Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Marn

In the event that you're forced to use corridors

Recommended Posts

How do you go about keeping them as interesting as the rest of the map? If you find yourself having to use one, is that a sign that you should rethink the area of the map it's in, or are they a necessary evil?

Share this post


Link to post

Oh no I'm making a map and this forum full of weirdos somewhere out there on the internet called doomworld says corridors are bad, omg alt-f4 delete map

---------
There's nothing bad with corridors :] They're not evil, they're great. I could walk throught corridors all day. I want a megawad with just corridors. Corridors, corridors, I love you corridors.

What I'm trying to say is: if you hate them, don't use them. If you don't hate them, use them. You can always slap in a teleporter instead.

Share this post


Link to post

Is it a good idea that everything in your map should be equally interesting? What about that ups and downs stuff I've heard before?

Anyways, the first thing that comes to my mind is lighting. Corridors are a great opportunity to experiment with complex shadows since their shape is simple and therefore doesn't require a crapload of adjustments. If you've played any Paul Corfiatis wads, you're probably well familiar with his corridor lighting that looks kinda like this: XXX.

Some people will put ambushes in them (side walls opening) but I feel like that's quite overdone and predictable at this point.

Share this post


Link to post

Corridors are bad for gameplay reasons; setting up all of your set piece encounters to run in corridors would make for a boring experience.

That said, almost every map has them; they're usually used to join together two non-corridor areas. They're kinda like the straight pieces in K'nex; most of them are basically the same, with some being short and others long, but not much else different. But the real beauty of the structure is made through the connectors to the rods, with some having only 2 holes and others having over 10, all scattered about in different patterns, which when pieced together, makes complicated and interesting shapes.

That all said, teleporters always felt to me like more of a cop-out than corridors for transferring the player to a new area.

Share this post


Link to post

One way to keep things interesting: Light the backmost wall, intersperse the corridor with really dark areas and populate these dark areas with monsters, for cool backlit silhouettes like Sandy Petersen wants you to.

Or you could:
...spring a trap in the middle of it. Gasp! It wasn't a corridor after all, but a highway into a gigantic monster closet, or a dropdown into a spooky basement area.

...make interspersed alcoves (or other detail) one of which hides a secret.

...put rows of differently blinking lights - they look nice in a row.

Corridors aren't inherently bad. They're just a bit predictable if played straight, and boring if overused.

Share this post


Link to post

The first map of Can't Run From Evil comes to mind; corridors are everywhere, yet satisfying. Monsters teleporting in, monsters behind your back, plenty of monsters... Hard corridor map.

Share this post


Link to post

It really depends on what your map is aiming to do, and more specifically, what that part of your map is aiming to do. Do you want to create a lull in the action there and maybe aim to build some extra tension between peaks, or is it a place you'd like to spice up? (Of course a corridor can become either of those things, but knowing what you want the player to experience there is a good first step to figuring out how to build it!)

While an excess of simple corridors can certainly limit a map's potential for varied gameplay encounters and memorable scenery, I don't think it's worthwhile to completely write them off as something to avoid at all costs. Sometimes you want to have big open interconnected gauntlets to dodge lots of projectiles in, but sometimes you might want to isolate those larger areas from each other a bit, or maybe evoke a claustrophobic feeling or devise a cruel trap that heavily limits the player's movement. Doom's monsters and items are versatile enough that interesting scenarios can often be created in even very simple areas.

If you really really want to avoid having a simple corridor, depending on what's nearby you could potentially add some windows or a ledge to turn it into an extension of another scene.

Share this post


Link to post

Real world architecture: corridors are useless space, which serve no function besides walking. Architects will try to limit as much as possible the space they occupy. For instance, instead of having something like this, where the corridor runs the entire length:

┌─────┐┌─────┐┌─────┐
│     ││     ││     │
│     ││     ││     │
└──╥──┘└──╥──┘└──╥──┘
┌──╨──────╨──────╨──┐
│                   │
│                   │
└──╥──────╥──────╥──┘
┌──╨──┐┌──╨──┐┌──╨──┐
│     ││     ││     │
│     ││     ││     │
└─────┘└─────┘└─────┘
Something like this is more likely:

┌─────┐┌─────┐┌─────┐
│     ││     ││     │
│     ││     ││     │
└────╥┘└──╥──┘└──┐  │
┌──┐┌╨────╨─────┐│  │
│  ││           ╞╡  │
│  ╞╡           ││  │
│  │└─────╥────╥┘└──┘
│  └──┐┌──╨──┐┌╨────┐
│     ││     ││     │
│     ││     ││     │
└─────┘└─────┘└─────┘
Less corridor space, more room space.

