I thought Doom 2 was kind of ridiculous...

Feniks said:

Please, name any Doom 1 maps that look better than "O" of Destruction


Ε1Μ1 and E1M2 on the top of my head. But those are special for a lot of different reasons, and it's also a matter of taste.

Thy Flesh Consumed was much more "Doom II-esque", in that it has a lot of metal, wood, and a very "nooks and crannies" design with a lot of platforms, doors, switches, fast lists/doors etc., if that's what you were after. Whether that's "superior" to E1 or E2 style, is debatable.

OTOH Doom II doesn't have a single techbase level that looks as good as E1M1, or even a convincing...well....anything. Many Doom II levels are in fact so plain that they could pass for 1994 amateur PWADs.

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The indoor areas in E1M1 and E1M2 usually look good or very good, but the outdoor areas are very ugly, let's face it. They aren't actually any different from the average outdoor area in many 1994 wads that have been constantly panned. Then compare it to "O" of Destruction that has amazing outdoor and indoor areas, the right amount of detail and great lighting.

To clarify, not all Thy Flesh Consumed maps look so superb. Some of them look much worse than the average E1, for example, E4M1. I don't like the look of E4M4 and E4M7 either, but Perfect Hatred, They Will Repent and Against Thee Wickedly easily trump anything from E1-3 when it comes to architecture. Much more height variation, better lighting, better level progression, to name but a few. Look, though E4M2's size is very compact, it's actually neither very short nor simple.

As for techbases, I'd say that Underhalls are comparable to most Doom 1 techbase levels. Tenements too, if it counts as a techbase map.

Edit: If Tenements was included in E1, it'd make the best E1 level by far. My opinion, of course.

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There are a couple visually well-made levels in Doom 2 sure, but on average I think it's a lot worse. E1 is all good, I think E2 and even E3 also have a lot of great moments. I can't remember really disliking a single level in Doom 1, and I clearly remember being outright disgusted with parts of 2. Many, many parts.

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Feniks said:

Edit: Tenements would be the best E1 level by far. My opinion, of course.


>Map 17
>An E1 Level

I'm sorry, WHAT?

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Tarnsman said:

>Map 17
>An E1 Level

I'm sorry, WHAT?

I meant, it'd make the best E1 level if it was included in E1. English is my second language and as much as I hate it, such misunderstandings are bound to happen.

(Edited.)

Antroid said:

There are a couple visually well-made levels in Doom 2 sure, but on average I think it's a lot worse. E1 is all good, I think E2 and even E3 also have a lot of great moments. I can't remember really disliking a single level in Doom 1, and I clearly remember being outright disgusted with parts of 2. Many, many parts.

Are you talking about visuals only or gameplay as well?

Personally, I've never been that impressed with E1. Sure, the shareware version was innovative for its time, but honestly, it didn't do it for me. I liked it but it was lacking something, maybe it was too easy, too empty or whatever... I've always preferred E2 which isn't flawless either. E3 was clearly half-assed (that's even an understatement with regard to E3M9), and it looks really bad in places.

I've seen many people complaining about Tricks and Traps or Barrels o' Fun who turn a blind eye to maps like E2M9 or E3M9 at the same time... Hell, the barrel jump from map23 is so staggering that even watching it is worthwhile. Sure, not all Doom 2 maps are aesthetically pleasing (and neither are a lot of those from Doom 1), but they're still a lot of fun to play.

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Doom 2 sure is a mixed bag. The new weapon/enemies alone elevate it above Doom, but when comparing the games in terms of level design, it gets tricky. I saw a post earlier about some of Doom's maps looking like they serve a purpose, a sentiment I find difficulty in agreeing with. No level in either Doom remind me of real places, but they do abstractly represent structures humans (or sentient monsters) might construct. I think Doom 2 has the same haphazard layouts as Doom, where some areas look gorgeous and others are so arbitrarily built on harsh angles that they just look ugly. It seems worse in Doom 2 because of overuse of the same textures in many sections. As to the gimmick levels, I akways enjoyed them because they tried to do something different, but I do agree that they took away from the macabre atmosphere.

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Feniks said:

Are you talking about visuals only or gameplay as well?

