What is your stance on bumpy floors?

Or other forms of terrain that can be difficult to navigate. I've seen a few mapping posts mention to avoid anything which may obstruct or otherwise interfere with how the player moves. I don't necessarily agree with that since it's possible to create interesting dynamics using the environment. And example of this is the Cyber boss at the end of Scythe 2 map14. He's standing on some railway tracks, which makes going for a two-shot with the BFG a bit trickier than if it was a hallway with a flat floor. Sunder is another popular example of "difficult" terrain, with frequent and often unusual floor height changes and various obstructions. I think it's up to the player to learn the environment and not blame the mapper for getting stuck on support beams/decorations etc. So what are your thought?

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Abusing the terrain is the best.

 

If you put crap on awkward locations that the player runs into while avoiding rev rockets or something it is adding difficulty without rng.

 

Bumpy floors are whatev in my book too.

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It bugs me to no end if I play any game and it's possible to get stuck on geometry or a prop that requires you to essentially walk in the complete opposite direction if even for half a second. Getting hung up on a prop because the bounding box is wider than it should be or getting caught on a door frame is infuriating.

If it has a game design purpose like uneven floors that act as a puzzle, it's fine, but if it's just not polished and smooth, it's bad. One of my favorite examples of this is for Left 4 Dead; a lot of the areas in the geometry you could get stuck on have an invisible clip block, making it easier to get through doorways because the clips funnel you into them.

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If its to the point where I'll get stuck for no immediately discernible reason, and die because of it, then its simply not fun level design.

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If it's well designed I think it could be interesting, but more often than not it just becomes a nuisance during combat.

Edited by KVELLER
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Bumpy floors? There's been a screw under my carpet for years. Like not a screw sticking up, but its a sideways screw that was sitting on top of the floor when the carpet was put on. Oh... you probably mean Doom. Texture is good. Floor height variance is great even if its 8 pixels at a time. Same for walls.

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3 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

Or other forms of terrain that can be difficult to navigate. I've seen a few mapping posts mention to avoid anything which may obstruct or otherwise interfere with how the player moves. I don't necessarily agree with that since it's possible to create interesting dynamics using the environment. And example of this is the Cyber boss at the end of Scythe 2 map14. He's standing on some railway tracks, which makes going for a two-shot with the BFG a bit trickier than if it was a hallway with a flat floor. Sunder is another popular example of "difficult" terrain, with frequent and often unusual floor height changes and various obstructions. I think it's up to the player to learn the environment and not blame the mapper for getting stuck on support beams/decorations etc. So what are your thought?

I could be wrong about this, but I think the player's mobility is slightly different across different source ports. If I'm remembering this correctly, you're a GZDoom player? I think that source port gives you better air control which might only hamper your movement slightly, where as source ports closer to vanilla doom lock your directional velocity in place whenever you're off the floor. So this might change your opinion depending on your preferred sourceport.

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45 minutes ago, 40oz said:

If I'm remembering this correctly, you're a GZDoom player?

I've been playing mostly GL/PRBoom+ for the last couple of months to experience the more vanilla mechanics. You're right about the improved air control in GZDoom. The movement feels more fluid when running over small bumps in the floor and whatnot.

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The camera also behaves much better. Excessive floor detail can make it twitch a lot in faithful source ports, which is why it's considered in bad taste by people preferring such ports.

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I am decidedly not into the floor bumps.

 

Even in ZDoom, I find little floor bumps to be really clunky to navigate around, because even a minuscule step puts you in midair for a few tics, limiting your movement. I guess you can treat it as an intentional mechanic, but most times I've seen with irritatingly bumpy floor detail in a map, it's seemed like a case of negligence rather than the mapper trying to add some sort of extra challenge. (I mean, heck, the bumpy floors in my own earlier years of mapping were a case of negligence, at least!)

 

I try to limit the amount of unnecessary floor height bumps in my maps, and when I really want something to look bumpy on the floor, I'll generally use transfer heights to make it behave like it's still flat, so it doesn't impede on player movement. (A self-referencing sector can be used to accomplish the same thing.) There are lots of ways to make a scene interesting (lighting, architecture, color contrast, etc.) before resorting to cluttering its floor up like a badly-kept dorm room.

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I've mostly played using GZDoom and Risen 3D, so I have no issue with bumpy floors, except when I test my maps in PrBoom. Then they get irritating, because I can almost physically feel the jarring drops. However, I'm much more annoyed by right-angle wall detail that catches your hitbox and locks you, often just long enough to get fried. I'm not aware of any source port which helps with this, so it would be nice if mappers beveled such obstructions so we could bounce off of them, at least in rooms that might have intense fights.

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Tbh, I think irregular movement-impeding floors (and other detailing) are irreversibly part of doom now, in the same way that every other minor ignominious unfair aspect of the gameplay is. As a mapper you should avoid making annoying floors whenever you can, but as a player you kinda have to bite the bullet and learn to deal with them, in my opinion.

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If the bumpy floor is purely cosmetic and there is no mid or high tier monsters around, then I don't mind. But if you use a Baron who attacks me while I am climbing stairs, then I find it a bit annoying, because it is harder to dodge his projectiles (especially if the steps are very small and you try to go left or right, in order to dodge, but accidentally fall one step back before dodging, which eats up precious dodging time as a process).

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I don't mind them as long as they don't look like a demon goes around just to pry off floor tiles\steals them.

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As long as I'm not required to two-shot a cyberdemon, it's fine. There isn't anything else in Doom that requires such precise movement that bumpy floors become a serious problem.

 

ArmouredBlood once made a funny map about them.

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I don't like them if they are made for the purpose of 'increase the challenge'; I'm ok with them if they are casually made for aesthetic purposes like in the map you mentioned

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6 hours ago, Memfis said:

ArmouredBlood once made a funny map about them.

thanks for bringing this to my attention. cool map.

 

Also, I agree with OP and others.  Bumpy terrain as similar to damaging floors in some regard:  If I am aware of a particular bumpy patch on a floor, it will slightly influence my choice of positioning and pathing during a fight.

 

Damaging floor, though, is clearly conveyed as an obstacle that is intentional, and is deliberately implemented into Doom as such with appropriate floor textures to boot. Bumps, on the otherhand, and the movement constraints that result from them, don't feel as much like an intended part of the game, and feel side-effecty.  It comes down to mindset, I guess.

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23 hours ago, Spectre01 said:

What is your stance on bumpy floors?

A bit like this:

zmJjpuM.png

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There should be a cacoward for thread titles, and this one should win it.

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As long as the floor details or bumps don't interrupt the established flow of combat I see no problem with them. There's obstacles [pillars, acid pools, crushers, crates; etc] and there's details [grates, small debris, shallow sunk in/elevated sectors; etc]. Obstacles change the flow of combat and present a new challenge to the player to keep each encounter interesting yet relevant. Details give the player something to admire between combat zones that reveal additional elements about the story behind the level.

 

The problem occurs when details become obstacles. Items in the level that were intended to only enhance the visual aspect of the level but take up too much space in the environment. Maybe that split-level section of the floor is a bit too steep. Perhaps the debris from the collapsed ceiling is too tall or too wide in some areas. Does there need to be so many crates in this room? These are some things that the player can and will get stuck on. This can easily grind combat to a halt which will result in a clunky, awkward, and ultimately frustrating gameplay.

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