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hardcore_gamer

How to make large open spaces work?

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I find it very hard to make open spaces/large rooms work well. Doom in my opinion works best in small to medium sized rooms. Whenever I try to make a large open area I almost always find myself filling it with stuff to close down the distances between the different things in it thus defeating the point. Even the official levels in Doom 2 that attempt large open maps aren't that good and in fact are some of the weakest in the entire game. Is there some good way to design large open spaces in Doom or is it just a bad idea?

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By "make work well", do you mean aesthetic-wise or gameplay-wise? Either way, it's not a bad idea, and as for the good way, how about simply not doing the "filling it with stuff" thing?

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Level design wise you can create bunch of mountains, cliffs ... etc and just copy paste them, gameplay-wise modify hitscanners and make them fast projectiles instead.

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1 hour ago, scifista42 said:

By "make work well", do you mean aesthetic-wise or gameplay-wise?

 

Both. The thing is that Doom has always worked best as a corridor shooter. Once you make an area very large and open I just struggle to think of any way to actually make it fit Doom's gameplay. And note that when I say big, I mean BIG. As in much bigger than the outdoor area in E1M1.

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The way you described is pretty much how you do it. You want lots of height variation and stuff to break lines of sight. However, there's always a happy medium. You want enough around to create interesting scenarios, but if you overdo it, it can become claustrophobic.

I think a screenshot (Vanguard Map05) can demonstrate what I'm trying to say better than my poor ability to put ideas into words can:

 

There is enough variation around to create interesting scenarios (there's tons of monster placement possibilities here), but the map is still very much an open map where you are free to roam around. I feel like this level pretty much nails the happy medium I was trying to describe.

Screenshot_Doom_20171225_153519.png

Edited by Spie812 : accidentally put the screenshot in twice

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Limit the playing space with chasms and add more cover and smaller buildings on the way. This makes the design more compact while giving an opportunity for long range fights from spots overlooking the map. Using only flat land and squares like Downtown removes the flow and makes the map feel like a roadtrip. Also, take note of auto-aim distance.

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17 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Both. The thing is that Doom has always worked best as a corridor shooter. 

Look, I really appreciate it when people challenge the norm. I'm all for alternate perspectives and changing reality, but this thread is starting from a jumping off point that's far ahead of an argument that never actually happened. Who do you talk to about Doom that established this fact? 

 

Nobody here wants to prod you with questions so you can backpedal until we eventually realize you don't know how to use revenants. Now can you please tell us what you're real question is instead of labeling everything you don't understand as a fundamental problem with Doom?

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This is a solved problem, so the best sort of answer is to link wads that have done open spaces particularly well.

 

Though Slaughter is an obvious course of action -- I always use Combat Shock 2 as my go-to "look at this" for that kind of thing -- that route isn't mandatory or anything. For instance, take a look at Pavera's "Total Exposure" [E1MAP05] from Back to Saturn X for an example on how to use big spaces without filling it to the rim with monsters.

 

An aside: It's really a testament to Doom that its game mechanics work for both corridor-y cramped maps and big ol' open spaces. It can do both, son.

 

I dunno how much this is gonna benefit the OP, but perhaps some other folks will get some use out of it.

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2 hours ago, 40oz said:

Look, I really appreciate it when people challenge the norm. I'm all for alternate perspectives and changing reality, but this thread is starting from a jumping off point that's far ahead of an argument that never actually happened. Who do you talk to about Doom that established this fact?

 

Are you disputing that fact that Doom is a corridor shooter and that most if the combat takes place at short to medium ranges? Yes there are open world maps like Mt.Erebus but most are indoors and have you fight in small to medium sized rooms.

 

EDIT: I googled corridor shooter and this is the first definition I saw: "A shooter game where the player often is funneled through a more or less narrow path. Not leaving the player much choice in how he will get from A to B."

 

This isn't actually what I meant when I called Doom a corridor shooter so I can undestand your reaction. My point was that most of Doom's levels take place in areas that are of small to medium size. I wasn't really talking about linearity or the lack of it.

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I suggest fill in the boarder areas with walkable large hills of cliff sides where the player can use them or not.

But there always has to be a reason for a large area to be placed in the map. Otherwise it should be scenic and blocked from the player to explore.

