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Fredrik

Which DOOM Level Feels The Most Like A PWAD

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Which level, out of DOOM or DOOM 2, feels the most like it could have been an arbitrary user-made level?

I think it's DOOM 2's MAP17. Unlike most other original game maps, it has a nearly linear progression that makes use of all keys and lots of switches to open up new paths along the linear route, with no abstract structural innovations. It has the kind of progression you expect to see in a level you're supposed to play from start to end, standalone. Somehow.

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It had to be doom2's map GOTCHA to me, the simplisticness of it was amazing, and the whole room with the spiderdemon and cyberdemon seems all too much like a pwad to me, and there wasn't a real point to the level either, its just kill them, open door, exit level.

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Ultimate Doom's E4M5, definitely. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something about it that makes it seem like it's a user level, rather than part of the game.

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Interesting idea for a thread. Your argument for Tenements is good, the level progression is certainly PWAD like; but other aspects of the map are not, e.g. the large number of secrets, and the switch arangements in the east part of the map would be unusually clever in a PWAD at that time I think.

The cyb/spider fight at Gotcha is a good idea, there are certainly a lot of single-concept pwads; however the large number of secrets and off-the-beaten-track areas rule this one out though, IMO. Also the complexity of the outdoor part would be unusual for a PWAD back then.

Cynically I tend to view Nirvana as the most PWAD-ish from doom 2, it looks like any number of badly constructed, inconsistently textured, ugly levels that form most of the Doom 1 pwad stock. There are few secrets, no complexity, and the lots-of-monsters-on-pillars theme was common in PWADs back then (inspired by E1M9).

You could make a case for Suburbs, as a my-house map, a standard theme of PWADs in '94. It's also an industrial take on Mt. Erebus so is a good candidate for a PWAD. But I've always considered Suburbs as the origin of the lots-of-secrets-in-libraries theme - any evidence to the contrary? That would seem to rule it out.

How about Factory - the lots-of-lifts room is the sort of odd concept room you get in pwads. It depends if you require that it could be a PWAD at the time - nothing like Factory could appear for Doom 1 because the arachnotrons are important to it.

Citadel? Castle levels were common as mud, collect-keys-to-exit is not uncommon in pwads. This would be an easy winner if not for that odd red stone outbuilding, which would be very odd in a castle PWAD.

I could go on all day like this...

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Definately Nirvana, because its ugly, retarded, and you have to know the designers inside jokes or something to figure out how to beat the damn thing.

Barrels of Fun wins the PWAD name award.

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cph said ...

Yeah, you're right about those. But also, I think of PWAD not only as levels were back in '94, but as well as levels look and play today.

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Id Say map31 and map32 in doom2
They Dont Really Fit In With the Doom Story
Me Wonders Why Id Did it
Kinda Gay

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This question is hard to answer since there is no definite way WADs are made today, and technological circumstances that didn't exist in the past (both editors and open source engines) help dictate a lot of what is done. Nonetheless, cph's historical perspective on design is interesting in respect to this.

It would be much easier to judge IWADs or episodes as a whole in this way, but I guess that has been done before.

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Personally, I think E1M9 and E3M1 feel a lot like PWADs made by up-and-coming level designers. They are both somewhat fun levels, but they look a little ugly, and the theme seems to be somewhat inconsistent (especially E3M1, which IMO could pass for a E2 level near the end)-much like level designers' first levels.

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All of E4. It wasn't designed after Doom and Doom2, and in many cases, the architecture is much better/more detailed. Specifically, E4M9. Just the way it changes from utilitarian/base theming to wood does it, I guess.

And I suppose E2M2 feels a little like a custom PWAD too. There wasn't much realism in the original games, and the crates sort of added a little feeling of realism.

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Map 07, it's just a deathmatch wad with a couple of special tags.

Also Map 10, as it's mostly flat, you can go anywhere you like without a key except the exit room and most of the rooms seem quite bare.

(although that's actually one of my favourite maps from HOE....)

For DooM 1, E3M9 as it's almost like someone thought: "That E3M1's a load of crap, lets make it better...." and made their own version. (not me, obviously)

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Mount Erebus (E3M6).

It has a lot of things in common with some of the bilge I find in old Doom 1 PWADs, although it is better than the majority of them. The strange design (not knowing what "Mount Erebus" is supposed to look like, but somehow I don't think it's "demonic military base built on radioactive volcano" which is the best description I can come up with for this level), heavy use of the flashing fire/radioactive textures, strange way of getting to the secret level, hardly any theme. It all seems very "experimental" to me, like many old PWADs were. Personally I think it's the weirdest level in Doom (not that I'm dissing it or anything, it's kinda cool.)