Corridors are used when you need a "neutral" area for walking through the building. Consider a house: you'll usually not have a corridor between kitchen, dining room, and den, as you'd just walk from room to room directly. However the bedroom upstairs? You'll have a corridor so as not to have to go through a bedroom to reach another.

In our house example above, the dining room is kind of a corridor between kitchen and den, however it's also a room with a function. Try to make your corridors rooms with functions. Perhaps it can double as a painting gallery? Or perhaps you could stuff it with bookshelves on a side, so that it's also a library? Still if it's a corridor, it's a place where people will walk to and fro, so it probably shouldn't be a work room, so stuffing it with computer consoles wouldn't necessarily make sense. But then again, they could be information terminals for employees to consult quickly on their way to their workstation.

In a palace, a long corridor might exist deliberately so as to be a long corridor. The aim then would be to impress guests with the size of the estate. In such a case, the corridor should definitely be richly decorated -- paintings, sculptures, tapestries.

Finally there can be a case where you have a long corridor with nothing really interesting in it. There the corridor is simply an enclosed (usually underground) path between two separate areas. The typical examples are service tunnels, sewers, bunkers... In that case, consider just not having the corridor at all, instead make the separate areas separate levels and use the corridor as the exit point of the first level and entry point of the second.

Share this post


Link to post

Corridors are not inherently bad. They get boring if theres too many of them and there is too little contrast in scale. I find that tight narrow corridors followed by a huge arena or outdoor area really complements the next zone's significance. If you have a tendency to make too many corridors, might I suggest filling in the voids in between with pitfalls so you have a catwalk style map like Circle Of Death or The Chasm. You expose the player to attack from all angles while keeping his path pretty defined and treacherous. I made that way recently and I'm really proud of how it came out.

Another piece of useful information is that the layout and design of the level is only half the battle. The usage of linedef actions for traps like monster closets and teleport ambushes and stuff can usually make almost all maps fun, even if the design is elementary.

Share this post


Link to post

I figured this important fact for yourself - make more windows in them, which shows another places and see some stuff which can be reachable by other path.

Share this post


Link to post

Also (not so much to make corridors interesting as to avoid making them even more annoying), generally make your corridors wide-enough for comfortable movement, unless their narrow-ness is essential for a specific gameplay setup you have there.

Share this post


Link to post

VERADA.WAD has a lot of corridors, but it's still a fun map. The corridors restrict your maneuverability, and you're never sure if something is behind you or not. There's also a bunch of windows and height variation, so it's not totally flat and featureless.

Share this post


Link to post

I think plutonia solved it pretty nicely by sometimes making them corridors curved enough that a Revenant homing missile wouldn't snag as easily. Actually that did not hit me until someone mentioned it. I think that's a gameplay design choise that you might want to take into consideration.

Share this post


Link to post

I've actually encountered this in my mapping lately. They are necessary parts of the map, it's ugly to just have rooms connected by a door, but it's also ugly to have just a 256 unit long room between rooms. What I've seen done in most wads is, when applicable, the corridor will curve instead of 90 degree bend, and if the design allows it people will often make the corridor a staircase instead of just a straight connection. There are exceptions but those are the easiest ways to make them "unnoticeable".


I've started using metal textures to create "supports" against the walls so I can freely use different textures within the corridor as well. When you need to use a corridor, it's a really good practice to make them curve around so you can't directly see whats in the next room as well. It makes the player anxious, especially if you add some lighting differences. When they round the corner they are far enough ahead of the other room to not want to run back necessarily and they have to take a fight right away which makes for really fun gameplay.


Other general tips about corridors, don't make them too narrow, we don't need more Hell Revealed where you're fighting barons in 64 unit hallways. Allow the player to move around just enough to dodge projectiles, and don't make them too long. They are "useless space" for the most part and you don't want to keep your player walking through boring corridors. Just keep them short and sweet, spruce them up with different textures /windows to see outside or into another room and you'll be fine.

Share this post


Link to post

I had an idea that is related to this thread that might stimulate some discussion:

Map01 of The Eternal Doom wad -- how would you improve on the corridor parts of that map ?

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×