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Things modern mappers do better

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What are some things that modern mappers do better than the old ones? How would you sell the current mapping scene to someone who was frozen in 2000? Try to avoid mentioning the obvious technical advancements. Like, of course we can afford having much more detail, we invented 3D floors, etc. But what has changed ideologically?

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Posted (edited)

I wouldnt say that modern mapping is "better"(outside of the technical achievements), instead we have just created new ways of playing based on the old ones. Ideologically, we have gotten better at doom, at least what i think judging by the slaughtermaps(or maybe the reduced lag), the largest deviation compared to the old wads( slaughtermaps are quite the norm for final levels in today wads, different from the old ios ones). We stopped using map07 and map30 clones for way more creative levels(i totally support this).... 

Darn, this is tough, gotta think more and edit later :P

 

Edited by Catpho

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14 minutes ago, antares031 said:

First thing first. I'll let that person play Doom 2016.

 

Then I'll bring Sunder, SF2012, Swift Death, and Sunlust. "Yes, now we know how to place monsters better than you guys. Good luck, and have fun. :)"

More like better at murdering players :D

I agree :P

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Not really agree, when I heard "modern mappers", I think to Skillsaw, Dobu, or Obsidian, which make some creative maps, with a new gameplay (don't kill mancubus in map07!), or new puzzle maps (Maskim Xul, The Given...) that use some interesting features of Boom, or Dehacked. These are different things add new ways to play or apprehend a map.

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I can't say I know much about mapping of that day and age (2000), but a lot of so called classics were something I experienced as "overrated", to employ a very ugly and unfair term. I really don't want to across as if I was talking down on the classics, but in a way I can't help it. When people talk about the best wads of all time, or what they would recommend to someone who is new to doom, it baffles me that some of the first recommendations are things like "scythe" or "hell revealed". Sure enough those were amazing at the time, and these are classics for a reason, but if I had to choose between scythe and valiant, I'd pick valiant. Or if the choice was hell revealed or SunLust, clearly I'd pick SunLust. I like the modern gameplay better. It is more creative, and requires more attention, imo. Running circles around a Baron while shotgunning it isn't gameplay, it's "can you stay awake until it's over?"

 

I would imagine people these days are more knowledgeable about certain aspects of engine behaviour. When I look at things like Return to SaturnX, it's inspiring, even if some of the gameplay there is not my cup of tea. People seem to have gotten much better at using the "building blocks" they're given overall, and manage to create more distinct dynamics with them, which I suppose is true regardless of formats used, for that matter. I guess the same is true for how things behave and move.

 

Ideologically though? I don't know what the "mapping paradigm" was back then, I don't even know what the paradigm is these days, I just know there are some things a bunch people will complain about when you do them, like "mandatory secrets" for example, others complain about platforming, mandatory SR40/SR50, some people's faces melt off when they see more than 10 enemies at a time at which point their brain shuts down. If all that and then some was also true back then, well, what's new as far ideology is considered, actually?

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31 minutes ago, franckFRAG said:

Not really agree, when I heard "modern mappers", I think to Skillsaw, Dobu, or Obsidian, which make some creative maps, with a new gameplay (don't kill mancubus in map07!), or new puzzle maps (Maskim Xul, The Given...) that use some interesting features of Boom, or Dehacked. These are different things add new ways to play or apprehend a map.

Not agree with who exactly?

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Posted (edited)

Monster placement is definetly improved from the past days, regardless if we're talking about harder stuff or not. Back in these days, you would usually see levels with simple shapes, like a big square room full of cyberdemons or spider masterminds, where you would access by a hallway and kill all of them behind cover. The progression has changed a lot too. Although linear progression is still common nowdays, the levels are now much more interconnected and they do have a more consistent layout. The earlier levels had that "big adventure feel", which is somewhat similar to the level design of games from the last gen lol (before the open world trend) Also, doors were something much more common in the past, and they're gone for good reason.

 

EDIT: Symmetry was another thing cool at that time that people doesn't like anymore.

 

IWADs music was also much more accepted than currently too, and I'm glad custom soundtracks are more valued nowdays. While I do love the original tracks, hearing them again and again kills a lot the experience when playing a new wad.

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You liking Valkin's post sure means something huh essel ;)

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Maybe better architectures thanks to more sophisticated builders and no vanilla restrictions. 

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I think we've gotten better at killing the player in a way that they accept. Not many inescapable pits and random crushers these days, but big, obvious traps that we have to trigger to proceed are the norm. So I guess even in ports with no scripting, stuff like choreography and guiding the player are more important.

