I'm currently at the tail-end of reviewing Surge and Eternally Yours. Myk's currently holding the review slot for DtWiD, which I worked on. I've been involved in the Plutonia Revisited Community Project. Many projects are after catching the "id style" or are asking for "scythe styled maps". Not so long ago it was a frequent complaint that things were T667- or Spork-clones, with square, clean architecture and a fair bit of detail (the seemingly constant inclusion of a certain pallette didn't help).

What I'm getting at here is that the Doom community seems to have a real affinity with imitation (or drawing inspiration). Valkiriforce is perhaps the most prominent in this role, as the vast majority of his maps tend to come with a small description saying which classic 90s mapper he's taking notes from, but many others work towards a Romero, Tormentor667 or Erik Alm shaped goal in their mapping. I've been in on the game with a few of my community project submissions too - it seems as though we're all at it.


This got me thinking - should we take this to the logical extreme? We've gone after specific megaWADs or authors as templates, perhaps there's room for a community project where everybody is imitating somebody else? To make things interesting I'd suggest we focus on imitating modern mappers and/or make sure that no two people are imitating the same mapper.

So, what do we think, Doomworld? Are we stifling creativity with our love of imitation, or is following in the footsteps of what we like just an obvious choice? Would such a project have legs? This is just something that's lept out at me just now, so I've not really given it much more thought than "let's put it on the internet!" - hence an idea thread in Doom General rather than a project thread ;)

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When the IWAD's have been comprehensively "tributed" with the likes of TNT 2: Devilution and D2TWID in mid to late development and DTWID, PRCP and Plutonia 2 already done, I think we will see more community driven tributes to classic PWADs in the same vein as Eternally Yours, Surge and Hell's Last Stand.

I don't think this is a bad thing, the aforementioned tribute WADs are all well received and did not suffer by their similarity to their predecessors. Brazen imitation aside, modern classics still often wear their influences on their sleeves be it Kama Sutra and Deus Vult II's to Alien Vendetta or Reverie's homages to all things 90's (the Memento Mori's being one such touchstone).

The truth is that there are only so many sub-genres nested in Doom's gameplay and most combinations are already represented by a universely acclaimed megawad. Therefore your only hope of transcending categorisation against one of the classic authors or megawds is to risk clashing themes by working in collaboration with mappers who have contrasting styles, sacrificing your own natural style by self conciously "mixing it up", finding a niche whilst hopefully avoiding gimmick territory or bend the gameplay mechanics using hacky trickery or advanced source port features to produce something not only uncomparable to existing PWADs but uncomparable to Doom itself.

I'm not saying the only way forward is regurgitation - just that the emphasis can be placed on mapping in a style that pleases you. Good maps will be good whoever's style they invoke.

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I think a mapper's own personal style almost inevitably shows through somehow in their imitative work, which is a good thing :)

Projects like DTWID, for me, are also just really fun creative exercises to work on. In my Doom 2 The Way id Did maps, especially, I really enjoyed getting into the mindsets of different mappers and trying to understand and account for the elements that defined their styles and separated them from my own. It led me to examine a lot of ideas and thought processes in mapping I hadn't previously, which have since been appearing in other things I've been working on.

It'd be interesting to see a project like you described in which everyone tries to imitate each other or another mapper. It'd be fascinating to see how close (or not) different people are able to come to mimicking other established mappers' styles.

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It is said that Elvis Presley once came 3rd in an Elvis Presley look-alike competition. I for one would love to see the lauded hits of Doomworld bested to their own podiums by the likes of incognito newcomers Mr. Freezelfortium, Processing Conskillsaw, and Phobusoz.

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I actually think it'd be most interesting for the established mappers to be trying on eachothers' shoes, in such a project. Particularly those who make fairly different things. Me aping 40oz does seem like it might be quite a challenge...

@essel: I've noticed that too - having to really think about the things other people focus on does kind of blend them into my own thoughts - usually for the better, in my experience.