Pretty much visuals only. Gameplay, as I said, is now sort of dull in Doom 1.

Personally, I've never been that impressed with E1. Sure, the shareware version was innovative for its time, but honestly, it didn't do it for me. I liked it but it was lacking something, maybe it was too easy, too empty or whatever... I've always preferred E2 which isn't flawless either. E3 was clearly half-assed (that's even an understatement with regard to E3M9), and it looks really bad in places.

Well I played all that stuff on the SNES at first and it's nostalgia in the most part, honestly. I can see how Inferno is half-assed in places, but it never bothered me to the same extent as many Doom 2's levels. Sure I got around to Doom 2 considerably later than Doom 1 but it was still a long time ago, almost half my life ago. Doom 1 still seems much cleaner and more polished than Doom 2 in that regard. Plus, hey, Doom 2 had some very questionable gameplay choices as well, like that shootable door thing in map28, which is completely inexcusable.

I've seen many people complaining about Tricks and Traps or Barrels o' Fun who turn a blind eye to maps like E2M9 or E3M9 at the same time... Hell, the barrel jump from map23 is so staggering that even watching it is worthwhile. Sure, not all Doom 2 maps are aesthetically pleasing (and neither are a lot of those from Doom 1), but they're still a lot of fun to play.

Part of it is the names. E2M9 was always an oddity to me but since it was a secret map I didn't care, I just viewed it as a way to get a lot of ammo and a health boost. E3M9 is harder to defend but it's gimmick was really surprising and awesome back when I was getting my first impressions. But even Warrens doesn't come any close to the total disregard for any kind of setting or, I dunno, thematic consistency with names like "tricks and traps" and "barrels of fun". To be completely honest, if those names were more like normal serious level names and not that, I'd have much less problems with them. Maybe almost no problems at all, even! But level names are such a useless thing to many people that I see how some can find nothing offensive about those two maps. Heck, a lot of people give their maps stupid-ass names all the time, like song titles or something that has nothing to do with what sets the particular map apart from others, like some abstract idea that has to do with pain or suffering or death that could be a name for any and every single doom map in existence. Yeah I really care about the map names :3

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Barrels of Fun is a map about Barrels. Tricks and Traps is a gimmick map that revolves around a room either being a trap or requiring a trick to get through effectively. I'd say both those names do an excellent job at describing what the fuck the level is more than say "Refinery" or "Hangar". And thematic consistency? I'm sorry look at something like E2M4 and talk about thematic consistency. Oh man I love this base with this gigantic METAL1 room that looks like nothing connected to this STONEGARG hallway that looks like nothing. Also Barrels is a Hell level, who the hell are you to say that Hell doesn't have a random barrel maze area to torment people with. It's Hell, of course it has a random barrel maze area.

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I think you understand perfectly clear what I mean. For me, a level that has a name describing it's gameplay gimmick is completely out of place among level names that describe a place that this level is supposedly trying to represent. "Dead Simple" is also bad about that, now that I remember it. That's part of the consistency I was talking about. They bothered with intermission texts, appropriate skies and mostly appropriate level names, which sort of gave me the right to expect that they wouldn't do shit like "Barrels of fun". Might as well have called e2m8 "rocket-happy boss arena".

Also, if you're going to pull the "hell can be full of badly designed levels because it is hell" thing, I'm going to return that argument right back at you with e2m4. E2 is the "merging with hell" episode, after all. Keeping that whole theme and setting in mind, I can tolerate almost any abstract area, but if e2m4 was called something like "RGB" or "Yet another nonsense level" it would diminish my enjoyment instantly. Basically, I'd prefer names like "Hangar" or "Refinery" to "Barrels of fun" any day. Maybe it is because when I was first playing it as a kid I always looked forward to the new level names for some reason, it was just really interesting to me where we are in any given level. Doom 2 disappointed me with that quite a lot.

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Antroid said:

Yeah I really care about the map names :3

Never play Marathon. :)

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Da Werecat said:

Never play Marathon. :)


Just looked up some level names from that trilogy... Yeah. Actually, when they are all like that, I don't really care as much. I was just used to the names giving some context to the levels in Doom, adding to the feel that the levels created. Doom 2 never really bothered trying to maintain any sort of coherent atmosphere it seems.