 

Other than that, tightened balances are much more common and the addition of resources is second nature, which gives us a lot more variety. It used to be notable when a map came out that added to or replaced the stock resources, I think, whilst now it's almost an expectation. 

 

The big one for me is the shift way from the early tendency to obscure progression. It wasn't unheard of for maps to basically be mazes with false walls back in the day, but now we create open layouts with clear land marks and obvious routes so that the player can get to the action.

 

I think the more innocent times where there were less standards and expectations led to a lot of rough end products, whilst today there's almost a rule book. There's great examples of both eras done right and I imagine we all have our favourites. I'm really enamoured with the 2001-2010 ZDoom stuff still, to be honest. 

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Posted (edited)

*Pushing the engine to its limits with HOM trickery and self-referencing sectors. 

 

*Better approach generally to gameplay decisions. 

 

*Attention to details.

 

*Better approach at creating more flowing and looping layouts. 

 

*More ambitious and larger scale concept maps.

 

I like this sort of thread since I'm actually making a 1994-style map and I try to capture the crude and rough style that was used in that experimental time span. 

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4 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Running circles around a Baron while shotgunning it isn't gameplay, it's "can you stay awake until it's over?"

I would expect someone from the slaughter scene would be more honest about what wads like Hell Revealed entail tbh.

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25 minutes ago, Cynical said:

I would expect someone from the slaughter scene would be more honest about what wads like Hell Revealed entail tbh.

 

4 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

When people talk about the best wads of all time, or what they would recommend to someone who is new to doom, it baffles me that some of the first recommendations are things like "scythe" or "hell revealed". Sure enough those were amazing at the time, and these are classics for a reason, but if I had to choose between scythe and valiant, I'd pick valiant. Or if the choice was hell revealed or SunLust, clearly I'd pick SunLust. I like the modern gameplay better. It is more creative, and requires more attention, imo. Running circles around a Baron while shotgunning it isn't gameplay, it's "can you stay awake until it's over?"

What is unclear here? Does it sound in any way shape or form as if I thought Hell revealed was the cream of the crop?

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7 hours ago, Dragonfly said:

Two things modern mappers seem to do a lot better these days in my opinion - Set-piece fights, and 'guided nonlinearity'.

 

These are my thoughts exactly. These are the two biggest factors in what makes a map 'fun' for me.

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What does modern means? isn't 2011 modern enough?! :P ...not even 2007?! :(

Rather than being able to have more details I think that across the years the mappers have become better to make details, or give a more refined look to their levels. Set-piece fights, independently from how much they are hard, are more thought out and I think that someone stuck in the 2000's wads will encouter a bigger challenge overall.

 

7 hours ago, Dragonfly said:

I'm seeing this kind of map-building style in numerous maps these days from all corners of the community. It feels like we have the formula for a good level a lot more 'refined' than it was in say, 2000.

From I understood it offers a nice alternative to the backtracking, or it just pulls it out in another way, but otherwise guiding too much the player is boring and it's one of those things that are changed ideologically, for the bad.

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One of the biggest differences is generally much better pistol start balance. A lot of the older wads, including the IWADs, play like crap from pistol start. Modern mappers tend to not do bullshit like secret SSGs and no green armour in sight.

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7 hours ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

 

What is unclear here? Does it sound in any way shape or form as if I thought Hell revealed was the cream of the crop?

What I mean is the characterization that HR is nothing but "strafing around HKs".  You of all people should know that "coming up with a route" is a mechanical task/challenge and central part of Doom play, and when it comes to routing puzzles, there's few wads out there that surpass the second half of HR. 

 

That's not even considering that there's really only a couple of "circle strafe a million HKs" maps once you get to the well-liked parts of the wad (map 13 and on), anyways.

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Speaking very generally, mappers have gotten better and better over the years with tailoring custom textures and an overall aesthetic for the Doom engine. BTSX, for example, or Ancient Aliens. People have found ways (like the layer/segmented wall textures you can see in Dragonfly's post) to make maps look shapely and architectural even without floors over floors.

 

Some older mappers were still great at creating memorable spaces with a sense of place, like Iikka Keranen. 

