Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Xyzzy01

Flow in a map

Recommended Posts

How does one achieve good flow in a map when building it? How linear or nonlinear does such a map have to be? What would monster placement be like? What should the gameplay in general be like?

Share this post


Link to post

Everyone's different and prefer different things.
I like a map that's about 80% nonlinear so I can explore and have more directional choices. Some people just wanna focus on the action and shoot a lot and not think too much about the direction or look at the map.
I guess the only advice i have is you should create a map that's the style YOU like.
The cool thing about DOOM map-making is that everyone has a style of their own.
Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Xyzzy01 said:

How linear or nonlinear does such a map have to be?
What should the gameplay in general be like?

There's no great ideal that all maps "has to" or "should" be like. That said, I personally prefer maps with a lot of non-linearity and with challenging fast-paced gameplay.

Share this post


Link to post

Many people here have different tastes in what they prefer in a good map. I've playtested many maps, managed projects and made a bunch of maps that most people consider to be pretty good, but still take what I say with a grain of salt.

In general you want to design a map the player is comfortable moving around in. The doom guy moves at ridiculous speed and maneuverability so designing your map like a race track with many different paths, pits, bridges, stairs and ledges to jump across is great. Looking at deathmatch maps or CTF maps can be a good reference, because MP players are ultra sensitive to the amount of control they need to kill their targets, so if the map is tested well you might notice that there are wide open spaces, many different paths, vantage points, and few obtrusive details such as support beams and cubbys that the player could get clipped on that would cause them to stop moving during a critical situation. So generally giving the player plenty of space to dodge fireballs and reduce the amount of clutter that impairs movement is a very good thing. Before placing monsters, weapons and items, I prefer to design the entire layout of the map first (without texture alignment, lighting or detailing) and make a conscious effort to make the map layout fun to navigate. Use windows or pits to show the player where he he's trying to go without directly giving away how to get there, and design rooms with particular purposes, (this is the rocket launcher room, this is the red key room, this is the exit room etc.) and think about what kind of gameplay would complement that purpose. A rocket launcher room might need large crowds of imps, a red key room might need some sort of trap attached to it, the exit might need a climactic battle just before it.

I like quiet exploration with sharp spikes in chaos and difficulty, but not too much of one or the other. In general, over use of monsters makes the map drag on a little too long and can make it exhausting to play. Especially if it involves killing many low tier monsters with weak weapons. Lots of monsters = chaos, few monsters = suspense. Both are good. To me, the best maps deliver the most challenge with the fewest number of monsters, but results may vary if the player has a rocket launcher or BFG and no shortage of ammo. In such case crowds and crowds of monsters can also be fun. Still, massive battles balanced with silence in between lets the player get the best of Doom's adrenaline rushes, followed by calculated strategy, item collection, secret hunting and puzzle solving.

I like immediate cause and effect. If you pick up a weapon, the map should discharge monsters at you to kill with it. If you pick up a key, there should be a trap associated with it. I also like a steadily increasing difficulty curve where each trap is harder than the previous one. Use obvious visual cues like poison signs around damaging floors, or the usual Doom door textures and platform textures and gate textures for doors, lifts, and teleports.

I hope this answers some of your questions!

Share this post


Link to post

I always completely design my beginning sector completely before I move on. After I complete it, I'll test it, and from the first person perspective, I'll ask myself, "Where would I like to go next?" I'll also find myself looking back at older wads I've played that had a generally good reception to see if I can get any new ideas. I like the formula in E1M2. Map starts, and you can go left, right, or straight. Nonlinear design is key if you want to have a map that isn't going to be boring and predictable.

Some key thoughts to have when mapping:

"Where would I expect to go next?"
"What would surprise me?"
"What would seem unfair right now?"

Another tip to remember is that your map is going to be harder for other people to play than it is for you. You know every nook and cranny and every surprise. So remember that when you're testing your map. If you are having a hard time completing it as the creator, it might be a good idea to tone down portions of the map before you release it.

Share this post


Link to post

Map design varies for each type of DOOM map, take brutal doom for example, or hellonearthstarterpack, these maps are all designed with the mod in mind, so large open space followed by smaller choke points. with vanilla doom, you should probably take the original games and try to analyse them. What do they do that makes them stand out. One map I like in terms of design is Underhalls, it is linear but it is built around a central starting point. It's short but sweet. You have to think about the purpose of a map and how it would be best put to use or played. Then think about factors such as different play styles and how it might seem repetitive to you, but will all be fresh to someone else. DOOM is a versatile map-editing game, different play styles and mods and the fact that there is a massive multiplayer scene mean that what you might think is boring someone else might think is good.

  1. Don't over-do corridors, make halls, split tunnels and make interesting sectors.
  2. Place monsters evenly, no one wants to head into an office full of Imps.
  3. Flow is important but so is DIRECTION. Don't make a map  where people can't find the exit.
  4. Flow is only as important as you make it out to be, if you are going for story, you need to think about some of the earlier maps [DOOM1]

Share this post


Link to post

Sometimes I'm starting to draw some cool shapes and then some ideas is coming to me.

Share this post


Link to post
On 2017-03-05 at 10:01 AM, 40oz said:

I like immediate cause and effect. If you pick up a weapon, the map should discharge monsters at you to kill with it. If you pick up a key, there should be a trap associated with it.

Can't say I'm a huge fan of predictable traps like that. I think it's more interesting if the key in question has a surprise before you pick it up or one after you grab it and leave the key room. Trapping weapons can also get a bit iffy due to the forced weapon switch, as sometimes what you grab isn't the optimal tool for the trap that's sprung.

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, incendairyhawk said:
  1. Place monsters evenly, no one wants to head into an office full of Imps.

Don't agree with this. There are plenty of good wads that have thrown lots of monsters at the player inside a single room. I for one enjoy gunning down imp hordes.

Share this post


Link to post

I tend to have a soft spot for layouts that loop back on themselves in interesting ways.  Heretic E1M2 (The Dungeons) is one of my favorite IWAD levels in that regard.  Misri Halek in Alient Vendetta (MAP20) would make another good example.  This was a principle I tried to build into both Valley of Saints and Mountain King's Domain (and arguably even in Coven to some degree, though I don't know that it was as much of a conscious aim at that point.)

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Spectre01 said:

Can't say I'm a huge fan of predictable traps like that.

 

Understandable. If everyone followed that advice for every map ever, id be sure to eat my words.

 

I'm speaking however from the perspective of a mapper and tester. From experience, sometimes mappers unconsciously do or don't do things that have a strong impact on the player's entertainment within the map. Like traps that happen for seemingly no reason that can do a shit ton of damage, seemingly reprimanding the player for exploring. Or giving way too many monsters to kill and no good weapons to clear rooms quickly.

 

It is often that these types of problems are not planned, they just happen accidentally or differently than expected. So my suggestions are meant to be guidance for new mappers, who may not be entirely sure what they're doing yet. So going forward, aim for predictability first, then manipulate it as you see fit.

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
×