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my first two [vanilla] doom 1 levels

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hi fellow doom lovers! wanted to come join these forums to talk doom and show my first level that i hope to get feedback on.  it's not huge and is just a replacement for doom E1M1.  i want to ask what to have you give me feedback on but i'm not sure where to start but i feel like you guys have played enough doom to know where stuff needs alot of work.  i wanted to put pictures of the levels here but then i noticed i don't exactly know how to take screenshots ...

i attached the file and let me know what you think! 



screenshots thanks to bonnie!










Edited by TabbiKatt : added update to e1m1

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i know how to take screenshots!! here are some, in case you wanna edit them into your post:

i didn't record an fda (first demo attempt) because im a bad person on the inside





-you lied!!! there are TWO levels here, though e1m2 looks a little less finished in some areas

-in your post, you should have mentioned that these are vanilla maps, that would attract a lot more attention!!

-needs more light variation

-needs more decoration, don't be afraid to put corpses and candles and lamps all over the place if you need to, just try to fill out rooms better

-also try to add more things like lights on the ceilings or computers on the ceilings (though you did have some other nice computers in there)

-only minor texture misalignment, i'm pretty impressed

-some areas have mismatching textures or unpegged textures

    -switch for the chaingun secret was an example of this

    -also the chaingun secret altogether was a little underwhelming

-needed more monster variety

---large portions of each level can be completely ignored!!!


+other than that, overall pretty good and fun

+i liked the blues in some areas, and i dunno why, but i REALLY liked the area in that last screenshot, something about the color just felt so right

    +you're doing decent with the texture variation



altogether two pretty impressive vanilla maps for a beginner. i liked the creative use of triggers and kinda oldschool feelin secrets

you REALLY need to block the player from leaving so early though, you reach the exits too early and way too much can be completely ignored, so try adding some more locked doors and whatnot, to encourage more exploration

also try adding more stuff on the ceilings/floors like lights or computers or whatnot, and try adding a few more enemy types, like pinkies and whatnot


is good, 9/10 yes

i strongly look forward to your future doom-related endeavors

Edited by bonnie

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wow thanks!  tbh i meant to exclude e1m2 because i wanted to do some stuff with it but i'm actually glad i forgot and left it in there. i will try to add the screenshots in my first post. i like how you feel about large parts of the levels can be ignored because i was going to ask if levels can be too open and i guess they can. i wanted to make it so you could go anywhere but now that i read your post i realized that i probably made them to much like DM maps. oops! i will keep your ideas in a notepad when i work on a new level and might try to rebuild these around your ideas.

is most of the openness a problem with e1m2 or both the levels? 


thanks again!


edit yes i agree the chaingun secret is kind of stupid. i'm not really sure what i was thinking when i set that up. i'm also not very happy with the top part of e1m2 i feel like it needs more meat in the rooms. they are kind of empty

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Welcome to the forum and to map making. Here's a video of my first demo attempt with commentary.


It's short and simple, but I liked the map. It felt like it belonged in E1. I'll look forward to seeing what you do next. I think eventually you'll want to show that you can put in a little more detail and create tense situations with monsters, but this is a solid start in my opinion. 

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7 minutes ago, TabbiKatt said:

i like how you feel about large parts of the levels can be ignored because i was going to ask if levels can be too open and i guess they can.

it's not that they're too open, it's more that the progression safely leads the player almost directly to the exit, and they have to actually go out of their way to explore the other areas, if that makes sense


also the openness was a ""problem"" with both levels i'd say

i actually had to replay e1m1 because i hit the exit switch as soon as i saw it without thinking and ended up finishing with only 51% kills ;~;


having exploration in your maps is super duper good, it's just that you need to give players more of a reason to explore, and also make it a little more obvious that you can explore (it might have been for me just that the maps aren't fully developed yet and still look a bit samey in places)

you could try having a key or something in an off path, or maybe throttle the ammo/supplies a little to encourage exploration to stay alive and stuffs


i dunno :c

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i really like that you posted a video! seeing someone else play it really makes it easy for me to see where i messed up and where i made something that works! i think my secrets need to be less mysterious but i'm glad being able to see them before you find them is good because i like that too.  i think for my next maps i will use more bestiary just so i'm learning myself about how they are used. was just reading a thread where someone made doom 3 textures for doom 2 which is exciting!

saw a psx final doom tc thread as well and i love that game because it was my first doom game!


edit thanks for the reply bonnie! i agree that i do need to find some kind of balance with the openness thing. i like your idea of hiding keys better and giving more ammo on side paths this will help alot in my future maps

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I liked it. I agree that it did have a very E1 feel to it. It had a decent flow to it, in my opinion.