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Heh, it will be fun to try to guess who is the mapper and whom he imitated. :)

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I don't think I could do such a project justice (either as an imitator or imitated mapper) but it's certainly an interesting idea.

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Intriguing. The only real question would be who gets to imitate who.

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scalliano said:

Intriguing. The only real question would be who gets to imitate who.

I'd hope that a "first-come, first-served basis" would do, in order to stop us getting 10 T667-mockeries :P

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Do it as a secret Santa and try to guess who they're trying to imitate.

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Ahh, now there's a good idea. Guess we'd then just need to elect a list of names to go into the hat before being randomly assigned to those who join

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I'm digging this idea very much... though if I were to draw Ed or some other God of Architecture, I'd be sucking my thumb in a corner as I realize how helpless I am once I stray from my style. Of course, it'd also be a great way for me to get outside my comfort zone, which I need to do.

Secret Santa Doomworld... yeah, that'd be interesting to see.

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The entire history of art of any kind involves rampant immitation. It's not a drawback, it's how it moves forward.

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I must say I like the secret santa idea. If only for the "oh shit" factor.

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My personal fear (and one voiced to me by somebody else as well) would be if Mechadon joined in for the secret santa idea. Then we'd not only have an "architecture God" to imitate, but also a humungous map to make :P Having to do ToD would also be a hell of a trick, as I don't have the gameplay skills to play the sort of map you'd have to make.

I think it'd be a great opportunity for us to expand our skill sets and mapping horizones though.

Guess we'll need somebody to start a thread to get this all together then!

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I'd be willing to put this all together/organize it and will make a post later tonight or tomorrow, depending on how late I get home. I've been wanting to do something a bit more communal of late. Been missing out on too many projects!

My only question/concern are things like resources and format (which I think the style of the author would most likely dictate). I'll open it up for discussion later on and build from there, though :)

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esselfortium said:

It'd be interesting to see a project like you described in which everyone tries to imitate each other or another mapper. It'd be fascinating to see how close (or not) different people are able to come to mimicking other established mappers' styles.

I don't think so, as a player. For authors it might be a rewarding experience seeing their styles acknowledged by others, and a motivation to actually work, but for players it will look like a mashed-up set where authors limited their creativity and awkwardly aimed to mix it with one that wasn't their own (copyright ethics ring-a-bell!), resulting in unremarkable levels.

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printz said:

I don't think so, as a player. For authors it might be a rewarding experience seeing their styles acknowledged by others, and a motivation to actually work, but for players it will look like a mashed-up set where authors limited their creativity and awkwardly aimed to mix it with one that wasn't their own (copyright ethics ring-a-bell!), resulting in unremarkable levels.

I have to disagree on the grounds that prior contests involving a certain limitation have consistently produced good-to-excellent results (10 Sectors, 1024, 1994 Tune-Up, etc.). Granted, the former two weren't asking the authors to change their style, but I don't see any reason why the product wouldn't be quality if the authors put in a decent effort. In some ways, there's the potential for a product greater than the norm to be produced should the styles mix together in unexpected, enriching ways (possibly paving the path for said author's future style, should he/she enjoy the final result enough).

Also, I don't understand where copyright ethics come into play here seeing as this would, in all likelihood, be limited to willing participants. The only ambiguity that would exist would be if a decision to include well-known authors such as Torm or Gusta without asking for their approval first, but Torm gets imitated so much anyways that it sort of reached the point of being an old, redundant joke... Which basically leads me to my point that there are already wads that imitate the efforts of others, and thus far, no one has verbally spoken against this (1994 TU aside, as that wad direct map-imitation as oppose to mere style).

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I shall see, hoping it won't turn into a salad of military dungeons.

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Snakes said:

My only question/concern are things like resources and format (which I think the style of the author would most likely dictate).

I'd tend to assume we'd be doing it based on the mapper. An easy way to mimic 40oz would be to make something with the UAC Ultra textures, for example.

The "secret santa" project idea would also be a great way to avoid any unwanted imitations. If you want to see somebody else attempt your style, sign up to the project, but remember that you'll be imitating somebody else too :P

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