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hardcore_gamer

Detailed Vs Spartan maps, which do you like more?

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By detailed I mean levels that try to go for realistic or semi-realistic level design, and by spartan I mean levels that use a cleaner but more simple design somewhat closer to the original levels.

Which do you enjoy playing more and why?

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I generally don't care, or see that it matters. If the map is fun it is fun, if I think it looks good or not then that't what I think.

Either style can go both ways, be done right or not right at all.

If it is trying to have a certain look to suit a story, or theme or something, there may be times when the design might not look too much what they say it is supposed to be and that's when I have a bit of a concern or if it miss labels the amount of detail either way, but it doesn't make me think the whole thing is a mistake or anything.

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Depends on the theme. Techbase (and similar) stuff should be fairly detailed and hell (and similar) stuff should be spartan.

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Usually I don't like when there are hundreds of linedefs in a room and most of them don't really matter. I don't want to see tons of borders, supporting columns and tired light gradients. Most of the time it's an overkill, it looks messy and has no elegance. Something like this beats most highly detailed levels in my eyes. Because there are only a handful linedefs on the screen, pretty much every single one of them is important for the scene, they all have character and are interesting in their own way. This feeling of appreciating every little detail is completely lost in 10000 sector maps and it's one of the most amazing feelings you can experience in Doom IMO.

But there are exceptions. Some people can pull off high detail well.

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I don't like or dislike either of the two styles out of principle, as both can be awesome when executed well and terrible when executed poorly. But if I had to choose between a wad with a well executed semi-realistic design and a wad with a well executed abstract design, I'd prefer the one with semi-realistic design.

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Lately I've been trying to go a little lighter on the detail but heavy on the lighting. I've really taken a liking to putting tiny little shadows in corners and and away from light sources and giving depth to large pieces of architecture.

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Thanks for your replies. Personally I think the biggest flaw with many high-detail levels is that things like enemy placement and gameplay often feel like an afterthought. It's like when the level designer has finished designing the level he's like "oh right I am making A GAME better add some monsters...". The end result of that are often levels that look impressive but have boring gameplay. I would rather play a spartan level that has interesting layout and well thought out fights.

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Spartan. Over-detailing can seriously ruin a map. The original maps of Doom, Doom 2 and Final Doom are still timeless and have massive replay value to this day. Yeah some maps that people make are quite breath taking sometimes but it's the gameplay that actually matters more than anything. There are some wads with impressive detailing that are very enjoyable however. Like Going Down and Scythe 1 and 2.

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It doesn't matter if its detailed or STARTANed. Its the map itself that really shows the map's true face.

And to answer the question, detailed maps and STARTANed maps, both.

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Tactical Stiffy said:

Spartan. Over-detailing can seriously ruin a map.


Yea this is one of the reasons I did not like KDiZD. The detail was so heavy that it actually looked distracting.

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I make maps with Detan... err Spartailed... whatever. I mix both methods. I keep things simple, but add enough detail to look modern and fresh. Clean, realistic geometry without going overboard. As far as thing placement, well I try to make sense and work with the flow of the map and put them where they belong (flow wise).

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Few details in the right spots (eg: light/shadow in presence of torches) is what I like. Details that does not fit in the map layout is what I don't like. Example: computers in medievals castles.

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When you guys design maps, do you build your maps around gameplay first and then add detail afterward, or do you design the looks first and then start thinking about how it should play?

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