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18 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Are you disputing that fact that Doom is a corridor shooter and that most if the combat takes place at short to medium ranges?

That's not a fact, but yeah I'd dispute it. I'd be happy to assist you but you're not being specific about what it is you're having trouble with. There are plenty of examples of maps both community made and within the IWADs that use large spaces and still have fun and engaging gameplay. I don't think I've even played one corridor shooter style map (in the way you'd define it) all year. There isn't really much to talk about whether Doom maps that use large spaces can be done well or not, because the answer is yes. 

 

The way to do it varies into many different extremes, so I can give you some general tips, or I can give you some more direct feedback if you can describe what about it is confusing, but so far this doesn't seem like the direction you want this thread to go in.

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20 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Once you make an area very large and open I just struggle to think of any way to actually make it fit Doom's gameplay.

Tbh I think this is not really possible without going the slaughter way or resorting to annoying solutions (e.g. snipers, hitscanners, and damaging floors everywhere). Avoiding enemy attacks is way too trivial in large areas: you can run in circles for 10 minutes and not get hit by a projectile once. Just treat the large area as a transition between smaller ones where it is actually possible to threaten and corner the player.

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1 hour ago, 40oz said:

There are plenty of examples of maps both community made and within the IWADs that use large spaces and still have fun and engaging gameplay.

 

What do you consider a large space to be? Perhaps we merely have different ideas of what large means.

 

1 hour ago, Memfis said:

Tbh I think this is not really possible without going the slaughter way or resorting to annoying solutions (e.g. snipers, hitscanners, and damaging floors everywhere).

 

The thing about slaughter maps though, is that they aren't really that fun. Sure it sounds fun in theory, just blasting away at a giant horde. But in practice it's just boring. You basically just end up circling strafing the horde for 10 min while holding down the fire button while waiting for everybody to die. No real strategy needed. It's just not fun.

 

Even for boss bottles large open spaces don't really work that well, because for cyberdemons it's not hard to avoid the rockets and the masterminds are hitscan so yea...

 

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34 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

What do you consider a large space to be?

You're asking me? You made this thread!

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I think Michael Krause solved the problem back in the '90s. His maps aren't especially difficult by modern standards, but if you download Runbuddy or Moon 2000, you'll see what I mean. We are talking epic scale and truly astounding architecture for 1998. His Bauhaus Lego style is unique, and IMO his influence has been huge, but mostly from 2nd or 3rd hand since a lot of people aren't directly familiar with his work. 

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1 hour ago, rehelekretep said:

@hardcore_gamercan you get another hobby other than trolling Doomworld? thanks

 

Having a different opinion is trolling now?

 

1 hour ago, 40oz said:

You're asking me? You made this thread!

 

Anything that is considerably larger and more open than E2M8. E2M8 is just open enough that you can fight the cyberdemon but not so big that you can just easily circle strife him without any effort at all.

 

EDIT: Actually, E2M8 isn't even that open because of all the pillars so it's kind of a bad example. Imagine E2M8 if it had 3-4 times the amount of open space and no pillars. That is my idea of big.

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42 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Having a different opinion is trolling now?

No. They say you are "trolling" because, just for an example, you opened this thread asking how to make large open spaces; in the same thread you ask what would be a large open space.

 

While you might be irritating, the definition for "large open spaces" is subjective, since each person has different standards for obstacles, and room size, and so on. Outdoor areas are difficult to play on.

 

Also, if, as you say, Doom wasn't made for large open spaces, why do you even bother with them? O_o

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I honestly don't know what exactly are you willing to accomplish, a Realistic combat mod or an open world level ?

 

You won't get good and working open world level unless you tweak the gameplay, Doom just wasn't designed for that kind of levels so you may have to redesign the gameplay (including monster and gun behaviors) around that idea, interpret that as you wish.

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2 hours ago, Gustavo6046 said:

No. They say you are "trolling" because, just for an example, you opened this thread asking how to make large open spaces; in the same thread you ask what would be a large open space.

 

Originally when I posted the thread I forgot to take it into consideration that not everybody has the same idea of what big is.

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Many of Doom 2's monsters have built in anti-circlestrafe mechanics. Mancubi spray fireballs in different directions, Pain elementals create new monsters when they fire, revenants have tracking missiles, archviles can target you from behind other monsters, arachnatrons have superfast rapid fire projectiles, etc. Just using these monsters isn't always enough, though. Doom's predictable monster AI will only get you so far. 