Two (small) nitpicks.


1. Admittedly, I didn't open the map in an editor to check this, but your window sills appear to over 24 units high. Yes, 24 units is the highest that Doomguy can traverse normally, so your window is high enough to keep him from jumping out (which you evidently don't want), but that high a window sill can obstruct most of your view. This may have been your objective. Otherwise, you could use a height of 16 units and just make the window line impassible (or just make the height of the opening less than 56 units, depending on your room dimensions).


2. Make your exit sign 32 units wide instead of 64 units wide. It looks better, in my opinion, to have "Exit" by itself on one side, with the rest of the gray wrapping around the exit sign. or you could have "Exit" on opposite sides (32 units wide) with gray metal on either end. It just looks better than the way your exit sign looked.

Otherwise, good work. Keep it up.

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Very nice. Tons better than most first maps I've played. One bug I found: Your E1M1 lift (linedef tag 1) is one-way. The top linedef is WR to lower it, but the bottom linedef is also WR and can never be triggered. I think you meant the bottom one to be SR. Hope the rest of the episode is this good.

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i made some changes and additions to E1M1. i tried to fix some things with the original but i can nitpick it until the cows come home ;-; 

so here are the changes so far.



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5 hours ago, TabbiKatt said:

i made some changes and additions to E1M1. i tried to fix some things with the original but i can nitpick it until the cows come home ;-; 

so here are the changes so far.



this was fun to play! almost relaxing in a way. i was able to find all secrets. i really liked the outdoor areas and the progression of the map. i only got stuck a little at the end with the three doors in the outdoor area that leads to the key. i wasn't too sure they were doors at first. but it didn't take too long to figure out. but awesome job so far!

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zoo wee frickin mama i just played that bad boy only now because i assumed you barely changed anything but i was not expecting that

my goodness it's so wonderful and pretty now ;~;


my nit-picky suggestions would be:

  • for the doors, just give em regular door textures i guess
  • there's a wall near the end in that wrap-around hallway that is just the big ol' warning symbol 100 times so i think you put the wrong texture there ;~;
  • the box with the imp in it in the secret outside area looks weird altogether, you should probably just make the whole box thing lower or something
  • i missed the room leading to the chainsaw secret, but probably because i'm stupid. it was quite lonely out there though, so you could probably add some pinkie bois or somethin there to chainsaw and stuffs
  • the boxy outside area at the end could probably do with some monster-blocking lines around the nukage, so that the demons don't completely bunch up all the way against the wall

my genuine suggestions would be (warning: words):

