How did id create such good maps if they had nothing to copy?

1 hour ago, Olroda said:

And I can attest that on my 286, which has 4MB RAM, it is warranted to run Wolf3D in the smallest window possible to get a fluid framrate. Doom would probably not get a fluid framrate at all, but that of course depends on what map is played.
 

Doom was never able to run on any of my 286s. It was either 386 very slow or 486 33 mHz. A 66 mHz seemed to go much faster yet other PCs that went faster were fine and didn't run twice as fast.

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So in theory Doom, if recompiled + assembly routines adapted(or substituted by C code), could run on an i286 as latter supports ProtectedMode functionality and has a max. addressable memory size of 16MB... ?

 

When "running" Doom even a 486DX2/66 can be slow as molasses especially with sound enabled. Furthermore if you happen to run it with a Soundblaster Live card the general Midi support cuts into performance sharply - which I suppose is caused by the card accessing the midi samples in main memory. After acquiring some "vintage setups" I was positively shocked at how demanding Doom is... and that's not even thinking about maps from DoomII like Map14, Map22 or Map29.

 

 

Edited by _bruce_
wording

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Like SOSU pointed out, I bet visualising D&D environments in their minds played a part in how they were able to externalise the 3D expression. The room that Romero made which eventually turned into the green armor spot in the 1st space of e1m1, was apparently an eye-opener for the entire team, revolutionising what they realised they were able to do with the new tech. I'm pretty sure what got discarded from before that is largely flat and long layouts, as is evident in much of the alpha footage.

 

If Romero has Aztec ancestors, I'm blaming his genetic memory of building Ziggurats. ;-)

Edited by Soundblock
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On 17/11/2017 at 2:54 PM, everennui said:

I don't even really like Scythe. Scythe II on the other hand.

Lol i dislike the last parts of Scythe 2 but love Scythe 1

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On 11/16/2017 at 6:05 PM, Nine Inch Heels said:

EDIT: I mean, just in terms of gameplay the cyberdemon in e2m8 was considered difficult by the standards of the time. When was the last time you felt like a single cybie in a wide open area was a serious problem?

I know this was a rhetorical question, but to answer it anyway: MAP01 of Ancient Aliens.

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This thread is another reason why Doomworld really needs a laugh react.

 

Anyway I think it's worth examining the influences that tabletop gaming had on video games. id Software were all known to be big D&D geeks (and Sandy Petersen was the creator of Call of Chtulhu.) Richard Garriott's first game Akalabeth: World of Doom began development as a homebrew D&D game; his later Ultima series, in conjunction with its major competitor Wizardry, were massively influential on western and Japanese RPGs. (The Wizardry series basically invented a lot of the RPG tropes we take for granted now -- scroll down to the bottom on this page for a breakdown.)

 

With that kind of background (and the relative ease of writing your own D&D campaigns) it's really obvious that game developers who grew up on tabletop games or writing their own games would have a decent sense of level design. Sometimes I look at certain games with really questionable design decisions (like Marathon Infinity) and I can't help but wonder how far back the designers' experience goes.

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The great thing about Doom compared to modern game engines is that you don't have to worry about complex polygonal stuff. Just sketch out rooms and test it over and over again. I've actually thought about just using Doom to sketch out maps if I want to make some for a more modern engine since it's so much easier to test and get a feeling for.

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1 hour ago, MetroidJunkie said:

The great thing about Doom compared to modern game engines is that you don't have to worry about complex polygonal stuff. Just sketch out rooms and test it over and over again. I've actually thought about just using Doom to sketch out maps if I want to make some for a more modern engine since it's so much easier to test and get a feeling for.

 

Don't really agree with this. To be honest the more and more time I spend making levels using more advanced tech be it brush based (BSP) level editing or even just advanced Doom editing formats such as UDMF/Gzdoom it becomes more obvious to me just how limited/lame vanilla style mapping is. Everybody talks about "gameplay vs visuals" but this is fucking retarded. 99% of Doom wads have very similar gameplay and layouts. Interesting visual design is the only thing that can make your level stand out next to the 50 billion other generic levels. If it wasn't for gameplay mods I would probably have stopped playing Doom at this point.

 

Also, mapping for Doom isn't as different from mapping for 3D games as people make it out to be. The original levels did not have large amounts of complex areas because the devs could not make them, but cause of hardware limitations. This is why Doom 2 has higher system requirments than Doom 1. Now those limits are gone so there is no longer any reason to use "classic" style mapping which just like the term "retro graphics" in gaming is just an excuse to make shitty looking levels.

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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3 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

lame

 

3 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

retarded

 

3 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

shitty

It's nice to be reminded who's who from time to time.

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1 hour ago, Da Werecat said:

 

 

It's nice to be reminded who's who from time to time.