 

Most of Doom's weapons are most effective up close, and its convenient that monsters tend to walk in the direction towards the player. You can shake things up by placing monsters where they are suspended on a raised floor, across a gap, or in a cage where they can't endanger themselves and instead, take potshots from a distance When the player can't lure them into a cozy choke point, they're pressed to advance toward them. You can use tricky terrain like pits you can fall into, ledges, bridges, catwalks, platform jumps, damaging floors, and interspersed cover while the player is being fired at to influence how he/she proceeds. 

 

In my experience, my favorite approach is to think about gameplay in terms of linedef actions. Linedef actions can be used to control when exactly the player alarms as many monsters as you want. If you use them strategically, you can piss off a whole bunch of a cacodemons at once when the player is standing in his most vulnerable location. Or you can teleport imps around from every possible angle. Or you can close a door behind the player so they can't run away. The best mappers don't get too attached to any one strategy and mix it all up to best fit the situation. 

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4 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Having a different opinion is trolling now?

Clearly. Conform immediately if you want a place in this community.

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What Da Werecat meant is actually for your good - not everyone will share an opinion, and some won't like yours; you need to be capable of going ahead. Not everyone is worth your time. Unfortunately.

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If we're being serious, it's not even about opinions. Most problems come from how you present yours. Unless you're dealing with some really sensitive topic, in which case all humility in the world won't guarantee your message being received calmly.

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There was a guy in ZDoom Forums called Hellsmith1 which behaved similarly to hardcore_gamer in this term of creating lots of threads for nice debate of certain subject but the real point is just being an attention magnet, guess what? He ended by being banned due to light spamming because in fact the threads made could be nice for to talk about such subject, however the OP always find a way to drag the thing towards itself.

 

On 26/12/2017 at 7:06 PM, Steve D said:

I think Michael Krause solved the problem back in the '90s. His maps aren't especially difficult by modern standards, but if you download Runbuddy or Moon 2000, you'll see what I mean. We are talking epic scale and truly astounding architecture for 1998. His Bauhaus Lego style is unique, and IMO his influence has been huge, but mostly from 2nd or 3rd hand since a lot of people aren't directly familiar with his work. 

I kinda, agree... Though i consider Krause the Wolfenstein 3D of wide-open maps, whereas B.P.R.D would be the Ultimate Doom of it, he added the last thing Krause was missing in the maps that was much, much more verticalization, i mean, whereas Run Buddy, Dark Star or Moon 2000 will just be 512mu tall at max, Equinox and Mucus Flow in CChest 2 made rooms 1024mu or even more tall for the sake of doing it.

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2 hours ago, Zanieon said:

There was a guy in ZDoom Forums called Hellsmith1 which behaved similarly to hardcore_gamer in this term of creating lots of threads for nice debate of certain subject but the real point is just being an attention magnet, guess what? He ended by being banned due to light spamming because in fact the threads made could be nice for to talk about such subject, however the OP always find a way to drag the thing towards itself.

 

What I don't understand is why people consider it "trolling" to obsess over the little things or that it's stupid to think about them. Please understand that no matter what you are designing, be it a game, movie, car or anything, EVERYTHING matters. Everything. There are no "meaningless" details. Every design decision matters period.

 

If you disagree, fine. But don't call me a troll because my philosophy towards game design is different from yours.

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When mapping vanilla, I agree that it can be a bitch. However, knowing your possibilities is a huge advantage - you can use a lot of things as well, mainly decorations and obstacles, to keep an outdoor place alive without much visplanes. Alternatively, you can make some infitall rocks, trees or such to segregate some areas from each other to enable more visplanes to appear, ultimately wasting a tiny bit of space for a lot more detail work. If you have an "indoor" atrium thing, think wise about pillar placement, and also add tiny details to walls. You want to keep the place alive so add a few details here and there. If you have boris' Visplane Explorer, that'll help, but to get it to work properly you must open all doors and stuff in the level so it can render visplanes all things considered.

 

tl;dr - if in vanilla, place some thing decor  to make areas more lively, and infitall rocks to add more possible visplanes.

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