered this when I placed the pillars - originally, they were squashed against the walls and you didn't have much view around them, so they felt very restricting. I spread the area apart which also helps in the long run.
Finally, a last point about the pillars is that if you do this method of making them lower and not solid, you can have interesting instances where you play with verticality - I placed items atop some which you can reach by jumping out a window.

As for making the pillars, a trick I learned is that, if you don't make them solid void (I.E. not completely solid, but as pillars protruding from the ground), it gives players a more clear view and changes it into simply a terrain object to utilize, rather than an obstacle.

I had a huge thought process for the balcony in the main building; it's widely accepted that, in any DM game, being higher up gives you an advantage (however, remember that in Doom you can't look up and down - this has to be accounted for), so I wanted a way of countering someone up there. I put a Chaingun at the base of the platform so people could deal consistent damage to the player up there without having to get close (since the shotguns have a wide spread).

And, finally, I put secrets in the map - a little point that I haven't really seen in any modern maps apart from DoomKid's.

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I'm here both to talk about this supposed thread process and the map itself.

The process: Decay is right (but that probably isn't the ONLY way to make things). Testing layouts then detailing works in pretty much every gamemode, singleplayer or pvp. The only thing bots are good for is for testing that there are enough spawns and something else I forgot. What they aren't good at: finding hotspots, showing good navigation, playing, doing anything. This thread idea seems like a good way to rapidly grow in your deathmatch mapping skill, as criticism can be streamlined and maps can come out fast. Much faster growth than making some projects that are mediocre, then trying again after feedback and taking forever; as long as there are enough people on this thread giving critique or whatever I guess. Just make sure you push so that every map is better than the last. Although sometimes making small projects can be a faster way to grow as it exposes more faults at a time. Honestly both single maps and small projects are good ways to get better. Who cares though, onto the map.

The map itself: You should probably remove this preconceived notion of a "Modern DM" map out of your head. I've made and played some "Modern DM" stuff and I can honestly tell you I don't know what that means. Styles and map planning is all over the place now, don't stick to a standard that probably isn't. Standards now are diverse as neo-'oldschool' to 3d floor jumppad swimming with the fishes, all with geometry and cliches varied for each idea and with each individual mapper. Things have branched out.

This map is nice because it reminds me of things I once did that I will never do again. There are lots of staircases that don't serve a purpose, like for the two that go deep into the floor for no reason and the random weapons on the curly stairs. I was once given good advice that staircases aren't just a decoration, they need utility. The two in the middle should honestly just be removed because they have literally no purpose. The weapons you CAN keep, but it would be better if those stairs actually go somewhere or provide combat-useful height variation instead of some swingset thing. Oh yea, a lot of the staircases have patterns to them that are extremely unfriendly to movement, such as the teleporter. I still do stuff like that but it's best avoided. I know a map I hate that does that for a bfg...

You can easily cut out half the pillars. Pillars sometimes are like crates, used as space filler because people don't know what else to do. While maybe two on each side (or 3 for the bfg i dunno) is good, you don't need 10. Cover is good but so is distance, as distance can be used sometimes far more effectively to nullify ssg shots than some pillar. Deathmatch isn't always some intense pobla8 pole dancing, mostly just running in straight lines and holding down the fire button (extremely effective!). Don't forget with more players, the pillars will be used less because everybody is busy fighting someone lol. It's good that you know that the bfg requires cover though.

Items on the pillars is ok, but nobody cares about 5 armor bonuses. The ssg area has a useless armor bonus rack as well. Either make the item at least like ammo or something, or nobody will care. Megapowerups in the middle of a hotspot never last more than a few seconds. They don't change the battle as much as you think, although I like to put them anyway. A lot of the time your idea of the map's hotspots doesn't match what happens in game. This is something that can ONLY be tested by a group of humans, and the real hotspots can be very unexpected sometimes. Yes all hotspots need ssgs too, good job.

One thing you forget about the height advantage in doom is that I still need to win the game. It doesn't matter if I'm on a 512 tall pillar with a shotgun and nobody can kill me, I'm not going to win. Height advantage is best for a few encounters, occasional judas23_ stuff, and for spamming the bfg. The bfg point is something that should be controlled in your maps, otherwise the whole map turns into 'grab the bfg' more than anything. Also even though the chaingun is the best weapon in the universe, this map won't see any cg sniping. Too small and too many deaths for that.

Don't put anything remotely good in secrets, this is DM not singleplayer. Every map with overpowered stuff in secrets is a map I like less. Good example is skulltag's stock dm maps. Each have doomspheres and bfg10ks in stupid places that completely ruin the map and make one player get 50 frags by doing nothing playing games. Also secrets make zandro gamemodes like lms more of a pain with people hiding in them and stupid stuff.