  • for doors, i strongly recommend indenting them into the walls. if you don't know what that means, it means how doors are normally ~8 units in a wall, so that it isn't completely flat and stuff. you'll usually see it used with DOORSTOP on the indent, so that the transition between wall, indent, door, and DOORTRAK is smooth
    • i dunno about regular doombuilder, but in gzdoombuilder (really good btw and not at all limited to just gzdoom as the name might suggest), you can press v to enter vertex mode and drag out the doors ~8 units by hand, or select the linedef and click "stair sector builder mode" on the left (middle, above the ear) and indent the wall 1 sector that way (stair builder mode is just really wonderful all around, but especially great for making complex curved stairs, but can be difficult to understand sometimes [tell me if you need more help])
  • this can be a nitpick depending on your point of view, but to me, decoration is key. you already got a pretty good start with this update on it, but you still need more (make sure to keep it somewhat uniform too)
    • for hellish or just general levels, super easy but great decoration can come in the form of candles, bodies, gore, barrels, lamps, boxes, midtexture vines, destroyed environments (like a collapsed ceiling or maybe just 1-unit deep dirt patches in grass), and stuff like that. with cleaner techbasey e1 style levels, you're more limited to things like computers (embedded into the walls like the doors or hanging from the ceiling and stuff), light fixtures, light things, bodies and gore (not like hanging bodies, but dead players, demons, and other gored body types), barrels, trees, and health/armor bonuses.
    • Try embedding a handful of computers into some walls (where they fit), adding some light fixtures that come down from the ceiling, bodies on the ground, stalagmites and trees in outside areas, and definitely add bonuses into some empty areas. bonuses are easy to add, just plop em around edges, in corners, in little nooks and crannies, pretty much anywhere that isn't out in the open and weird looking, or in weird patterns or spread out strangely (as in some of your existing ones). you don't need a lot, for example, you could have 4 health bonuses in a uniform little square sitting on the small boxes at the end that originally opened up those 3 doors, or in the little corner created by that L-shaped computer near the center of the map, or against the walls in that little curved area around the shootable switch leading to the secret outside area (but not too too overkill, basically use e1 for inspiration)
  • another thing you started to improve on but aren't totally there yet is light variation. you still have a lot of areas that are basically the same in lighting, but you really really need a lot more variation. again, look at e1 for inspiration. there's a lot of variation in those first few levels, and it makes things really pretty.
    • a lot of people don't realize that lighting, as well as simple decoration that i talked about in the previous point, is basically like a mapping cheat code. just a little bit of effort can make your maps look insanely good, if you have decent lighting. one thing i recommend is to not use 192 as your base, as it's pretty bright and kinda bland. i actually set my default sector brightness to 160 'cause i'm radical like that :o
      • on this note, i noticed in the editor that you have some really specific numbers for your brightnesses, but the problem is that vanilla doom doesn't work like that. you may have noticed that it only goes in increments of 16 when you click the arrows (or do ctrl+scroll in gzdoombuilder!!!! super easy shortcut!! this will also put you back to 16-based increments). this is because vanilla doom only uses brightness increments of 16 (boom uses increments of 8!), leaving little room for gradients and whatnot. so unless you jump ship and try mapping for zdoom, don't bother giving such specific brightnesses :c
    • i don't really have a lot of techniques for lighting variation, other than to try and alternate between light and dim a lot. not like every other sector, but make it so that you can see at least a little bit of contrast in most areas, or are close to it. also make sure it makes sense, like with that L-shaped computer room. the super dark corners by the doors looks kinda odd especially since there's no obvious light source in that room to begin with, where as the dark little area nearby with the shootable switch looks nice as buttons.
      • a decent yet not very old-school technique is to kinda "highlight" light fixtures, by making the floor under them a little brighter, and maybe adding another sector around that and making that a little less bright, like a gradient
    • i don't have anything else to say, i guess just use e1 and some custom wads for inspiration, you'll probably get the hang of it c:

I know that was a huge wall of text, but I wanted to give you lots of advice because I was already mildly impressed by your first map but now I'm genuinely wowed by the strides you took with your update in such a short amount of time. You seem like a pretty receptive and fast learner, and I'm unironically excited to see you expand into other themes (mainly to see how you fair with other monsters/weapons) and blossom into the wonderful little doom-mapping-flower I know you can be!!!! ;~;


now please excuse me while i set impossibly high standards for your future works

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This post is really well outlined and helpful! i had no idea about light only really changing by 16 and it explains my frustration trying to get good variants :c 

i was going to wait till i made a thread about it but i was away at my parents house for a week and got back yesterday. i forgot to bring my thumb drive with me to work on my maps so i started something a little interesting for doom 2 which was still installed on my old childhood computer.

i didnt predraw the maps on a notebook like i usually do so i just come up with it as i go and try to cram as much details in as i can. after reading this post of yours i can go back and tweak it even more! 

i should note that i once upon a time made little maps for quake a long long time ago. most of them are probably on a floppy disk in my attic so doom is not my first experience with making maps c: doom is just different because you only have one plane so i do need to learn how to hide it by making more interesting designs and using better lighting and decorations.

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