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Spectre01

What is your stance on cheese-proofing maps?

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Meaning, how much effort do you put into making sure the player can't exploit various fights and how important that is in maps? Examples of "cheese" in this case would be killing monsters in a way where they can't threaten you. i.e. Using high ground to make stuff below you infight to death. Exploiting infinite height rocket splash to kill groups below. Or even more basic stuff such as running away from traps or Chaingun-tapping everything down from maximum autoaim range. I've noticed even harder sets meant to challenge the player frequently have encounters which are easy to "break" and trivialize the difficulty of the fights. 

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If I foresee a game-breaking exploit, or experience one in play testing, I will try to correct it before release. Most mappers have a vision for their maps and it's up to them to fix things that alter it. That said, there's a lot of well-seasoned players who will probably find things to take advantage of that you would have never considered. 

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I try to build my maps so there are no obvious exploits that can completely break the map. However, if I discover that the map has a minor design flaw that lets the player get an item in an unintended way, if I decide that it doesn't save the player much time if any then I'm happy to leave it in. Otherwise I have to fix it. As for encounter exploits, well I just need to get better at designing encounters.

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The types of cheeses I don't like are generally not too hard to find and also make the map or an encounter look conspicuously broken. Sometimes they make it seem as if the mapper doesn't understand how the engine works or simply didn't test diligently enough (even though sometimes things slip past even after hardcore testing). On the other hand, some cheeses look a lot more like natural strategies, often requiring outside-the-box thinking to find. Theoretically, if you could press a magic button that discovered and removed all of these, you'd likely be making your map worse and less interesting, at least from my perspective. The general guideline for me: 'is this lame or is this cool?' Sufficiently cool cheeses stay even if discovered. 

 

I'd rather not be a control freak over everything. There's little harm in the player cheesing smaller, easier encounters that are meant for a change of pace anyway, especially when slapping anti-cheese contrivances all over the place would only hurt map flow. Some traps can be designed to be run away from -- I don't think it's a good idea when literally nothing can be escaped from, ever. Traps like these usually shouldn't be too bulky if escaping them means the threat is gone and only clean-up remains. (It should be noted that escaping doesn't necessarily have to remove all the the threat -- e.g., in free-flowing maps with lots of supporting incidental placements, or in setups where encounters cascade into one another.) 

 

I don't see it as a bad thing that mapsets like Sunlust have as many 'cheeses' as they do. Few are egregious, and some of those only came to light after lots of research by maxers. At a certain point, you simply aren't going to discover more obscure cheeses on your own, and what turns up during public playtesting is subject to chance.

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It depends on the cheese.

 

If it's a dumb cheese that has no entertainment value (like some lame pacifist trolling), I'll stamp it out.  If it's a fun cheese, I'll tweak the map to support it more readily and point the players in that direction.

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This is actually something I look for in maps.  If the mapper can't stop me from doing something then I won't stop myself from doing it.  I treat it the same as playing an encounter defensively over being aggressive.  If there's no point in taking unnecessary damage then why would I intentionally ignore something that can positive effect an encounter for me?  In that sense I find them equal.  

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I don't think cheesing some things here and there is bad. I always like it when players have a chance to "outsmart" the designer, or at least having the illusion that this has happened.

 

I'm honestly not okay with how the word cheese is being regarded as something straight up negative, when some of the most amazing and skillful plays I've seen were cheesing something. Sometimes cheesing something sure feels like cheating, but when there is some form of tradeoff involved, like additional time spent, taking damage in exchange for speed and whatnot, then it's fair game. If a mapper lets players do as they please without taking any precautions where they should have, then that's a problem in the sense that the map may have become uninteresting to play. As long as cheesing something adds to the gameplay of a map in a positive sense, I'm pro-cheese. ;-)

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I try to not do this; and leave open whatever possibilities the player has that they wish to go about playing the map. I'll have situations where the player has to figure out what to do- but that's about it. I don't "cheese proof" something because I welcome multiple approaches to a situation in a map.

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I do my best, but without a team of playtesters there's only so much I can do. Whatever measures I take to keep a fight from being too easy, I know eventually Soccerer will release a playthrough video where he cheeses the shit out of it anyway. How he handled the final boss of Nerves of Steel cracked me up. Here's the "fight" in its entirety. Don't blink or you'll miss it.

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The most enjoyable maps usually kinda allow you to scale the difficulty to your needs. When you feel like a badass you run around blasting everything, but if you're seriously injured you can begin taking potshots and using all sorts of other safe tactics while you're searching for some medikits.

