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XLightningStormL

What do you guys think of Tom Hall's Levels?

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I made a short search about his levels, and what i can see its the levels are bland but very good overall.

Edit: i see too the fact of a low presence of decorations.

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All of his levels are fun to play, even if they might be aesthetically lacking. Map10 of Doom 2 is one of my favorite classic levels.

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I would like to have seen American Mcgee complete a couple of Tom Hall's levels. Their level of detail seem like they would better complement each other compared to Sandy Petersen's takes on Tom Hall's work.

Tom Hall is a brilliant guy and much of his level design work was made long before Doom's gameplay was taking shape, so naturally they're a little ill-fitting for the way the game works. In general I prefer Sandy Petersen's original maps to the Tom Hall one's he pumped monsters into.

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I personally don't like Tom Halls maps as much as I like the maps of Petersen, Romero, & McGee. That's not to say his way of designing levels is bad, if fact lately I've noticed my own maps have some Tom Hall sensibilities to them. I like how he doesn't have any empty areas in his maps, he makes a squarish outline to his maps & then fills every inch of that square with playable space. I also do like his more realistic approach to mapping, it provides a nice contrast in Doom to Romeros abstract techbases & Sandys weird hellish maps. I suppose the only real fault you can Tom Hall really had was that his maps were pretty flat in design, Romeros & Petersens use of height variation in their maps was much better than what Tom Hall did.

As far as texturing & gameplay go I don't think there is enough to go on to say weather he would have done a good job on it or not. Sure we have the alphas which look pretty awful, but Romeros maps had shit texturing in the Alphas too so it's not fair to judge him by that.

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IMHO his maps are absolutely the best in all the IWADs. Even MAP10 of D2: the closest to a techbase in D2's E1.
He made crates a meme! Thus, we can all agree on Tom Hall being the best level designer ever. E2M7 is also an amazing level.
I'd love if he released a new Doom (or at least RotT) level, like John Romero.

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I particularly like E2M2 and MAP10 (and E3M3, but I suspect the fun texturing was Petersen's work), the rest are OK.

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I generally regard Shores of Hell as my favorite episode in the original Doom, although it looks like my favorite level from it (E2M6) is purely a Petersen map. E2M7 and E3M3 are also up there on maps I enjoyed though.

MAP10 is pretty nice, too.

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Tom Hall's maps were among one of my most favourites in Doom. While he may not have been satisfied with the direction the rest of the id crew were going with Doom at the time, he at least tried to work around their plans before ultimately leaving the very company he founded. I studied his maps thoroughly in the alpha versions, and it shows that he was still in the Wolfenstein phase as the layouts were flat for the most part. Even so, they were anything but offensive, at least on par with American McGee, but still nowhere near as groundbreaking as John Romero's. I really like the arcadish feel of Tom Hall's maps, and in terms of them being credited to Sandy Petersen (except for E1M4 as it was finished by Romero), they were more playable than Sandy's original maps, though there are a few exceptions in Sandy's part. In short, both Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen had their strengths and weaknesses in their maps, but I like Tom Hall's maps more. His penchant for making corridors and circular rooms is an aesthetic I've seen some mappers emulated, most famously Milo Casali of Final Doom fame. All of his maps are my favourites but the ones that really stood out were E1M4, E2M2, E2M4, E2M7, E3M3, and yes, even Doom 2 Map10.

bzzrak said:

I'd love if he released a new Doom (or at least RotT) level, like John Romero.

That is something I would like to see myself, being a huge RotT fan and also a Tom Hall fan in general.

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Tom Hall's levels were made close to his Doom Bible plan, and had pretty nice texturing. But when the Doom Bible as scrapped, the nice, appropriate texturing gave way when the Doom Bible textures disappeared from the wad, so, naturally, much of the aesthetics were lost. Yes, I have to cast my vote for Doom II's Map10, which is an amazing map, as far as gameplay goes: No matter where you move, you are attacked. And, E2M7 was so different and nice with the original texturing: The card room, the tech rooms, the showers and lockers, the numbered sections, with specialized wall signs.

It's very possible the large height variation was not originally possible, or easy to do, as the wad map format and renderer were being panned out. I think tiling had to be done manually - for each wall length, you needed a new texture of patches - at least, that's how the data looks to me. Tom's maps were the first, and he had to deal with the most inferior tools ever made for Doom, with the oldest renderer. So, I have to cut him some slack.

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Not a big fan, all his maps were not only improved upon by co-workers but surpassed in both a gameplay and aesthetic sense. The only memorable thing from him is the crate maze (e2m2 of course) which to be honest I think could have been made much better by the likes of Romero or Peterson had they had the honor instead of Hall. Not to mention that too was improved on by Peterson as well, yet it still remained somewhat flat and uninspired.

I do however think he was ahead of his time as his vision for Doom is what came to be for modern gaming, at least as far as FPS goes. Doom simply wasn't advanced enough to take it into the direction he wanted it to go and I respect all his work but as for a mapper i'm glad he didn't have too many contributions.

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Without Tom Hall there would be no Dopefish. Hence praise Tom Hall, and Dopefish.

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DAZZER said:

E1M4 is my favourite Map in E1 ! So thumbs up for him ^^

This guy, he knows what's going on.

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Job said:

This guy, he knows what's going on.


I feel some sarcasm in this comment... did i miss something ?

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Shadow Hog said:

I dunno, I interpreted that comment as "I agree with this quoted post".

Correct. My sarcasm is rarely thinly veiled.

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