Putrefied Design: A Doom Editing Blog

One of my favorite things to do in this world is bullshitting. I like to bullshit about music gear, obscure bands, World War 2. Unfortunately, there hasn't been many opportunities in my every day life to discuss the vast elements of Doom editing that I love. I'm afraid the lament isn't going to relate to my passion for mid-texture offset construction hacks or the sexiness of diminished lighting on a 180 degree curve in a 20 year old, 2.5d engine.

So after years of procrastination, I've finally gotten around to putting together a Doom editing blog, Putrefied Design. I spend more time than I would care to admit thinking about Doom editing with no-one to share my thoughts with but myself. Hopefully this can fill some of that Doom editing bullshitting quota that I have racked up for myself.

Given that as of late I'm in a position where actual editing is a bit out of reach, but writing about it is far more feasible, updates should be rather frequent.

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Awesome! I really admire your eagerness to try crazy, ambitious things in Doom levels and your ability to actually accomplish them so impressively. The megatexture examples you've put up (and the info on the techniques you used to do them) look fantastic -- I love the tent :)

Someday I might have to try doing an entire map that way, maybe collaborating with somebody to split up the layout/gameplay and artwork/detailing duties for sanity's sake.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what else you write and post about on here.

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This doesn't look like bullshit. It looks like some useful info. I'll check for updates.

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BTW, regarding the issue you mentioned with large megatextures losing quality: I'm pretty sure that there's some GL limitation or GZDoom limitation causing that -- if your textures are larger than 2048 pixels across in either direction, they're going to be scaled to a lower resolution and you'll end up with a blurry texture. I found about this one when doing the news tickers in SpaceDM9 a couple years ago :P

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It's an OpenGL limit. Maximum texture dimensions are expressed as width and height (same value for both: GL_MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE) rather than number of pixels. The exact value depends on hardware and drivers, so it can be 1024x1024 on old systems or 4096x4096 on newer and probably even more on top-of-the-line stuff. But although a 64x8192 texture takes up less memory than a 4096x4096 one, its height is too large and it gets shrunk accordingly to 64x4096, then stretched back during render. Which might make text blurry and illegible.

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Probably a regional slang misinterpretation. Bullshitting has taken on the definition of in depth conversation 'round these parts.

My laptop's video card is fairly antiquated. The threshold for large scale textures hovers around 1024x1024 before getting blotchy and/or disappearing altogether. Bumping down from bi/trilinear filtering to linear alleviates the stress on my crummy hardware, but I think those dimensions are more than adequate for any indoor areas and most sanely scaled outdoor areas as well.

I would like to do a map that is completely uniquely textures. Maybe something small like a deathmatch map on a city street as a showcase. I would draw the comparison to the pre-rendered background games of the late 90s (Resident Evil, FF7) for what I'm envisioning in my head, but with flat renders mapped over a 3d surface.

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I too, envision doom maps and ideas and secrets and traps and main rooms and layout styles way more in a 24-hour day than I should, and I also am cursed to have no one in my circle of friends that I can discuss it with. My fiance will pretend to care, and it helps a little, though I'm in serious demand for someone who will respond to my self-absorbed brilliant ideas with something a little more insightful than "that sounds cool."

It's a real shame because I'm often not around a pencil and paper to sketch these things out with, or more importantly, in a situation where I can commit my mind to thinking about it more than something else I'm currently doing. Just having someone I can confide in and embrace the things about Doom editing that I love the same way I do will go a long way in keeping things fresh in my head.

For the time being I keep a journal that I jot notes down in, draw small sketches of levels, and I watch a lot of Doom demos on youtube, and read Doom 2 reviews, both recent and from many years ago. I wish I didn't have to leave so much ridiculous doom discussion contained in my head though.

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Just wrote up a bit on sector based lighting - More than I'm comfortable admitting to my friends IRL.

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Nice.

In port maps I've at times resorted to some pretty heavy-duty hackery with floor/ceiling portals to do the type of large-scale smooth lighting you're describing. Particularly in complex areas where slopes are used, it comes in very handy since you can't usually get away with those sorts of sector splits.

I admit I've often settled for smaller or less intensive lighting in more structurally complex areas.

In some situations like that, especially in vanilla mapping where limits typically restrict the complexity of the lighting, I'll have a series of lights affect a single large area together, with some appropriate gradienting or other adequate transition to that (sharp directional shadowing can work wonders when a seg/visplane budget is involved), rather than fading to darkness around each of them.

It's odd how as maps have become more detailed, we've often ended up with all sorts of gradiented lights affecting the floor and ceiling, but the surrounding walls being left completely uniformly lit to the dim surrounding level, unless there happens to be a directional wall light pointed directly at them in a small area.

One technique I like using to alleviate this, both because it's easier than the billions of sector splits required for large floor gradients and actually can have more of a visual impact, is doing wall lighting gradients. In UDMF you can do this directly with per-sidedef lighting, and in Boom you can do it by attaching narrow sectors to your walls and then light-transferring their floors and ceilings to the surrounding room level to hide the trick. If used well it can add a surprising amount of depth and atmosphere to a scene, even if there's only very basic sector gradienting used on the floors in the area.

Some old before/after shots for wall gradienting in a TSoZD scene: [Before] [After]

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First thing I read is that with DB aligning textures has become easier. which I can't agree with at all. DB's hamfisted way of going about things with autoalign usually ends up having me realign things over and over. The auto texture alignment method in DETH for instance was a lot more precise then, even if it might have been a bit slower to do at a glance, you never had to do it more than once, as it only affected the lines you wanted it to.

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kristus said:

First thing I read is that with DB aligning textures has become easier. which I can't agree with at all. DB's hamfisted way of going about things with autoalign usually ends up having me realign things over and over. The auto texture alignment method in DETH for instance was a lot more precise then, even if it might have been a bit slower to do at a glance, you never had to do it more than once, as it only affected the lines you wanted it to.

In DB, if you select a bunch of lines in visual mode, autoaligning will only affect the selection.

If there are too many lines to comfortably select one at a time like that, I'll usually just temporarily put a placeholder texture on the far ends of the area I want to autoalign, to stop it from going beyond those points.

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But selecting lines in visual mode is the worst thing ever. And your second solution is what I use now. But it's far from optimal. Way way to many times that is not feasible.

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boris said:

The screenshots are really tiny.

You can click them to make them larger.

It's a little too bad that much of this stuff is a bit over my head. I'm still wrapping my mind around mapping just for vanilla/Chocolate Doom, and this stuff is for GZDoom.

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