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Frankly, I do not care about any sort of cheese sandwich my map may become, but I have one deep, irrational hatred towards speedrunners. I know I am not supposed to feel angry and should be glad to have a speedrun of my map done by someone else, but it just makes me real fucking angry thinking how someone would blitz through my map in a minute without taking a moment to soak in the atmosphere and genuinely enjoy themselves for once in a while. So whenever possible, I try to slow down the potential speedrunner by blocking a passage a regular pace player would breeze through ,by timing when would a horde pass through the passage, so if you go too fast you get swarmed and gang raped, but if you dont rush you would spend max 5-10 seconds on this part.

 

So I don't care if the player dissasembles entire fights by holding back in a corridor before a arena (sometimes I actually enforce this), but just the thought of imagining some douche rushing through by body surfing or skipping a entire ambush by just speeding through (instead of realizing fleeing is a option, speedrunner would flee none-the-less) makes me more fucking pissed than anything (so angry to even come up with a clever pun)

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@Battle_Kirby I'm no speedrunner but I'd assume they would play a map "normally" first before routing a quick path through the level instead of skipping as much as possible on a first attempt.

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15 minutes ago, Spectre01 said:

@Battle_Kirby I'm no speedrunner but I'd assume they would play a map "normally" first before routing a quick path through the level instead of skipping as much as possible on a first attempt.

Which is why it takes me so long to design a perpetual speedrun-proof map.

 

I mean, if I could make a map which is fair and nice for those who play it normally, but a living nightmare to speedrunners no matter how much they try, then the inner warlord inside me would be pleased for 6 months at least..

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I typically dont make the maps with cheesing posssible, but if there is a method to make things easier, then I say go for it. I want people to play my maps the way they want, not the way I want.

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3 minutes ago, Phade102 said:

I typically dont make the maps with cheesing posssible, but if there is a method to make things easier, then I say go for it. I want people to play my maps the way they want, not the way I want.

That's an interesting perspective.  Of course it's not always going to be clear what the mapper intended and as individuals we'll do what we do.  

 

A friend said to me "When you play someone's map you're seeing their vision.  The gameplay/fights are going to be geared toward what they either think is fun or what they feel the player should be able to handle. Nothing more, nothing less."

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Define 'cheese'... i don't mind if it requires skill but a situation like abusing infinite height splash damage is something i'd actively try and avoid the possibility of.

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I'm fine if, in a difficult map, some encounters can be taken in a more easy way for the player

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35 minutes ago, Jayextee said:

 

This is all I see from you here. Speedrunning is ahead of the curve; a speedrunner will likely have actually really fucking struggled on that tough bit everyone else did. They took in the atmosphere already, and probably way more than the average player as they'd grind the ever-living shit out of a map (or game, y'know) to study the nuances of it. Every nook and cranny that could possibly be useful; is this a possible escape route? Can this ledge be used as a shortcut? Every monster encounter's makeup for the optimum route through without fighting, chances to create infighting so a 2-second detour to get a certain weapon can be shaved off, et cetera.

 

Indeed I think your anger is totally and utterly misplaced here. Just because you can see a demo of someone beating a 15 minute map in mere seconds does not mean acquiring the amount of skill required to do so was in any way easy.

Isn't that really boring though? All that grinding for one two maps, then switching to another map set and doing the same over and over? Where is the magic in that?

 

Granted I am more of a "roleplaying story guy", but I am going to pull the creator's card here!

 

*anime flashing*

 

Frankly I never watch speedruns or anything of that, and do not care about records broken on this and that mapset. However, my maps, my rules! My way of making shit! Honestly, if anyone would dare to put up with my super secret experimental 5000 pinkie maps and achieve 100%, I would be really impressed. However, the same map can be solved in mere 15 seconds(involves a lot of body surfing), and frankly, that is meh. I mean, you won't have to grind for dozens of eons to beat it quickly. It literally takes a little of your time to figure it out and do so *badumtssss*

 

Yes, you were talking about other maps as well, but I cannot give much of a fuck about them. As you said, these are my maps. I may not be a well-known mapper or not even that good, but I can bet my lunch that I have rules that are set in stone with regards to shit. I mean, I never liked speedruns, there wasn't much of a excitement looking at them, even if they were my favorite games. It feels like the speedrunner is tearing apart the mystery and magic of the game/map just by over-grinding it and making the game NOT a source of experience one could learn from or get inspired by, but a mechanical process done out of boredom and wish to conquer.

 

Many of you people see those as impressive achievements. I do not. I can have a viewpoint as well.

