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Halfblind

[Idea] Doom Editing Academy

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I envision the Doom Editing Academy as a comprehensive video showcase on YouTube. It should cover a wide variety of topics that are listed below. Each video should be short and to the point, go over a single topic, and not exceed 5 minutes. Videos should be categorized under 3 levels of skill; basic editing, expert tips, and master tricks. Everything should be itemized, so no covering 2 or more topics in the video at once.

 

Some Ideas Include:

 

  1. Where to download the games, source ports, and editors.
  2. How to set up Doom Builder to start building your maps.
  3. How to build a standard doom door.
  4. How to create damage sectors.
  5. How to insert sprites.
  6. Beginners guide to Slade3.
  7. How to use Slade3's color remap tool.
  8. How to use Slade3's colorize and tint tool.
  9. How to insert a custom monster into Slade3
  10. How to insert a custom monster into Doom Builder
  11. How to use additional additional texture resources with Doom Builder.
  12. How to set up the file structure of a standard wad.
  13. How to set up the file structure of a PK3 file.
  14. How to use the #include tag.
  15. How to make swim-able water.
  16. Go over each ACS special individually.
  17. Go over each sprite scripting action individually.
  18. What the different game formats are.
  19. What differences there are between the boom, hexen and UDMF formats.
  20. How to set up Boom conveyers.

  21. How to make 3D bridges and 3D platforms.

  22. How to make a movable 3D platform.

  23. How to create a custom map name title for the automap.

  24. How to place and align upper, middle and lower textures.

  25. How to make scrollable floors.

  26. And anything else that you can think of.

 

I envision it having hundreds of videos and having multiple video uploaders. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Is anyone willing to put some time into this kind of endeavor? What other topics would you like to see discussed in the Doom Editing Academy?

Edited by Halfblind

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5 hours ago, Halfblind said:

Is anyone willing to put some time into this kind of endeavor?

Sure, I happen to have 150 hours laying around that I have no use for.

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I imagine if you make a YouTube channel exclusively for it and got a group of tutors up for it, then it would be an amazing idea. I might even join in, honestly.

As for ideas, I'd love for there to be a video on how to make a good doom map. Not like, building stuff, but a video where somebody goes over the do's and dont's of map making.

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13 hours ago, SouthPaw said:

As for ideas, I'd love for there to be a video on how to make a good doom map. Not like, building stuff, but a video where somebody goes over the do's and dont's of map making.

This will have to be done somewhat carefully, because everyone has their own list of what makes a "good" map and what constitutes a "bad" map.

 

I'm sure you can find some general rules:

Make sure you map has an exit

Make sure you can get out of the room you start in

Make sure sectors and linedefs that are supposed to be tagged are tagged correctly

Make sure your sectors are closed

Avoid inescapable pits that don't have damaging floors

Etc.

 

But I could see it being difficult to delve too far into what to do and what not to do without running afoul of everyone's personal opinions:

Don't put 1000 enemies in a room (but what about slaughter?)

Avoid HOM (but what about illusio-pits and other effects that rely on this?)

Make sure you have enough ammo (there's nothing wrong with having to punch a dozen barons to death)

Make sure you have enough health (don't blame the mapper just because you can't avoid getting hurt)

Don't put a cyberdemon in the first room (Ancient Aliens, etc., etc., etc.)

Etc.

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20 hours ago, Halfblind said:

I envision it having hundreds of videos and having multiple video uploaders. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Is anyone willing to put some time into this kind of endeavor? What other topics would you like to see discussed in the Doom Editing Academy?

My previous comment notwithstanding, I think this is a great idea. There's plenty of people that are getting into mapping, but can't figure out how to do certain things or they're intimidated by the sheer volume of information about different tricks and formats. So, they get intimidated and back away. Or an individual (new or more experienced) is looking for information about how to do something, but can't find it without wading through volumes of information or trying to reverse engineer the effect from the level where they saw it.

 

The editing tutorials here are nice (and I've used them), but there are times when a video might be easier to follow.

 

A few topics that I can think of offhand that I would add to the list (some of these already exist, in some form, perhaps as part of larger videos):

 

Boom conveyors

3D bridges

Modifying the map name (on the automap) in various formats

How to make different types of sectors (sectors with a pool, pit, etc. or a sector with a pillar in it)

Upper, middle, and lower textures

Self-referencing sectors (for vanilla)

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17 hours ago, 40oz said:

Sure, I happen to have 150 hours laying around that I have no use for.

You can donate them if you wanted to. I don't have hours just lying around either.