(edit: I realized I could change "military base" to "demonic military base" to make the description a bit more accurate.)

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Level 30! "Hey guyses letes maek sumting that keeps sohoting out bad guyses whilest teh playser has to sohot a rockete inta John`s hed! But frist weil giff them lotsas guns for frees!" They should have at least made you run around in the main room for guns. But i do like how that starting room looks...

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too many n00bs in this thread.

E2M9. Taking advantage of the "new" cacodemon enemy in e2, and also the barons from e1m8. The level is simple, but packed with only 2 enemies.

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RailGunner said:

Episode 4.
The levels dont have a theme and they look like it came from 3darchives.


Wooden/metallic hell outposts?
Most of Doom II felt awfully tagged-on. Only about half the hell maps had any consistency.

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Allright, the other way around then. Which level feels the most like it really, really belongs in the game (not necessarily the best level)? :)

For DOOM 2, it just has to be MAP15. To me, the theme, style, gameplay and secrets of this level *ARE* DOOM 2. MAP11 is a good one, too.

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RailGunner said:

Episode 4.
The levels dont have a theme and they look like it came from 3darchives.

WTF? Episode 4 has more of an identifiable theme than either episode 2 or 3, whether you're talking about the episode as a whole or individual levels.

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Insomniac said:

E2M9. Taking advantage of the "new" cacodemon enemy in e2, and also the barons from e1m8. The level is simple, but packed with only 2 enemies.


Oy, forgot about that map, yeah it was pretty darn lame.

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Fredrik said:

Allright, the other way around then. Which level feels the most like it really, really belongs in the game (not necessarily the best level)? :)

For DOOM 2, it just has to be MAP15. To me, the theme, style, gameplay and secrets of this level *ARE* DOOM 2. MAP11 is a good one, too.


This makes me think about the design development of the game. In DOOM e1 is pretty seamless and almost any level describes it pretty well, e2 is harder to define, as it shares design qualities with e1 and e3, but e2m5 does somehow "exemplify" it, acting as a good node tying the tech and hellish themes together, and giving a kind of moody but aged feeling that defines e2. Not surprisingly it's in the middle of the episode. The last episode is mostly defined by fleshly, bloody and fiery texturing, irregular maps and more brutal monsters, but which may be easier to avoid, so e3m1 and e3m6 might be the most distinctive. The latter map is the 1st try at "open" type maps that are later common in DOOM II, like maps 13-16, map20, and map29 (and others too.) Lastly, e4 feels like a kind of remake of e3 to me, but less experimental and generally more tidy. It's the "official PWAD".

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For the Least likely, id have to say (The Ultimate)DOOM E2M9 : Fortress Of Mystery; this lvl seemed kinda peculiar compared to the rest of the lvls in 'The Shores Of Hell'...But then again the Name "Fortress Of Mystery" does kinda support it being really short and different than the rest......


Now the lvl that fits in the most with the rest of the Iwad?..uhhh i'd have to say...For DOOM II either Map 15: Industrial Zone, or Map13: Downtown ; cuz these two lvls are real city like and stick with the Title :"Hell On Earth" But then again, thats just my opinion...

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sparky said:

Id Say map31 and map32 in doom2
They Dont Really Fit In With the Doom Story
Me Wonders Why Id Did it
Kinda Gay

YOU TAKE THAT BACK

RailGunner said:

Episode 4.
The levels dont have a theme and they look like it came from 3darchives.

Umm...Episode 4 had most constant theme of all the original episodes. Think about it:

Episode one = Military basy-thing.
Episode two = Umm...bas and Hell and some other stuff
Episode three = Hell and weirdness
Episode four = Marble and Wood

Also, it was the best designed of all the episodes IMO.

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Insomniac said:

too many n00bs in this thread.

E2M9. Taking advantage of the "new" cacodemon enemy in e2, and also the barons from e1m8. The level is simple, but packed with only 2 enemies.

excactly

and nirvana, but i honestly dont think that level looked that bad

As for the best i think map10 15, and 11 DEFINE doom 2- they are also GOOD maps overall

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orion said:

MAP07 =P

No doubt about it, this is probably the most PWAD-like of all the Doom2 levels, IMO. Pretty squarish in design, not too many different textures, not much variation in ceiling/floor height, but boy, is the battle that takes place worth it! :)
An absolute classic, IMHO.

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