Invulnerability: no

OK so overall (and if you read this post...) this map might be a good step of direction for you. Just generally clean it up and remove unnecessary geometry for simpler movement and stuff, less can be more. All the above faults are easy fixes, although less easy to never do them again. Don't mistake my post length for this map being awful, paragraphs of crit can always be made on basically anything. You can continue this thread with Decay more than happy to make a post of this length every time because Doomworld is his favorite place to be and he loves talking.

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Thanks for the feedback! This actually really helped a lot. That Invulnerability Sphere was an oversight BTW.

But I guess I need to address a few things...

The staircase with a lot of weapons is just a way to get the Rocket Launcher. The Shotgun is ontop of a player spawn and at the bottom. The stairs are also wonky because, like I said, it's a test. I still need to improve on spacing weapons apart.

Now, the two staircases that lead to nowhere are there because the bridge is supposed to be like the one in E1M1. If you fall off, you use the stairs to get back up. Obviously with this test, it's basically impossible to fall off the bridge and the stairs fill up too much of the pit, but yeah. I would've increased the size.

The unfriendly stairs are there so that players have more time to prevent others from reaching the BFG Teleporter. Although I can see it's a pretty bad move considering.

Secrets: I understand, but I still would like to implement them somehow. To prevent people hiding in them, how about I limit them to, like, Medikits, and have them small crevices in the walls you have to open up (which can't fit players in)?

[EDIT]: And finally, the four Armour bonuses around the MegaArmour were from an earlier stage when the Security Armour and MegaArmour were switched around. :P

Thank you very much for the help!

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I'd also like to ask if it would be sensible to replace the BFG with, say, a Soulsphere. DoomKid once made a very good point that overhealing powerups were slightly irritating to fight against (especially the Megasphere).

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Combinebobnt said:

You can continue this thread with Decay more than happy to make a post of this length every time because Doomworld is his favorite place to be and he loves talking.

You made a longer post than I would've.

In any case, megaspheres are generally a no-no, because it's instant 200/200 whereas at least a SS is easier to combat if it's only adding 100 hp. Even a BA can be overwhelming in some maps because it offers a lot more than a SS does, practically speaking.

Armour bonuses do dick-all unless you have like 20 of them.

Same with health bonuses.

Most people don't put secrets in MP maps for good reason (OP and broken).

You should clearly define your set flags too; it'll help in terms of making layouts ie do you want freelook? More height variation is good. Do you want jump? More flexibility in layouts. Infinitely tall actors (typical OS flag)? determines whether or not you can use bridge things. Multiport or single port focus? You can use/abuse certain port features (ie 3d floors in zandronum).

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Decay said:

Even a BA can be overwhelming in some maps because it offers a lot more than a SS does, practically speaking.

Y'know, this made me stop and think about it.

Blue armor basically doubles your health as long as you have enough armor to fully mitigate the damage taken. A soulsphere gives 100 health up to a max of 200, and obviously you have a max of 100 normally and start with that.

So, if you get into a skirmish right after picking either up or pick one up in the middle of one, a soulsphere and an armor would be equal if you're already as max health - however, if you have less than 100 health, a soulsphere suddenly does a lot more for you, because your health could downright triple your health vs the static double that the armor does, if you're already half dead. On the flipside, if you already have above 100 health, through say a previous soulsphere or some health bonuses, then being put to 200 health will obviously be less effective than basically doubling whatever health you currently have.

Here's the thing, though - armor has an extra benefit, and it rolls back over to the fact that it effectively doubles your health as long as you have enough to fully mitigate the damage.

This means that while in a fight where the only source of "healing" is either a blue armor or a soulsphere, the soulsphere is going to be a lot more powerful in most contexts. However, if there's some stimpacks laying around where you're fighting, the blue armor become a lot more powerful - because those stimpacks effectively go from healing 10 health to 20 health.

And, of course, armor doesn't go away after a fight. Once you're no longer actively in combat, the armor will still continue to effectively double any health you pick up. Which also factors into any fight you get into afterwards, as well.

So in maps that either don't really have any other source of health or maps that're so compact that you're basically always fighting someone, a soulsphere is going to be more powerful most of the time. However, in maps where's it far easier to undo the damage after a fight, a blue armor will end up doing far more for you.

So tl;dr blue armor is a lot less "swingy" if there's not really any way to otherwise "heal", but can be a lot more effective at keeping momentum than a soulsphere if there is.

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