 

16 hours ago, SouthPaw said:

I imagine if you make a YouTube channel exclusively for it and got a group of tutors up for it, then it would be an amazing idea. I might even join in, honestly.

As for ideas, I'd love for there to be a video on how to make a good doom map. Not like, building stuff, but a video where somebody goes over the do's and dont's of map making.

Thanks for your interest.

That's where we need Dutch Devil, Tormentor667, Agent Spork, Krustus and others tell us what makes a good and bad map.

 

3 hours ago, Pegleg said:

Don't put a cyberdemon in the first room

That so made my day and that is so true.

 

1 hour ago, Pegleg said:

There's plenty of people that are getting into mapping, but can't figure out how to do certain things or they're intimidated by the sheer volume of information about different tricks and formats. So, they get intimidated and back away. Or an individual (new or more experienced) is looking for information about how to do something, but can't find it without wading through volumes of information or trying to reverse engineer the effect from the level where they saw it.

 

but there are times when a video might be easier to follow...

 

Boom conveyors

3D bridges

Modifying the map name (on the automap) in various formats

How to make different types of sectors (sectors with a pool, pit, etc. or a sector with a pillar in it)

Upper, middle, and lower textures

Self-referencing sectors (for vanilla)

When I first started messing around in Doom Builder I had to reverse engineer what someone else did to learn how to do it myself. That is how I learned how to do half the stuff that I know now. I also find it difficult to read and understand text based tutorials that should be described visually. As a visual person I find videos a lot easier to understand and apply because I see the process on how to do something in real time. I learned how to do 3D floating platforms, 3D bridges and swimmable water the new way by learning how SGtMarkIV did it in "Knee Deep in the Jungle." and a simple door by opening up MAP01 in Hexen.

 

I'll add your list to the list up top.

 

I don't map in Boom so I don't know how to do conveyors.

I know how to map out 3D Bridges in Doom Builder 2.

I can modify the map name in Zdoom but not in Boom.

I can do some different sectors such as a swimming pool, open-able pillar, damage floors, scrolling floors, and etc.

Don't forget to about how to align upper, middle and lower textures.

I don't know what you mean by self-referencing sectors, what is that?

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1 hour ago, Halfblind said:

I don't know what you mean by self-referencing sectors, what is that?

Draw a sector within a sector. Note the index of the inner sector. Edit the lines of the inner sector so their front and back sector references are the same as the inner sector index.

 

In game the sector still has height but it is no longer drawn. This allows you to do things like make stuff seem to float in air. It can also be used to create a "liquid" (or fake) floor, even in vanilla.

 

Has lots of uses. You can create a 3d bridge in DB2 without using a self referencing sector but the illusion fails if you stand on the edge and look under the bridge while standing on top of it. Creates a HOM without a self referencing sector.

 

Edit:

Talking of HOMs, one idea I've never got working is to have an intentional HOM that has a purpose in a level. Always the effect is messy or disappointing. I once heard that someone did this but haven't seen how.

 

For example, the plot could be that you're given a hallucinogenic drug and your visual perception of reality breaks down.

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43 minutes ago, Halfblind said:

I don't know what you mean by self-referencing sectors, what is that?

@alowe is correct. You could also view https://www.doomworld.com/forum/topic/64321-how-the-hell-do-you-make-a-self-referencing-sector/ or https://doomwiki.org/wiki/Making_a_self-referencing_sector. Self-referencing sectors are also known as crystal sectors because they are invisible.

 

I think there are features in more advanced source ports that do what a self-referencing sector would do, but it is still something that could be added to the Doom Editing Academy.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Halfblind said:

 I learned how to do 3D floating platforms, 3D bridges and swimmable water the new way by learning how SGtMarkIV did it in "Knee Deep in the Jungle." and a simple door by opening up MAP01 in Hexen.

I agree that looking at a level in an editor can be a good way to learn how to do something. When I got back into mapping 18 months ago, I had to open E1M1 in an editor to remind myself how to make something happen when remotely when you hit a switch (i.e., set the linedef action, set the tag on the linedef to a number, change the tag of the relevant sector where the action takes place to that number).

 

Speaking of which, that is something that you can add to your list: adding sectors and linedef tags to enable remote actions (switches, platform, walkover lines, etc.). I know I have seen this question asked on these forums before.

 

Another addition: how to set up monster teleport ambushes, particularly in different source ports.

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I'm currently the 18th level into a PWAD of about 10min to 30min play per level, including intermissions and a custom start picture.