Personal attacks do not an argument make. If you disagree with my opinion on retro style visuals then you are free to do so. I won't tell you what you are or aren't allowed to believe. But attacking somebody's character isn't in good taste. Actually, I have noticed that this has become a trend among many defenders of "retro" visuals, both within in the indie community (I remember reading a post from some guy at reddit who said he was banned from one the gaming reddits because he said most indie games were shit) and also even in the Doom mapping community as your own post proves.

 

 

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1 hour ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Also, mapping for Doom isn't as different from mapping for 3D games as people make it out to be. The original levels did not have large amounts of complex areas because the devs could not make them, but cause of hardware limitations. This is why Doom 2 has higher system requirments than Doom 1. Now those limits are gone so there is no longer any reason to use "classic" style mapping which just like the term "retro graphics" in gaming is just an excuse to make shitty looking levels.

Not true, no true 3D engine I've seen is even close to as snappy as Doom is in the level sketching department, to the point that you just sketch lines and it makes the room for you. At best, you might be able to drag verteces and then fill and extrude it but, if they aren't tris/quads, it'll lead to some serious problems down the road, something that isn't a factor in the 2.5D Doom. John Romero even admitted things were much easier back then and that going to Quake presented quite a challenge for them.

Edited by MetroidJunkie
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1. Be obnoxious, but not outright insulting to anyone in particular.
2. Wait for disapproval.
3. Play the victim.

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22 minutes ago, MetroidJunkie said:

Not true, no true 3D engine I've seen is even close to as snappy as Doom is in the level sketching department, to the point that you just sketch lines and it makes the room for you. At best, you might be able to drag verteces and then fill and extrude it but, if they aren't tris/quads, it'll lead to some serious problems down the road, something that isn't a factor in the 2.5D Doom. John Romero even admitted things were much easier back then and that going to Quake presented quite a challenge for them.

 

The Doom engine may be easier to use but that doesn't really have anything to do with my original point. My original point was that what a lot of people are now calling "classic" visuals or "retro" visuals are actually just bland and boring. Let's be honest here for a moment, the original Doom levels aren't as great as many people make them out to be. Knee deep in the dead is (mostly) good but there are tons of levels in the original Doom and Doom 2 that frankly just haven't aged very well. Some of the maps like "Spirit world" look straight up horrible.   

 

8 minutes ago, Da Werecat said:

1. Be obnoxious, but not outright insulting to anyone in particular.
2. Wait for disapproval.
3. Play the victim.

 

It's not my fault if you are too thin skinned to handle different views than your own. All I said is that I think retro visuals are just an excuse for lazy design, and I am standing by that view.

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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1 minute ago, hardcore_gamer said:

It's not my fault if you are too thin skinned to handle different views than your own.

Keep going. I'm not sure you've exhausted every cliche in the book yet.

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All I'm saying is that it's much easier to sketch out maps on Doom than it is on a True 3D engine. In that regard, it could be very useful as the early stages of a map on a modern engine, just make a rough sketch on Doom and then, when you get the flow how you want it, evolve it into polygons. Hell, GZDoomBuilder makes it even easier by letting you export it into a model. That's all I meant, I didn't mean that you can't make detailed rooms in Doom. I'm saying that the way it's built makes hammering out levels easier to do because polygons are trickier to make shapes out of.

Edited by MetroidJunkie

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On 18/11/2017 at 3:52 AM, Big Ol Billy said:

This is why I often feel of two minds about game design theory, even as I find it fascinating. The implicit (and sometimes explicit) claim of most game design theory stuff is that by studying past work you can find rules that will help you make a better game. But in most cases, what distinguishes "great games" is that they contain design choices that both (1) "work" and (2) aren't simply the application of previous knowledge and practices.

I very much agree with your sentiments and have a similar cynicism toward "game design theory", when looked at in isolation.

My particular grievance is how incestuous it can become, with adherents only considering "past work" and "previous knowledge" from within the field of games as relevant.

 

From my perspective we should do all we can to understand as much of the world (and art, and culture, and people and etc etc) as we can, so we can then recontextualise that knowledge to make good games. 

 

 

TL;DR: id had plenty to copy from. Just not FPS games.

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One obvious one is John Romero flat out admitted they used The Legend of Zelda as inspiration for the idea of backtracking into previous areas to give the player a better sense of the 3D world so that's at least one game it implicitly drew inspiration from in terms of level design. I'm not sure how much of it was level design but Alien obviously gave them quite a bit of influence as well.

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14 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

This is why Doom 2 has higher system requirments than Doom 1.

Um, actually all DOS versions of vanilla Doom, from Registered v1.1 to Commercial v1.9 had nominally exactly the same system requirements (386 CPU, 4 MB of RAM, plus some variable HDD space). Only Doom 95 had an explicit requirement for 8 MB of RAM and higher CPU horsepower (486DX2/66 as a minimum).

