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watto3699

Mapping Tips

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Hey everyone, 

I'm new to Doom world and equally Doom Mapping. I just looking for tips to make my maps look more aesthetically pleasing and some game play ideas to base my maps around. Also if someone can help me with stopping Monsters from other sectors from responding to gun fire because once I start shooting they all pour from around the map.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

-Watto

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2 minutes ago, watto3699 said:

I'm new to Doom world and equally Doom Mapping. I just looking for tips to make my maps look more aesthetically pleasing and some game play ideas to base my maps around.

Play and replay maps you like until you start getting a lot of cool ideas on your own. I could tell you things like 'use monsters in such a way that they put conflicting movement demands on the player' and 'use resources to push the player to explore further' and so on, but without knowing exactly what type of maps you want to make, it's hard to give advice efficiently. So a follow-up question would be what sort of gameplay you want to design: Doom 2 'classic' stuff, modern run 'n' gun, high-octane slaughter, etc.? Because then it might be possible to give specific advice or even point you towards threads

 

2 minutes ago, watto3699 said:

Also if someone can help me with stopping Monsters from other sectors from responding to gun fire because once I start shooting they all pour from around the map.

Use the 'deaf' or 'ambush' flag, whatever your editor calls it, when you want to keep monsters that have free movement and open lines of hearing from immediately waking up and chasing the player. Monsters that are on turrets and ledges or behind obstacles (e.g. bars) of coursem will not pour in towards you either. The same is true of 'indirectly' placed monsters, such as those in monster closets or teleport closets. Sound blocking lines are useful if you know what you are doing, but it is more niche and 'advanced' and you shouldn't use them where the deaf flag will work. 

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unusual shapes and tall superstructures often look better than hours of tiny sector detail filigree work - just make sure to light it interestingly! it's hard to fully explain how to make a map look "good" cos that's in the eye of the beholder and trends change (just look at Eternal Doom) but good shadows will always be appreciated.

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Take a look at other peoples maps, pay attention to the architecture, how they do things. Is there something in the map you like? boot up doom builder, take a look and try to replicate the effect. Be patient, detailing no matter how little or how much takes time to perfect.

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For an area to work it usually requires a standout element that will contrast with everything else. If you have a red room, put a green torch in it. When you create a dark area, place a really bright lamp somewhere. An underground passage might need a hole in the ceiling with the sky visible. Whenever you feel like you have a boring location, it's probably because it lacks that special feature. It's also very important not to overdo this. Usually you don't want to have a bunch of interesting things trying to steal attention from each other. One is enough for a basic fight zone, two might me good for an important hall the player has to visit often, three is already risky unless you know what you're doing really well.

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One thing I started doing was have a set of defined room shapes, which mesh together interchangably with other shapes of rooms. 

 

I would say architechture can make your map pop out as to having none, but you don't need to go crazy with it neccesarily. There are no such thing as straight edges in nature, so anything to break-up a generic box room along walls would do wonders. Beams in corners, door frames, floor & ceiling height differences ect.

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Don't make slaughtermaps, ever, ever, ever, ever, that's just gross;

Lotsa colours everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, EVERYWHERE, it must look like those Chinese sneakers for little kids with lights on them;

Map for vanilla only. Remember, my friend, ports are for sissies;

Troll the player as much as possible while keeping the map out of lame jokeWAD territory, this is an absolute necessity;

Amaze the player as much as you can while keeping the map out of lame overdetailed-overhyped megaWAD territory, this is also an absolute necessity;

Don't rush, ever;

Never test your maps in ZDoom only if they are meant to work in other ports;

Choose custom textures wisely, they can be very clashing with stock ones;

Sector furniture and signatures are obligatory;

Don't be too much of an jackass in the community, everything is good in small doses;

Don't be afraid to do stuff like mixing WOODGARG and GRAYTALL, it can look good;

Make terryWADs if you feel like it

 

Basically, be just like me B-)

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Don't make rooms the same everytime make some heights variant and different colors each one making them unique

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3 hours ago, bzzrak said:

Don't rush, ever;

Never test your maps in ZDoom only if they are meant to work in other ports;

Choose custom textures wisely, they can be very clashing with stock ones;

Don't be afraid to do stuff like mixing WOODGARG and GRAYTALL, it can look good;

Here, I cut out the "hey please make maps that I would like" bits of your post and reduced it to general helpful stuff.