 

Decided to use Doom 2 WAD with no new graphics or music. That way there's also no scripting. A good place to start learning how to design levels as you're working with the basics first and not overloading yourself with stuff like creating animated bitmaps and flats, etc. And what I've made looks nothing like Doom 2. It doesn't really matter what you have to begin with. Most of the invention is in the design.

 

1 year into it and still every level I'm incorporating a trick, trap, feature or gimmick not included in any of the other levels (or any WAD I've ever played). Got to keep it unique and original. Awesome play is an absolute minimum requirement.

 

So, it's a lot of fun to figure this stuff out for yourself. I had to read up about self referencing cells to begin with, and donuts were also difficult to understand at first. Another maddening thing was when I saved a map as MAP01 but edited the MAPINFO to refer to MAP17 etc, then wonder why special actions didn't work. I didn't learn how to edit from anyone - didn't read any manual, but having a reference when you're stuck is always good. Also, different people have different learning styles. I struggle to follow some online stuff so it's easier for me to teach myself. That's my problem.

 

If you design as you learn your levels have a natural progression of difficulty and complexity. It's hard to pretend a level is simple once you know all the tricks as it's too tempting to do complicated stuff.

 

Yesterday I pulled off a new trick. Having a line of barrels seemingly held up by ropes connected to metallic pulleys. The challenge was to be able to lower the barrels and the ropes without any textures bleeding through the bitmap objects (so the ropes actually get longer - their ceilings lower, as the self referencing sectors below also lower their floors). Coupled with independent lighting on ceiling and floor merging across the sectors and you've got a rather complicated setup. End result, you enter a room at the same time as the imp opposite. He seemingly walks over to the pulley and lowers the barrels between you. Then you realise the door you just came through doesn't open and you're now trapped in a small room with a suicidal imp and a load of barrels.

 

Boom! Muahahahaha!

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2 hours ago, alowe said:

Yesterday I pulled off a new trick. Having a line of barrels seemingly held up by ropes connected to metallic pulleys. The challenge was to be able to lower the barrels and the ropes without any textures bleeding through the bitmap objects (so the ropes actually get longer - their ceilings lower, as the self referencing sectors below also lower their floors). Coupled with independent lighting on ceiling and floor merging across the sectors and you've got a rather complicated setup. End result, you enter a room at the same time as the imp opposite. He seemingly walks over to the pulley and lowers the barrels between you. Then you realise the door you just came through doesn't open and you're now trapped in a small room with a suicidal imp and a load of barrels.

 

Boom! Muahahahaha!

I am interested to see how you made that work. Which source port did you use?

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29 minutes ago, Pegleg said:

I am interested to see how you made that work. Which source port did you use?

I'm running it in ZDoom and editing with DB2. I've got to a level of proficiency now that I decide what to do (regardless with how undoomlike it might seem) then just keep fiddling with the editor until it somehow happens.

 

With this one I ended up using 4 linedefs 1 unit apart that can be walked across in a single action. I tried using a switch on the pulley but none of the actions did what I wanted. Even tried a ZDoom specific one that does ceiling and floor in one action.

 

In order to get the rope to lengthen precisely with the barrel I had to use an upper and mid texture with a big y-axis offset. Because the problem was making it all an upper texture with a lower ceiling forced the barrel above the ceiling (it glitched basically).

 

Kept trying and trying. Eventually it worked and I had a laugh at the humour of being trapped in a small room with a suicidal imp. The player is herded into the room in the first place to escape another trap, so, in my books, they brought it upon themselves haha

 

Oh, and you can't shoot the imp before the barrels are lowered or you hit the barrels and die. It's a catch-22 situation - the best.

 

Another time I had an opportunity trap. That's where if you make the wrong choice to lose out on a load of powerups. There are two barrels. The only way to see one barrel is to stand on top of the other. If you shoot the wrong barrel you can't climb up to the powerups and you have to shoot through the other barrel to hit a switch to reveal the powerups you could have got. It's enough to make you want to restart the level when you realise your mistake. I think torturing the player is a great way to increase replayability cause nobody likes to be bested by the designer.

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21 hours ago, Pegleg said:

adding sectors and linedef tags to enable remote actions

 

how to set up monster teleport ambushes, particularly in different source ports.

So I map in the Hexen format by default, it is the most familiar to me. In that format everything that you activate needs a tag so I got used to doing it that way. Mapping in Heretic or Doom without the Hexen format is so alien to me. In those formats you can select the door action and as long as the lindef is right next to the sector that you want to open it will work. No special tagging required but I am just not used to doing it that way.

