I've been feeling the need to try something new so I decided I'd try an older level editor. I wanted to get a better understanding of what mapping was like in the 90's, as though I've been spoiled by all the attractive features of Doombuilder 2. I decided I'd try using a more basic level editor to make maps with to become more familiar with the core details of mapping.

It's funny how little I knew about applying textures to walls without the aid of a 3D visual editor. I'm starting to get the hang of it though. It's a little more time consuming than I expected. It appears that instead of drawing shapes from scratch, you need to first generate a square and then manipulate by splitting the lines in half with vertices, allowing you to make more intricate details. It's taking me a little while to adjust to stitching vertices together to connect different sectors together, unlike Doombuilder which automatically generates vertices where lines intersect.

Things are coming along though. I'm finding that making more interestingly shaped rooms are starting to come naturally the way sectors are drawn in Wad Author. This isn't really something to be blown away by, but here's a little something I'm working on that appears to be shaping up nicely. This took about three hours, including time figuring out how wad author works, changing floor/ceiling heights, lighting, manually aligning textures, etc.

Here's a shot of my "wad1.wad"

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Ahhhhh, messing with DEU in DOS. Not having a clue about anything. It was a nightmare!! Having to draw your sectors in certain directions so that the front side was pointing in towards the sector, working out the engine limits. The joys!!

These days DB2, Slade and stuff do make level creation so much easier and having modern source ports like ZDoom remove limits.... Lifes easy!!

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Someone had a similar idea last year, he made this with DEU 5.21:
http://doomworld.com/idgames/index.php?id=16559

(it's a pretty nice map too)

I also experimented with DEU not long ago, but eventually got fed up of using DOSBox (it's slow on my old machine). Anyway, having already used Yadex as main editor, going to DEU was no big culture shock. I already knew that having a calculator handy to figure out sector floor/ceiling heights would come in handy, and also sometimes for texture alignment (though in this case I just snapped everything to grid 32 or higher (and used similar height changes), so alignment was automatic).

The lack of 3D preview does make it harder to align textures, because you have to really understand how upper/lower unpegging works, and that depends entirely on the context (which way linedef is facing, whether it's one or two-sided, whether or not there's higher/lower sectors around it...) I have a hard time keeping track of all those cases, and end up using the 3D preview a lot. That alone probably explains why so many old PWADs have bad texture alignment.

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I made cc1 map12 with Wad Author, having never used it before. I still don't use Doom Builder or any kind of 3d editing mode. Offsets are simple once you understand them. My first editor was even more rustic than Wad Author however.

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Make many backup copies of your map. Certain Wad Author versions had a bug that scrambled all sector data upon saving.

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I want to make a wad with Waded 1.83. Lotta memories attached to that QBasic mess of a program.

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40oz said:

It appears that instead of drawing shapes from scratch, you need to first generate a square and then manipulate by splitting the lines in half with vertices, allowing you to make more intricate details.

Remember that you can also create polygons, with up to 32 sides in each polygon. In this way you won't need to split the linedefs.

It's taking me a little while to adjust to stitching vertices together to connect different sectors together....


Be careful to join linedefs when connecting sectors. Simply stitching vertices will create incorrect sector referencing, and will mess up the node-building. (But I imagine that's what you meant by "stitching vertices".)

I'm finding that making more interestingly shaped rooms are starting to come naturally the way sectors are drawn in Wad Author.

I'd venture to say that drawing curved shapes is easiest in WadAuthor, when compared to other editors. However, with the availability of pre-fab shapes and plug-ins, editors like DB2 and DeepSea make the task simpler.

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I still use Wad Author for the bulk of my mapping. I prefer not having to cumbersomely switch modes between linedefs, sectors and verticies. Being able to select anything and dropping sectors in as you go just feels smoother somehow.

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Pottus said:

DCK for the win ;)


That was my first serious map editor back in the mid to late 90s. Having to exit to DOS to edit maps and goofing with both the 2.x and 3.x versions have a bunch of memories, including my first megawad I released in 2003, before Doom Builder existed.

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It's not the editor you use but how you use the editor that counts although DB2 does save a lot of time over other editors.

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