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everennui

What is your intent when creating a map?

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What are you thinking about when you place monsters? How do you place monsters? Are teleporting monsters cheap? (One of my favorites is from "Unloved" when you go in a cell to grab some powerup/item and then there's this chainsaw guy behind you. (It's the same amount of health bonuses that you lose by getting hit.)

Are these good policies?: If I can do it, you should be able to do it. Try to kill the player, but make it fair.

With my first map, I built the level almost room by room. It was nice, but I found that I couldn't stop building stuff on to it. It just kept getting bigger and bigger. I really enjoy maps that are short, but are not beatable on the first try. It's fun to learn a new strategy. "Sucker Punch" is really good at hitting you at your six or flanking you really quickly. I played another user's map called, "Tortured" which is a ~3:00 map with lots of shotgun guys. It was fun to establish an order and prioritize enemies. (I did a play through on my Youtube channel.)

So that's what I'm thinking about now. How do you kill a player, but still make it enjoyable? Aside from just thinking to your self, "I know I can do this." or, "I know this is possible" what makes you want to play it again? Why is getting unavoidably hit-scanned to a degree, that a run relies - to a great degree - on luck, fun?

Also... what are some examples of this which execute it very well?

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I'm pretty sure I said this in another thread, but Insane_Gazebo, maker of Sunder, gave me some excellent advice that is working well for me (and it doesn't have to apply to slaughter maps either.) That is to always make your maps as hard as possible, and then work backwards. Put the player in merciless traps and overwhelming odds, then season it to taste either by thinning the hordes, changing the monsters used or giving the player extra health, ammunition, or a better weapon. You'll almost always get a fun map that way rather than being careful not to make it too hard from the start.

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I think as a mapper your job isn't to kill the player, its to keep the player playing. To that end you have to find a balance between challenging their skills and giving them the tools to survive.

The player is still gonna die now and then, but there is a difference between dying while fighting for your life and dying from some surprise bullshit that you couldn't avoid without foreknowledge, like the difference between jumping and being pushed. One gives the player the control and the other takes it away, and most players prefer to be in control even if the odds are against them.

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I think as long as the map is short enough, throwing bullshit surprises at the player can make a fun challenge. It's quiet an accomplishment and it looks badass when you've finally figured it out.

You shouldn't have a horde of barrel scripted to explode if someone walks by it - that's cheap, but if you can pull of some unique strategy to kill the player I think that's cool.

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everennui said:

but if you can pull of some unique strategy to kill the player I think that's cool.


The player starts in a 512x128 room containing a cyberdemon, with no way out. Just when it looks like the cyber will approach and kill the player, it teleports out. Then get this: a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cyberdemon warps in behind the player and kills them. Where's my Cacoward.

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For me it's important to have an extremely interweaving layout to then be able to have the kind of gameplay scenarios I want in the game. I like the idea of giving the player multiple options of how to tackle a certain challenge, as well as seeing what's ahead later in the map which invokes tactical decision making.

As for traps, I tend to have a lot of teleport traps but never ones that are completely unfair, I like to think they provide a decent challenge that can whittle the players health down slowly, which can make the rest of the map much more sinister. Though I always end up putting too much health in my maps, which is something I need to work on.

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Your maps don't have to be final whenever you share them. When you get input from testers, you can modify it accordingly and post an update. I'd consider /idgames entries final (even though those can be updated as well, but I'd refrain from doing that for demo desync reasons)

Too much health is a pretty easy thing to work on, because realistically, there is no such thing as "too much health" when it caps at 100% and you can get hurt any number of times. If your testers mention that they never really felt at risk of dying, you can remove health items and post your update. However, sometimes when a map has a setpiece encounter involving high damaging monsters like mancubi, revenants, archviles, chaingunners or cyberdemons, any number of health kits might not save your player. Perhaps the question is a matter offsetting the health with more risk for the player.

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