 

For monster teleportation I haven't figured out how to successfully pull that off. I got comfortable using monster spawners in the Hexen format but then they changed how to spawn monsters in the new Zdoom format in Doom Builder 2. The old way was much more comfortable to me. There was even a nice trick that spawned a monster when you broke a pot in Hexen that has since been changed in the new Zdoom format.

 

@alowe I think that half the fun in making your own maps is figuring things out yourself. I feel that when you have the basics down, whether it be scripting or mapping, you can experiment with the more advanced stuff and see what you can do with them. I even get stuck on some of the basics myself and that's when I think something like a YouTube channel would come in very handy.

 

Honestly I consider myself a detail whore, I love great architecture, atmosphere and choice in textures when it comes to finding a nicely designed map. I have seen a few maps that were very basic when it came to functionality but based upon their architecture alone they created a sense of astonishment and atmosphere that made me enjoy the map even more. 

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41 minutes ago, Halfblind said:

So I map in the Hexen format by default, it is the most familiar to me. In that format everything that you activate needs a tag so I got used to doing it that way. Mapping in Heretic or Doom without the Hexen format is so alien to me. In those formats you can select the door action and as long as the lindef is right next to the sector that you want to open it will work. No special tagging required but I am just not used to doing it that way.

 

@aloweFor monster teleportation I haven't figured out how to successfully pull that off. I got comfortable using monster spawners in the Hexen format but then they changed how to spawn monsters in the new Zdoom format in Doom Builder 2. The old way was much more comfortable to me. There was even a nice trick that spawned a monster when you broke a pot in Hexen that has since been changed in the new Zdoom format.

 

There are various ways to simulate the spawning of monsters in ZDoom. One typical way is to have a hidden sector connected to the room you're in, but with a mid texture acting as a wall and made impassible, so to you it's just a wall. Inside this place another wall between the monster and the midtexture. When you want to spawn the monster get the player to walk over a line and set the action to "raise floor to highest ceiling". The tag matches the wall between the monster and the mixtexture (fake wall). This wall will also need a control sector connected to a sector with the ceiling set to the desired floor height.

 

When the player walks over the action line, this lowers the wall blocking the monster. The monster can see you but you can't see it. It walks towards you. You can make one of the lines making the blocking wall a monster teleporter (silent or audible). Recently I used this to make skulls float up from lava stalagmites, silently around the player. Sometimes you miss it and other times you watch them born from the lava. It's a creepy thing to see. You can put hidden rooms in a row connected by more and more walls so the same line trigger can spawn multiple monsters.

 

There are other ways to spawn monsters in ZDoom but this is probably the one I use the most. I've also had zombies slowely rise up through fake floors so it looks like they're climbing out of the ground. Various ways to do it.

 

Spawn.jpg

 

Edit: Actually I just realised it's not the one I use the most, just in specific circumstances where this next method doesn't work.

Put the monster in a deep pit (like -1024 below) with the walls set to no texture. When you want it to appear simply set the floor to "lower to the lowest floor" (no control sector needed). Make the monster deaf and avoid floating monsters. Hide the lines of the sunken pit and make sure the sides are less than 24 units so the player can't fall in.

 

Because the walls have no texture they won't be drawn and the pit blends with the floor at its top making it invisible. Sneak attack!

Edited by alowe

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2 hours ago, Halfblind said:

So I map in the Hexen format by default, it is the most familiar to me. In that format everything that you activate needs a tag so I got used to doing it that way. Mapping in Heretic or Doom without the Hexen format is so alien to me. In those formats you can select the door action and as long as the lindef is right next to the sector that you want to open it will work. No special tagging required but I am just not used to doing it that way.

 

I map in Doom by default, so you and I are opposite. It would seem odd to me to apply a tag to a door or an exit switch or something like that.

 

It's true that tagging for actions that are triggered by switches or walkover lines is a simple thing, but if you're including a list of topics from simple to complex in the list of topics, you may as well include tagging between linedefs and sectors, because that is a fundamental Doom editing concept.

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On 2/16/2018 at 0:50 PM, alowe said:

There are various ways to simulate the spawning of monsters in ZDoom. One typical way is to have a hidden sector connected to the room you're in, but with a mid texture acting as a wall and made impassible, so to you it's just a wall. Inside this place another wall between the monster and the midtexture. When you want to spawn the monster get the player to walk over a line and set the action to "raise floor to highest ceiling". The tag matches the wall between the monster and the mixtexture (fake wall). This wall will also need a control sector connected to a sector with the ceiling set to the desired floor height.

