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My first Doom WAD: "Canyon"

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Hello everyone,


I decided to post the very first Doom WAD I have ever fully completed. This will also count as the first forum post on this website for me. Basically this is a single level WAD running on the IWAD MAP01 mapset from Doom 2. It doesn't use any outside resources not found in Doom 2. I tested it using ZDoom and GZDoom, and I made it using Doom Builder under the Doom 2 configuration. Freelooking and jumping/crouching is okay, but it's best to play without them. I have created an easy, medium, and hard difficulty for this level although I have made the medium difficulty as the baseline experience in mind. It should be able to run on any type of computer, though it might lag a bit if run under OpenGL Hardware on older laptop models.

          Anyway I had a lot of fun learning how to create a map within Doom's engine, as well as learning how the Doom Builder program works. I looked up a bunch of tutorials on Youtube as well as on the Realm 667 website. It took me roughly a month to complete this level mostly because I was a bit on and off with making it. It's a short level, so it shouldn't take any longer than 5 minutes to play through. Criticism and advice is entirely welcome. Enjoy!




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Okay, so I played it through on UV and here's my thoughts:

In the beggining area you allowed the player to go on the ledges on both sides, and it seems like a pretty good place to hide something there. So either add a secret with some goods on these ledges or block off the path completely, so that the player won't waste his time looking for secrets that aren't there.

Also that whole area looks boring, since there's like 2 textures used.


Everything inside the building looks way better, and I have to say that you did a pretty good job with that, for your first map. But here my compliments end, since everything else isn't so good. The overall layout is bad, because you basically have two different paths, and since you must get through both of them, you're forced to backtrack quite a bit. The path to the blue door is way too simple, and bores you to death with its way too long, empty corridors, which don't even look good, compared to the rest of the inside area.


Now about the combat. You say that you implemented 3 difficulties, and I assume UV is the hardest, but every fight was very easy to get through. The beggining area is so open, that you can just avoid every enemy, and go inside the building effortlessly. After that, you have some zombies that you can just kill with one shotgun blast, and after a few seconds the entire room is cleared. There's also one hellknight, but I just didn't fight him. Why? Because I could.

You implemented some simple traps in those corridors, but even if I didn't expect them, they posed no threat. It would have been a bit better if you replaced shotgun guys with chaingunners. The final room with the mancubus was also easy as shit, since you just hide behind the door and shoot him from a place where his fireballs can't reach you.


But overall it's not a bad map for your first attempt, I've definitely seen a lot worse ones. My advice for you is to play through some highly regarded fanmade wads, analyze the maps you play through, and learn from that.

Also use a custom midi, no one wants to hear the default crap.


That's it from me, good luck with your future projects ;)

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I liked the layout; both the canyon at the start and the base are well made. The only part that felt uninspired to me was the long stairs at the end

On the other hand the combat is too dull, the player doesn't feel danger at any point. One of the secrets counts as two, maybe you could consolidate them into one.

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Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your map. It's a solid first effort, in my opinion. Nothing was broken or extremely poorly done. 


My biggest observations:

Your outdoor area was much worse than your indoor areas. Interestingly enough, I started out pretty awful at indoor areas, especially tech base type, and halfway decent at outdoor areas.


You seem to have realistic expectations. You did not try to do everything in this one map, nor did you make it very long. That's good because you are going to grow as a mapper and you'll have fewer qualms about scrapping a small map than a large map. And if it's small, there's more chance you will update and polish it rather than scrap it.


Your monster placement seems to be a bit of an afterthought. It feels like you designed an empty map and then put in monsters. It's not terrible, but you want to think about your monster encounters in conjunction with the designing of the actual space. 


People will expect a Doom 2 format wad to be playable in PrBoom+ and in limit-removing ports (e.g. Crispy) and possibly even Chocolate. So I suggest you test in Crispy or something. Sometimes just fine in (G)ZDoom = giant hall of mirrors in something else, etc.



Take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm still a mapping n00b myself, but I can be very observant. In fact, take all advice with a grain of salt. If the map functions, then at the end of the day, everything is subjective. 


I'll certainly play more of your maps.


I will edit this post later with a video, but my Internet connection here is too slow.

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This is Ebot8000's first. You start in the titular Canyon which possibly the maps weakest point. It's a boring section without any interesting fights or geometry.

Once you get to the indoor techbase the map looks a lot better butt he outside of the base is bland (pure STARTAN) and needs more details. I, in particular, like the lobby with the fountain and the shrub. The 64u sprinkled through the map (looked like 64 but didn't confirm) doors are far too wide though.


For a first map the looks are ok but what brings it down is the combat. On UV it's far too easy and the encounters aren't very interesting. For the iteration I would recommend reexamining each fight/monster. The level geometry isn't terrible but the gameplay lets it down. To be honest it could be worth removing all the monsters and changing them completely (probably not though).


There were a few other myfirstlevel.wad-isms like areas that aren't secrets being marked as secrets. I'd also recommend making a readme to go with it, you can find the template here - https://www.doomworld.com/idgames/docs/editing/upltempl


All in all, good for a first map, just needs to be a fair bit harder and more visually interesting. If the map is called Canyon then that should either be the star of the map or at least really entertaining.

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I said I was going to edit my post with a video. This is me not doing that because very fittingly, @xvertigox, who is the one who inspired me to do more videos with his thread, posted one first. So I wanted to mention that I watched xvertigox's video and mine is very similar in some places. We did not collude in any way, so I think that goes to show that these are opinions that a number of people might have. Enjoy:



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4 minutes ago, HAK3180 said:

@xvertigox We did not collude in any way




Cool to see you doing FDAs @HAK3180 ! I like how specific you are in your critiques (i.e use ASHWALL to break up canyon etc).

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Thank you for the replies thus far! The advice you guys have given me has definitely given me better insight into building a better map in the future. I guess I should’ve mentioned that I designed this level to be a stepping stone on how to work with Doom Builder, so I tried not to have too many qualms about the little details.                               I’m not very experienced with Doom combat in higher difficulties as I have only played Doom 1 and Doom 2 on the “Hurt me plenty” difficulty. Plus I wanted this level to be as difficult as the first level of Doom 1 and 2, so I never intended it to be challenging.                           Does anybody else have any other advice/criticism they would be willing to give?

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Not bad. Keep it up.
Add windows, balconies, interconnections to spice up map design. Player must see what he is striving for. Also hide monsters between crates, behind corners/columns and in unexpectable places. It is better to put flying monsters somewhere behind the mountains or behind sector objects, so they are can fly over and create nice effect.

Also when I reading "Canyon", I immedeathly imagine ROCK4/ROCK5 textures! And... they are here.

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3 hours ago, HAK3180 said:

Your outdoor area was much worse than your indoor areas. Interestingly enough, I started out pretty awful at indoor areas, especially tech base type, and halfway decent at outdoor areas.

Me and you are in the same boat :v I am really slow at mapping indoor areas but relatively quick at outdoor ones, I think one of the reasons for me is that for indoor areas you have to really think about the layout and how the different pieces of the building logically fit together whereas with outside areas while that is kind of important you can be a little less "deliberate" per se with how it is arranged, like normally I just draw a few big suiggly areas and connect them with bridges/tunnels/etc to make the basic layout then add some unique detailing to each of the areas to make it at least appear that some effort was put into them :D

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