 

OK, playing Doom 2 on 4 MB was not that great, but it could be done, as I did before I upgraded to 8 MB (not that I'd ever want to go back to 4). Final Doom would probably have been more of the same, perhaps made worse by the even larger and more detailed levels.

 

The engine did change, of course, between v1.1 and v1.9 but supposedly it got a bit faster by the time of Doom II and v1.666, as the Unofficial Doom Guide claimed, at least. What definitively made Doom II "heavier" IMO was simply the larger amount of resources (new monsters) and larger average monster counts (even higher in Final Doom). Perhaps larger levels, too.

 

However, Doom II did have larger static limits for map architecture/visuals (e.g. visplanes etc.) so perhaps level were, effectively, more complex, even if they looked fugly and plainer to the eye.

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Random ableist slurs from hardcore_gamer aside, I actually agree with him. Short of radically changing gameplay elements the only thing that can really make your map stand out anymore is a strong visual style, both in architecture as well as texturing. There's only so many generic techbases using the stock textures and limits a person can play before it gets dull. This is partly why Ancient Aliens and Sunlust get the attention they do -- both have amazing visuals across a diverse variety of styles. (I'm partial to the "endless machine" style of the last two levels of Sunlust, for the record.)

Edited by dethtoll
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I really think that the first episode of Doom 1 contains the best maps of the entire franchise, and almost all of it was designed by John Romero.

In my opinion, Sandy Petersen's mapping contribution is the absolute worst. His maps are so bland and sloppily designed, it pains me to play them and it's usually the reason why I stop playing Doom 2 half-way through.

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I would argue that Petersen's maps are, barring some missteps, brilliant. The main problem is that they are beyond ugly; with some work they could be brought up at least to Shores of Hell standards (much of the episode having been designed by Tom Hall.) But in terms of layout, placement and trap design, there are some truly inspired bits in his maps. 

Edited by dethtoll
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Static limits may affect your style, but they won't automatically make it unoriginal. Just to be fair.

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2 hours ago, dethtoll said:

I would argue that Petersen's maps are, barring some missteps, brilliant.

 

This. He made a lot of good maps. People just hate on him because some also happened to be bad.

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I partially agree with Peterson having a less visually pleasing style but on the other hand the abstract "inferno" was what made some of the maps what they are.

His map "Entryway" for DoomII looked pretty good, especially the base's outer hull and "pretty unique" starting scenery.

It seems also Peterson was used to fill the gaps in Doom, which is not a good place to be in.

The person on the design team that had a "great hand" was McGee - some of his maps defined the more brutal, industrial, "modern" look that DoomII featured. It was also interesting to read in MastersOfDoom that he was, rightfully, giving Romero a little bit of hell.

 

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7 hours ago, Maes said:

However, Doom II did have larger static limits for map architecture/visuals (e.g. visplanes etc.) so perhaps level were, effectively, more complex, even if they looked fugly and plainer to the eye.

 

I can swear to god that I remember reading somewhere that Doom 2 required a more powerful computer. Perhaps Doom 2 requires a more powerful computer to run smoothly but still technically runs on the same hardware as the original?

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21 hours ago, Da Werecat said:

Keep going. I'm not sure you've exhausted every cliche in the book yet.

I swear, his attitude is following the exact same progression that mine did when I was like, preteen-to-teen.

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Didn't someone from id cite Ultima Underworld as an influence at some point?

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A few stray thoughts after skimming through some comments in this thread:

 

Originality and creative thought are much rarer - in any field - than people imagine. Even most works that are praised for extreme creativity are largely based on something - even if from many sources and reworked in new and impressive ways, and with the author not being remotely aware of this. There is a great deal of skill in reusing existing ideas in new ways, but that is not the same as coming up with new ideas from scratch. Dvoretsky drew attention to the rarity of truly creative thought in a chess context. Of course, there is extreme resistance to this notion, because everyone likes to think of themselves and their favourite artists as creative. But consider how rare major leaps forward in Theoretical Physics are, for instance.

 

If you naturally find you like something in a genre with which you are familiar, then you should trust that feeling more than some twisted logical reason you somehow concoct for finding it to be bad. It's much more likely that the logic is flawed than well-tuned intuition being mistaken.

 

Eight months for a team of full-time professionals to make 32 levels is not rushed. That's at least a few thousand man hours - you can get a hell of a lot done in that amount of time.

 

Oh, and it's Petersen. As he's hardly a minor figure in Doom's history, it's odd that some people get his name so consistently wrong.

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4 minutes ago, Grazza said:

Oh, and it's Petersen. As he's hardly a minor figure in Doom's history, it's odd that some people get his name so consistently wrong.

gomennasai, peter-san

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