 

When the player walks over the action line, this lowers the wall blocking the monster. The monster can see you but you can't see it. It walks towards you. You can make one of the lines making the blocking wall a monster teleporter (silent or audible). Recently I used this to make skulls float up from lava stalagmites, silently around the player. Sometimes you miss it and other times you watch them born from the lava. It's a creepy thing to see. You can put hidden rooms in a row connected by more and more walls so the same line trigger can spawn multiple monsters.

 

There are other ways to spawn monsters in ZDoom but this is probably the one I use the most. I've also had zombies slowely rise up through fake floors so it looks like they're climbing out of the ground. Various ways to do it.

 

Spawn.jpg

 

Edit: Actually I just realised it's not the one I use the most, just in specific circumstances where this next method doesn't work.

Put the monster in a deep pit (like -1024 below) with the walls set to no texture. When you want it to appear simply set the floor to "lower to the lowest floor" (no control sector needed). Make the monster deaf and avoid floating monsters. Hide the lines of the sunken pit and make sure the sides are less than 24 units so the player can't fall in.

 

Because the walls have no texture they won't be drawn and the pit blends with the floor at its top making it invisible. Sneak attack!

When I make monster teleports I like to use the remote closet method where the monsters are in a separate area far away from the map and the player wakes them up and "primes" them for teleporting by shooting somewhere that the sector the monsters are placed in is joined to which causes sound to propagate to that area then the player walks over a linedef which lowers a wall blocking the monsters from moving which then allows them to walk over a teleport line which has been placed on the close side of the wall.

 

Here is a little crappy example map with a small area with a shotgun and an imp, after you pick up the shotgun and shoot the imp monsters will start teleporting in from a remote area far to the left of the play area

monstertptut.zip

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1 hour ago, therektafire said:

When I make monster teleports I like to use the remote closet method where the monsters are in a separate area far away from the map and the player wakes them up and "primes" them for teleporting by shooting somewhere that the sector the monsters are placed in is joined to which causes sound to propagate to that area then the player walks over a linedef which lowers a wall blocking the monsters from moving which then allows them to walk over a teleport line which has been placed on the close side of the wall.

 

Here is a little crappy example map with a small area with a shotgun and an imp, after you pick up the shotgun and shoot the imp monsters will start teleporting in from a remote area far to the left of the play area

monstertptut.zip

I like that. Sounds (pun intended) similar to something I did recently. I had an imp behind a door with a hidden mini tunnel into a room you almost certainly have to shoot to get into. The imp hears you, opens the door and enters the room you're in. In order to make sure the imp goes where I want to I shepherd it with block monster lines (so it doesn't effect the player).

 

There's a level in Doom2 where you play amongst buildings (and I remember there's a big arrow clue) - let me find it... MAP13: Downtown, where there's a good example of how to use a similar setup to get a load of Demons to teleport around the player.

 

Map13.jpg

 

Another way I like is a room far far away that opens up with a ton of nastiness inside that takes a long time to reach you making you wonder where all these dudes are coming from. Requires a large open area to work, like an outside style map.

 

This subject is a worthy category for a Doom (Hexen/Heritic) knowledge base. Ways to spawn/reveal monsters.

 

Lol, I once made a nightclub where the monsters stay on the dance floor and 'dance' (even after seeing you) but only decide to kill you if you go to dance with them. Then they all break away from their dancing positions. This shows that, even in vanilla, the ability to control monster behaviour is quite broad and can be changed to suit the player's choices ingame.

 

Another level I made, the only way to proceed is to hide behind a Revenant and wait until some Hell Knights hit him trying to get to you. Then you step aside and let them shoot it out. Otherwise there simply isn't enough ammo in the level to do it yourself. So, you can even make the monsters your friends :o)

Edited by alowe

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Monster traps are great! I for one am a big fan of monster closets that all open at once in areas you've already been to. Makes backtracking so much more enjoyable when you're not just walking through an empty area. Even more fun when you have an archvile come out to play in an area you've already been, because he'll start rezzing everything in sight... Just make sure you put enough extra ammo down!

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2 hours ago, Scorpinax said:

Monster traps are great! I for one am a big fan of monster closets that all open at once in areas you've already been to. Makes backtracking so much more enjoyable when you're not just walking through an empty area. Even more fun when you have an archvile come out to play in an area you've already been, because he'll start rezzing everything in sight... Just make sure you put enough extra ammo down!