 

So when there is a opportunity to fight back against such actions done to games, believe me when I say that I take them. These opportunities are my maps. They might get shot down rapidly by others, they might induce confusion with some, and make it a crappy experience for everyone. No, not might, they WILL. Because not too many people want to give in to their imagination and feelings, their artsy side inside them. Those who want do it in private or become cringe-lords like me. But it all pays off, because knowing that I had at least delayed a speedrunner his satisfaction makes me feel alive.

 

(That, of course, with many other things that can make people say "D'awww!" or "Hmpfh, okay")

 

(And someone on Doomworld did play one of my maps. Their commentary made me go "d'awww!")

 

My statement might sound stupid, but I am not running away from it.

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Battle_Kirby, you're clearly the Jonathan Blow of DoomWorld and we don't enjoy these things the right way.

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Just now, Jayextee said:

Battle_Kirby, you're clearly the Jonathan Blow of DoomWorld and we don't enjoy these things the right way.

Makes me wonder how much it took you to make that speedrun of a comment.

 

+200 POINTS FOR... something :P

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Just now, Jayextee said:

Dude I've been working at sarcasm for 30+ years. These things don't just happen. ;)

It took me 18 yrs only to breathe, respect :D

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Personally I like finding ways to cheese out a map. Maximizing infighting, luring monsters into crushers or next to nice juicy clusters of explosive barrels, moving monsters in position to get telefragged, all these things are fun to me. If the map author goes out of their way to make sure the only way to play is by having a third sense for projectiles in your back and the blessing of RNGzus, well, it's just not as fun.

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Given a choice between the two, I'd much rather watch someone skillfully breeze through one of my maps rather than see them hunt for every possible camping spot to turn it into an hours-long, eventless slog.

 

I can't imagine building a map to intentionally enforce slow grindy gameplay as an attempt to punish skilled players. It would just make the experience duller for everyone regardless of their playing style, and I'm not sure that doing something that would so encourage all players to avoid my work would be a good strategy against someone playing a map in a way I don't like.

 

1 hour ago, Battle_Kirby said:

They might [...] make it a crappy experience for everyone. No, not might, they WILL.

Well, okay.

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The only example of bad cheesing I can think of is stuff like having a monster block line between a melee only monster and yourself.. tbh sometimes I feel like modern mappers go overboard with cheeseproof encounters to the point where each fight feels like a setpiece and there's not much inbetween. It's best to have a balance, imo.

Edited by DeathevokatioN

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As a certified map breaker in the past and given my modder/mapper experiences, personally i take extra care in my vanilla-gameplay maps to avoid only what would break with GZDoom basic features, well when you are targeting for like PrBoom+ for example you don't have to care about jumping or crouching then in that part you know the player will not use these things to entirely avoid a section in the map or even an encounter, besides that i tend to leave to the player in spam infight to save ammo or any other common trick Doom always had, those are things that has always been in Doom and it is always good you don't touch what people is used to do as gameplay mechanics in Doom unless a gameplay mod is involved.

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22 minutes ago, esselfortium said:

Given a choice between the two, I'd much rather watch someone skillfully breeze through one of my maps rather than see them hunt for every possible camping spot to turn it into an hours-long, eventless slog.

 

I can't imagine building a map to intentionally enforce slow grindy gameplay as an attempt to punish skilled players. It would just make the experience duller for everyone regardless of their playing style, and I'm not sure that doing something that would so encourage all players to avoid my work would be a good strategy against someone playing a map in a way I don't like.

Since when speedrunners are synonimous with skilled players?

 

Anyways, I am just punishing people who rush. Those who shift their gears a bit down, adapt to the curve, should (in theory) find it quite smooth and enjoyable. Believe me, I can tell a difference between putting on a roadblock and a speedbump. Like I said beforehand, timed hordes. Those who would rush would get swarmed. Those who stop, wait a bit, drag the horde around, and flee/kill em all are getting unscathed. And "sniper fire", and similar tactics that throw bricks at speedrunners' wheels.

 

Basically, I find it okay if the speedrunner stops, even for a literal second. Means they are respecting the system, even if they are just doing it to get ahead, kinda like traffic lights. There is something so jarring and provoking when the speedrunner does not stop to me. Like, I feel like the speedrunner is insulting the creator when he doesn't stop moving, unless the creator made it a rule that stopping = insta death. Yeah, there are records to be broken, but all I see is a guy drifting through a red light.

 

Are we mixing up speedrunners with really good players? Is it me, is it you, John Wayne?

 

(might had fucked up that reference)

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