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AbsorbedHatch

What's the best order to go in for mapping?

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Yes sectors are the way to go.

My usual order of operations are to sloppily draft what the map might look like on paper so I can use it as a reference (mapping can take a long time and sometimes i forget what I'm doing)

Next ill draw the sectors for the complete map layout usually on a 64x64 or 32x32 grid. Make the rooms and pathways and include the start area and exit room.

Draw the doors and switches and stuff I intend to use and apply the linedef actions and sector tags so that the map is functional. Get it into a state where you can play it from start to finish.

Pick your wall textures floor flats and begin lightly decorating the map with structural features and basic details like windows, pillars, stairs and stuff.

Start placing monsters and weapons and ammunition on the map to get a feel for what the map will play like.

Season gameplay to taste by adding or removing monsters and items until you get it the way you like it.

Add some extra sector detail to make the map look cooler, then some more sectors for lighting like shadows and brightness around light sources and stuff.

Definitely check out your DOOM.WAD and/or DOOM2.WAD IWAD files with your map editor, but be careful not to save anything. Doom 1s first level for example has examples of working doors, elevators, shadow casting, how sky works, secrets, blinking lights, damaging floors and other stuff. Its a great reference for beginners.

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Sgt Ender said:

Like do I draw sectors first, then the rest?

I imagine that most mappers don't do either thing placement, texturing, lighting or detailing before drawing at least one sector first.

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scifista42 said:

I imagine that most mappers don't do either thing placement, texturing, lighting or detailing before drawing at least one sector first.


Thing Mapping - chuck down a bunch of things then draw around them.

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Every type of level demands its own process. A few random examples of my own maps, since I am familiar with them: For my Cereal Killer map, which was meant to be a freeform romp comprised mostly of incidental combat and a few open set pieces, I created a number of smaller discrete areas and then linked them around a big rocky outdoor area, with almost no thing placements done until the end, since the map was simple and I had a strong idea what would go where. For Ovum, which was more about isolated traps and setpieces and interconnectivity, areas were created in a more direct fashion, almost all thing placements done before moving onto the next, and each area had a defined "linking object" such as a ledge that would be accessible from a future area, or a window that could peer into another area, unless it was one of the areas devised primarily as a connection between existing areas. For the silly speedmap I made with All Hell is Breaking Loose resources, I had an idea of a final fight with helicopters on the roof of a building, so I built that first, and then I structured the small map around it with two-sided sector barriers (walls, basically, but under sky), and then I tuned up the lighting and detail and added some diorama structures in the surrounding water.

Lots of things can work. I think one of the most helpful things to realize are that you don't really have to build areas in the order that the player will reach them, and you can draft areas that you don't really have any plans for, just because they look cool (if nothing else they can become inaccessible decorative areas, which really helps cultivate a sense of place), and that you should focus on trying to have fun. Go crazy. Find processes that work for you. If they bore you, odds are they aren't right for you, and if it's useful you should change something until it is fun.

We are making fun of your wording, which is admittedly a bit silly, but it's possible -- and for some types of maps, even optimal -- to outline significant parts of a map predominantly as unclosed sectors and as sectors that only exist because DB automatically makes them. I guess some semantics nitpickers might disagree, but I wouldn't consider that sector-first design. Ribbiks did something similar for Sunlust's The Womb, a video of which you can find in the Sunlust thread.

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I usually just map what I feel like mapping. For instance, I make one sector and detail it, put some stuff on it & think at the same time on what is the next sector gonna look like and as soon as I get the good idea, I draw it & repeat.

So, I go with the flow. No rules on what to do fist.

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Quineotio said:

Thing Mapping - chuck down a bunch of things then draw around them.


Now that could be a really cool community project, starting from a given base of Things placed in the void.

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The only specific "rule" I've learned to apply to the ordering in my own mapping is "inside first". That is to say, if there's going to be a building that's completely surrounded by outdoors, I build the rooms inside the building first, and if there's going to be a room or courtyard inside a building that's surrounded by a ring of rooms or hallways, the center room goes first. Much easier to do it that way and get the size of the inner stuff right than to have to shift all the outer stuff later to make space. Whether this is universally helpful or just a quirk of my own mapping style, though, I don't know.

As far as order of building things, rather than trying to start at the area the player will start in and then build until I end at the area the player will end in, like I first started out doing, instead I often go in an order of setpiece areas -> secondary/side quest areas -> connecting areas for anything that hasn't yet linked up in the process of building and arranging the first two. Sometimes the end gets built first, or maybe the start and end both get mapped in somewhere in between. Maybe they even get moved or swapped as things develop.

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