The first time I ever saw the effects of an Archvile I was standing in a dark basement getting my bearings after some close quarters with a bunch of imps. Unbeknown to me an Archvile was running around an upper level whose outer wall was the same wall as the edge of the basement. One of the imp's bodies rose into the air and sucked together. I almost had a heart attack, instinctively killed it, then had to pause the game to ask myself, WFT!!!!

 

I was like an alcoholic looking at the bottle and saying, right, that's enough, I'm losing it!

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30 minutes ago, alowe said:

I was like an alcoholic looking at the bottle and saying, right, that's enough, I'm losing it!

That's a great first encounter story lol. My first archie was the one in map 11, I assume most peoples first encounter with one. His fire attack confused the hell out of me as a kid for a good 5 deaths until i figured it out. I didn't even know they reanimated enemies until much later.... And was shocked to see them resurrecting tough enemies like mancubi.. From then on they're usually the first enemy i kill in a room.. lol.

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12 minutes ago, Scorpinax said:

That's a great first encounter story lol. My first archie was the one in map 11, I assume most peoples first encounter with one. His fire attack confused the hell out of me as a kid for a good 5 deaths until i figured it out. I didn't even know they reanimated enemies until much later.... And was shocked to see them resurrecting tough enemies like mancubi.. From then on they're usually the first enemy i kill in a room.. lol.

Yeah, lol, if I had a stick I'd be poking it in the eye to see if it still moved. Since we're on the subject of spawning monsters it occurs to me the archvile is a monster spawner who likes to recycle. I wonder if he can respawn lost souls? You could have a load of dead lost souls lying around (invisible, because they have no dead body) then drop an archville in the middle and create an on demand army.

 

What amazes me about Doom is, to be honest, it's pretty limited. But even after 1 year I'm still daily finding new ideas and stuff I haven't seen before, and so are so many other designers. Imagination, it's an amazing thing.

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If it's relevant I was already slowly working on something similar. I've been (slowly) writing turorials for advanced Doom editing features, typically GZDoom. When I've eventually exhausted the more interesting features I did intend to eventually move on to basics.

 

https://www.dfdoom.com/tutorials/

 

In addition to this I was going to follow up each tutorial by demonstrating it live on twitch, then saving the vod and uploading it to YouTube.

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On 2/15/2018 at 2:06 PM, Halfblind said:

You can donate them if you wanted to. I don't have hours just lying around either.

 

On 2/15/2018 at 2:06 PM, Halfblind said:

That's where we need Dutch Devil, Tormentor667, Agent Spork, Krustus and others tell us what makes a good and bad map.

Good thing these folks have tons of hours lying around with nothing to do but teach babies who cannot yet crawl to run! 

 

Seriously tho, i think most new mappers want the same thing, but as mappers get more experienced we learn a few things about the environment of mapping, such as the importance of compatibility, that chubzdoomer has already made all video tutorials necessary and that, to go back to the baby analogy, new mappers should be taught to make a solid level before learning advanced, port-specific features which add nothing real or measurable to the gameplay. But we get it, you wanna learn how to make Call of Doody Zawmbies in Doom with all the assets from Project Broodlely-Dutals and it's gonna look like it was made in the Unreal engine with 3d models and verticality like noones ever seen! Also blackjack and hookers. Dreams are nice my friend, but let me put this into perspective with a video another new mapper/modder made on their new megawad:

 

 

 

And yes, it's a megawad now, of 18 maps lacking in good level design, such as basic height variation or not having too many cramped hallways, especially around combat. That's a lot of time and work to put into something that is missing something so critical. I hate to rag on this person's work; they clearly have learned the wad editing side of things well and have lots of assets of varying types in their wad, but they've never learned to make a fun map, nor will their wad compare visually to other gzdoom wads. Ive seen many wads that took this path; this is one of very many, and i myself mafe a few crappy zdoom maps when I was starting out before I learned the importance of both simplicity and compatibility. I've also seen many vanilla wads, within vanilla's limits, that look and play better than these types of wads, which is to be expected when new mappers are in the equation, as well as naturally drawn to the stuff that looks most like modern games. That's ok and there's nothing wrong with wanting to learn how to make stuff like some of the best gzdoom wads out there, but it's a lot of work that takes a lot of knowledge about the engine, which is time worse spent for a beginner. A lot of "tricks" and special stuff should probably be put off for beginners in favor of learning good level design first, but the biggest thing there is going to be "play wads, play more wads, and then play even more wads," which along with "start simple" is not what new mappers with their burning passion for making stuff want to hear, because it kills one's vision and therefore motivation. 