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On 3/13/2018 at 9:15 AM, Nine Inch Heels said:

I can't say I know much about mapping of that day and age (2000), but a lot of so called classics were something I experienced as "overrated", to employ a very ugly and unfair term. I really don't want to across as if I was talking down on the classics, but in a way I can't help it. When people talk about the best wads of all time, or what they would recommend to someone who is new to doom, it baffles me that some of the first recommendations are things like "scythe" or "hell revealed". Sure enough those were amazing at the time, and these are classics for a reason, but if I had to choose between scythe and valiant, I'd pick valiant. Or if the choice was hell revealed or SunLust, clearly I'd pick SunLust. I like the modern gameplay better. It is more creative, and requires more attention, imo. Running circles around a Baron while shotgunning it isn't gameplay, it's "can you stay awake until it's over?"

 

I would imagine people these days are more knowledgeable about certain aspects of engine behaviour. When I look at things like Return to SaturnX, it's inspiring, even if some of the gameplay there is not my cup of tea. People seem to have gotten much better at using the "building blocks" they're given overall, and manage to create more distinct dynamics with them, which I suppose is true regardless of formats used, for that matter. I guess the same is true for how things behave and move.

 

Ideologically though? I don't know what the "mapping paradigm" was back then, I don't even know what the paradigm is these days, I just know there are some things a bunch people will complain about when you do them, like "mandatory secrets" for example, others complain about platforming, mandatory SR40/SR50, some people's faces melt off when they see more than 10 enemies at a time at which point their brain shuts down. If all that and then some was also true back then, well, what's new as far ideology is considered, actually?

Your complete inability to see why some people might not want to play wads like Sunlust constantly baffles me. You don't seem to ever acknowledge that such wads are an extremely niche product and something like Memento Mori, Requiem, Plutonia, Scythe, or even HR has a vastly broader appeal despite their rough edges and less attractive architecture.

 

As for modern maps, I think they do texturing a lot better than old ones, and I think esselfortium and BTSX are one of the primary drivers of "material" texturing (where the features of textures are carefully fitted to the geometry of the level, giving a better sense that the level is "built" rather than wallpapered), and it has made levels look a lot prettier than the old "add more sectors" idea of detailing ever did.

 

I miss the weirdness of a lot of old maps at times, though. The Doom community now has a very nailed-down set of best practices that can make maps feel samey--a lot of maps could be better by being a bit worse.

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6 minutes ago, Woolie Wool said:

Your complete inability to see why some people might not want to play wads like Sunlust constantly baffles me. You don't seem to ever acknowledge that such wads are an extremely niche product and something like Memento Mori, Requiem, Plutonia, Scythe, or even HR has a vastly broader appeal despite their rough edges and less attractive architecture.

Mmhmm complete inability.... baffling... Niche... Got it.

 

It turns out you conveniently missed:

Quote

if I had to choose between scythe and valiant, I'd pick valiant. Or if the choice was hell revealed or SunLust, clearly I'd pick SunLust.

 

Please tell us more about my complete inability to understand that people don't wanna play slaughter all the time (SunLust is not a slaughterWAD according to its authors, by the way). And while you're at it, please explain why it is that I recorded more demos for Valiant (which also isn't slaughter) than I recorded for actual slaughterWADs, because that doesn't seem like something someone who only plays slaughtermaps would do.

 

You hear that? That's the sound of your failed sniping attempt.

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Posted (edited)

 

37 minutes ago, Woolie Wool said:

Your complete inability to see why some people might not want to play wads like Sunlust constantly baffles me. You don't seem to ever acknowledge that such wads are an extremely niche product and something like Memento Mori, Requiem, Plutonia, Scythe, or even HR has a vastly broader appeal despite their rough edges and less attractive architecture.

 

I would not classify Sunlust as 'extremely niche' -- 'niche' is the strongest one could go there, imo. In Doomworld it is every bit as popular as the rest of those wads. There are lots of active posters who are into, or at least amenable to, that sort of gameplay. So far it's #4 on this list. Memento Mori, Requiem, Plutonia, HR, and Scythe also have the advantage of being enshrined classics that have existed for years and years, so of course a lot more people will have actually played them. 

 

I also think HR is also clearly more niche than Sunlust. HR gets a lot of plays because, again, it's a longstanding classic. But compare two wads without the existing cachet -- Bell Revealed to Bunlust -- and it's clear that the latter appeals to more people in modern times on objective merits. People who like Sunlust are the hardcore crew and hardcore-amenable crew (which are quite numerous, tbh), and also people who give it a try based on visuals and design. But how many people actually play Hell Revealed for any other reason than it's a classic? The "niche" crew that is genuinely into it is actually what I'd describe as "extremely niche", from what I've seen -- it's certainly a smaller subset than those who are into Sunlust-like gameplay. 

 

Anyway, interesting thread, looking forward to reading it in its entirety when I'm in the mood for that. :)

 

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