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A general rule of Doom editing is that the textures themselves have a lot of detail in them, so the walls they are on can be quite simple.  You don't need to spend ages on creating detail when the textures already provides that.

 

Instead, think bigger: the most memorable maps are the ones that tackle big broad ideas.  Try not to be too "realistic" - think about the shapes that are pleasing to the eye, not whether anyone would practically live there.

 

And as others have said: play lots of other wads.  You'll start to build up an idea of the maps that you personally really like.  Crack them open in Doom Builder and have a look at what makes them tick.  Don't be afraid to borrow concepts and approaches when you're starting out, no-one minds a good tribute.  

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Too much detail can interfere badly with gameplay. Doomguy depends heavily on his mobility, many a map looks lovely but induces baldness when you play it because of catching on map decor resulting in extra damage taken, deaths, not quite making that tightly timed lift etc. Another regularly seen flaw from detail is secrets that can't be registered (e.g., Icarus map 13 - remember that the center of the player's object circle must be on the floor of the sector in order to register a secret. The problem in this case is that the secret is a very narrow, inset floor sector surrounding a small lift with the prize on it; it is easily possible to obtain the prize - a berserk box - but it is impossible for Doomguy's feet to fit on the floor, so you cannot gain credit for it).

 

Graphics from Doom can be re-used very easily in your own textures. A texture definition consists of the texture's name, its size, and then a list of the actual graphics, which are called "patches." To re-use the original Doom graphics, just reference their patch names in your texture, there's no need to add them to the WAD itself.

 

When creating custom textures make absolutely sure that you have covered the entire area of the texture with patches. Parts that are not defined will result in odd looking graphics in game if they are visible (this is called the Tutti-frutti effect, and it also occurs, at least in Vanilla and Chocolate Doom, if you use a texture shorter than 128 units on a wall that's taller than itself, and in every engine if you use a texture with transparent portions on the solid portions of a wall i.e., one-sided linedefs or upper/lower textures of two-sided ones).

 

Unless the limitations are intended to be a centerpiece of the map (i.e., maps designed intentionally for Tyson or similar style gameplay, like Hell Revealed map 9 or Eternal Doom map 14), make sure you have enough weapons and ammo available for the player to not need to tediously grind large monsters with small weapons (fighting barons with the shotgun might have been a novel challenge when we first tried E1M8 from a pistol start, but nowadays that is considered exasperatingly slow gameplay).

 

Pits from which the player cannot escape are usually regarded poorly, even if they're damage pits so that at least you can die and try again. This is the case even for big-name maps - it's a constant thing in Sunder map 5 for instance and it is regarded as excruciatingly annoying by quite many players. Provide an escape, even if it's clear there will be a large penalty from landing in the drink (e.g., JPCP map 27, where you will take significant damage and sent back to the start of the map if you land in the green acid; the fact that there is an escape is still regarded as good design).

 

Mandatory secrets are often regarded as a design flaw, even on otherwise beloved maps (Eternal Doom commits this sin regularly). Having to find something hidden to progress is of course an acceptable gameplay trope, but many Doomers expect that actual marked secrets are optional extras rather than something that you must obtain in order to reach the exit (exception for secret exits, of course). An exception is if the map has no actual secrets; in this case it is accepted and actually almost standard to include an unavoidable "secret" somewhere in the map (this is so that players using engines such as Vanilla or Chocolate Doom can still register all three 100% ratings; these engines treat a map without secrets as 0% because, there being 0 secrets, you obviously found 0).

 

Not every player will ever like every map. For instance, some people like simplistic arena slaughter maps, some like switch-hunt puzzle maps with relatively sedate combat and you can't really do both at once, so expect that some people are going to vote you down no matter how many think you've made a masterpiece.

 

Test your maps in the popular ports (particularly PrBoom+ and GZDoom) even if you intend on making them vanilla. Players will want your WAD to work reasonably easily in their port of choice (unless it's a map for more advanced ports and their usual choice is chocolate or a similarly basic port, of course), having to fiddle with compatibility options on a map by map basis is not especially fun. Examples are the map 25's of Memento Mori 2 and Eternal Doom, both of which you will get stuck in if you run them in PrBoom+ with the default compatibility level and options because both take advantage of vanilla behavior that does not work in the same way on newer ports. (GZDoom tries to do it for you automatically, but even then, it naturally can't do it for all WADs and of course will have to be patched to cater to yours after you release it!)

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Thanks for all the replies.

I'll take everything said and keep it mind while making my maps.

Cheers for the help.

 

-Watto

 

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