 

The other problem with making a video on do's and don't's is as pegleg mentioned: all rules can be broken, especially in an art such as this is, and so you'd basically just wind up with a list of both excruciatingly specific and stupidly broad common-sensical(-esk) pointers which most people would just disagree with anyway. For example, a lot of people will prolly disagree with what I said about gzdoom wads and starting simple.

 

But yeah, the biggest, best advice anyone can give to new mappers is something which text can do just as well as a video: play wads, play more wads, read other's thoughts on wads you've played, look at them in the editor to see how they designed encounters and functionality in areas, take a look at their detailing too of course, then play more wads, play wads after that, and when you begin to be burnt out of Doom, play wads, then when you finally realize that Doom sux and you truly hate it, play more wads, then begin mapping.

 

Speedmapping is also a phenomenal learning method for new mappers. 

 

@Dragonfly I'll have to check out some of those tutorials some time, they sound useful.

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6 hours ago, alowe said:

I wonder if he can respawn lost souls?

In vanilla un-modded Doom the Lost Souls cannot be resurrected with the Archvile. You can however add the 'Raise' state to them in your decorate script in Zdoom. I did that once to all the Heretic monsters when I ported the Archvile into Heretic. I don't see why you can't do something of this nature in your map though. I wish that I can make D'Sparil act like an Archvile and raise the dead.

 

@Fonze I hear you loud and clear, I wouldn't want to teach or encourage anyone to make a 'next gen' Doom map for their first map or just because they can. I think it best just to teach them the basics and they can experiment with the rest. I understand that it takes trial and error to make a good map and it also takes a lot of critical feedback from the community for what you can improve upon for next time. It also takes a lot of confidence and patience to know what you want to achieve with each map and then achieve it without allowing others to make you believe the map is anything less than what you envisioned it to be. That could be anything from an experimental map to 'see what you can do' to a more standard map that emphasizes on creating fluid gameplay.

 

As an artistic person myself I use the editor as my canvas to create a room that is both artistic visually and uses what enemies that I envision the map to have. Because of this my maps take a little longer that I would want but it will be worth it in the end.

 

In the future I am going to make a few test maps so that I can refer back to them in the future. Some examples are:

  1. Creating a house with a basement, main level, upper loft and a pseudo sloped roof that uses zdooms stacked sectors.
  2. Creating a small map that experiments with slopes.
  3. Creating a map that exploits HOM.
  4. Creating a map that uses nothing but randomly placed 32x32 squares with various sector heights.
  5. Creating a map that shows off the different door functions.
  6. Creating a map that uses different swimmable liquid effects.
  7. Etc and etc.

@Dragonfly Please keep us updated on your tutorials. I hope to see them in the future and use them as a valuable resource. Maybe you can also give us a tutorial about how to make a SkullDash map, how to script the levels, how to insert the coins and the like.

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5 hours ago, Fonze said:

And yes, it's a megawad now, of 18 maps lacking in good level design, such as basic height variation or not having too many cramped hallways, especially around combat.@Dragonfly I'll have to check out some of those tutorials some time, they sound useful.

This is something I have a little conflict over after reading several guides on good editing about using wide hallways. But I like the feeling of claustrophobia in a game, where you're stuck and if something attacks you, you've got limited options. This forces you to learn the dynamics of the map to a greater degree and plan ahead before completing a room incase the worse happens.

 

I don't design all corridors to be cramped for sure, but when I do, it's not bad design but done on purpose.

 

This is the issue I have with guides. If you follow all the advice without knowing why it's there you end up producing levels that have less originality because originality comes from mistakes and trial and error, not following instructions.

 

Where I do find guides useful is as a reference. For example, if I had already designed the room and want a feature I didn't know how to do, I can look it up. But I intentionally avoid guides with talking where the person gives you a whole load of advice of what you should and shouldn't do. Cause that has a negative impact on my creativity. Not saying everyone is like this. Just me.

 

Of course, If I was making multi player or deathmatch levels that would be totally different because the nature of player movement changes.

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19 hours ago, alowe said:

This is something I have a little conflict over after reading several guides on good editing about using wide hallways. But I like the feeling of claustrophobia in a game, where you're stuck and if something attacks you, you've got limited options. This forces you to learn the dynamics of the map to a greater degree and plan ahead before completing a room incase the worse happens.

 

I don't design all corridors to be cramped for sure, but when I do, it's not bad design but done on purpose.

I agree. Done properly, cramped corridors can be good. Fluidity of movement is valuable, but limiting such movement can be good, too. Put 2 barons shoulder-to-shoulder in a narrow hallway and you have a much more deadly encounter than those same 2 barons in a 512 x 512 room. I'm not saying you want to do it all the time, but sometimes, it can be useful.

 

One of the more interesting encounters I've seen is a fight with a cyberdemon that pursued you through a series of narrow intersecting corridors. Again, not saying you should do that all the time, but sometimes it works.

 

 

On 2/20/2018 at 8:53 AM, Fonze said:

But yeah, the biggest, best advice anyone can give to new mappers is something which text can do just as well as a video: play wads, play more wads, read other's thoughts on wads you've played, look at them in the editor to see how they designed encounters and functionality in areas, take a look at their detailing too of course, then play more wads, play wads after that, and when you begin to be burnt out of Doom, play wads, then when you finally realize that Doom sux and you truly hate it, play more wads, then begin mapping.

I agree with your notion completely. One should crawl before walking and walk before running. I don't want to stifle people's creativity, but to go fling yourself headlong into a complicated project full of advanced features without knowing the basics is like jumping off a cliff and figuring you'll learn to fly on the way down. Maybe you realize you're wearing a flying squirrel suit, maybe you hit the ground.

 

 

On 2/20/2018 at 8:53 AM, Fonze said:

Speedmapping is also a phenomenal learning method for new mappers.

It definitely does force you to avoid getting hung up on a lot of little things and focus on the essentials of creating a good level, but it can be a hard thing to learn. I'm not saying not worth learning, just that it can be hard to learn and get good at.

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19 hours ago, alowe said:

Where I do find guides useful is as a reference. For example, if I had already designed the room and want a feature I didn't know how to do, I can look it up.

I have a bookshelf full of books and notes I used in my courses in college and grad school. Do I look at them all the time? No. But if a question comes up where I say, "That sounds familiar" I have a ready supply of material to look back on and refresh my memory.

 

To me guides are the same way. Either I don't know how to a specific thing and have to good look it up (where the editing tutorials here have been valuable) or I know I did something once, but I don't do it regularly enough to have it right at my fingertips, so I can go check on how to do that thing, either in the level I made (which may or may not work quite right) or in a guide (where they may be more details that I didn't already know).

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You don't need the monster closet sectors to be physically connected to the game area if you are teleporting them in. Just edit the linedefs defining the sector they are within to match a sector number within the game area and sound propagation will work into those closets even though they are disjoint.

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On 2/20/2018 at 3:55 AM, Scorpinax said:

Even more fun when you have an archvile come out to play in an area you've already been, because he'll start rezzing everything in sight... Just make sure you put enough extra ammo down!

You and @KVELLER should talk. I'm sure you two would have a lot to talk about, especially about releasing archviles into previously cleared areas (see post below).

 

 

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On 14.2.2018 at 2:16 PM, Halfblind said:

I envision the Doom Editing Academy as a comprehensive video showcase on YouTube

A lot of that stuff already exists on YouTube, or can be found as a comprehensive guide or writeup either here or over on realm 667 and whatnot, which makes it such that people can digest the information at their own pace. In general I think writeups are better suited than videos, because people don't stumble across language barriers as much. It's really not unheard of that people have issues understanding spoken english, doubly so if the mic may be crap, or there's some sort of accent involved.

 

I am aware written and illustrated guides aren't what you're looking/asking for, but I personally deem them a lot more useful. Other than that, people can always ask questions and hopefully get the particular answer they are looking for in a somewhat timely fashion. Plus there's discords like "the joy of mapping" where people can get proper support if they are actually looking for it.

 

As for your list, why do you aim to explain ACS before even getting into mapping formats, even though ACS is not available for every format there is? Why are people supposed to learn how to insert sprites or create custom palettes before they even know how to align textures etc...? That list seems much to random to begin with (if it was in some loose order of priorities at all), and we're way past the point of explaining which format does what, because all it does is it devolves into sissy-slap fights over which is better and why.

 

When people see a map they liked playing, and they wanna make a map that is supposed to be like the one they saw, then there's no need to tell them anything about which format does what, because the format people wanna use is already decided by virtue of "bias", for lack of a better expression. I've long since given up on making the argument that people should learn the most basic principles of mapping before doing anything that involves (especially complex) scripting, because I got whiteknighted to death by those who learned how to do ACS and deem it easy (because they learned it, duh) one time too many for my liking.

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