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Gonna take a moment to say I didn't suggest 'O' of Destruction is a bad map, or even a bad looking map.

Only that it has no business representing a star port, IMO. Perhaps as the gate to hell or something it would be perfectly in place. The problem I have is strictly with the aesthetic progression. We have a couple of vaguely technical looking maps at the very beginning that are still abstract as all get-out so as to have no suggestion of what their function could possibly be, and then we go straight into a very low-tech looking representation of "earth".

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Maybe that place where the gate opened is just some poor district. Suburbs, downtown and so on.

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I think and have always thought that far too much weight has been placed on Doom 2's "location" to be honest. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the Earth maps were the last ones designed for the wad as an almost-afterthought to everything else.

"We've got a bunch of really fun maps guys, but it's Hell on Earth, and nothing looks remotely like that? Should we uh... do a city or something?"

It was 1994, and there were just some things that weren't practical to try. Id tried them. Was it especially visually appealing? No. Was it improved in terms of map design and entertainment value? Yes. That's what's important.

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Snakes said:

"We've got a bunch of really fun maps guys, but it's Hell on Earth, and nothing looks remotely like that? Should we uh... do a city or something?"

That's basically the exact opposite approach of one I would want game designers to take. For what I like in games, the concept, story and setting are first and foremost and should dictate the appearance of whatever levels a game has. I wouldn't say the entertainment value for me certainly improved from doom 1 to doom 2, in fact even if it's gameplay is duller I still enjoy doom 1 far more just because it stays true to the setting in it's levels and can therefore create a much better atmosphere.

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Maybe the Earth levels are set in Detroit, and that's why they look run down and old and shoddy.

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Antroid said:

That's basically the exact opposite approach of one I would want game designers to take. For what I like in games, the concept, story and setting are first and foremost and should dictate the appearance of whatever levels a game has. I wouldn't say the entertainment value for me certainly improved from doom 1 to doom 2, in fact even if it's gameplay is duller I still enjoy doom 1 far more just because it stays true to the setting in it's levels and can therefore create a much better atmosphere.

I submit that this is wrong. You know, because here you are on a Doom forum, a game which couldn't have had a story given any less thought.

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I disagree. For me even Doom levels need a backstory and a reason for the protagonist to do what he's doing throughout the game. I couldn't care less about wads that have no backstory and are just an assortment of random levels. If the original games were that I'd probably never care about them either. Luckily, instead they do have their backstories (admittedly, in the readmes or wherever those were originally), intermission texts and a quite adequate amount of thought put into it all. It's just that by Doom 2 they started slacking off in that department.

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Quasar said:

The texturing is, IMO, the poorest aspect of DOOM II. Let's see, how do we portray Earth in the 22nd century? Oh I know: wood, stucco, cement, rocks, and brown metal with rivets.

>_>

I admit I've never laughed so hard like this ever before :D :D :D

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Hence why I can't look at Doom 2's world through anything but a thick lens of magical realism. That is, when I'm actually trying to make sense of the world, which is almost never because this is Doom 2 we're talking about.

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r_init: getpostnumberforname: post not found!

Edited by Justince

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Doom II is better than it isn't. I do admit that I lose the will to play at Waste Tunnels, Refueling Base, Downtown, The Citadel, and The Chasm. The rest aren't too bad, to be honest. There are a lot of things I like about the game, pretty much everything to do with Circle of Destruction, Suburbs or Courtyard. I like good open, nonlinear layouts as long as they're uncluttered enough so that the overall focus isn't lost on the player.

Also, Archviles.

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Quasar said:

[In Doom] You visited places like nuclear reactors, spacecraft hangars, data processing facilities, refineries, and labs.

In DOOM II you visit Dallas, TX, circa 1994, apparently. Even its "space port" holding humanity hostage takes the form of what could best be described as some sort of gigantic pagan stone circle. Of these alleged ships ready to blast off or any sort of devices that would support such, nothing is to be seen.

Everything is rundown and shoddy and ancient looking, and not in a way that successfully implies the Hellish invasion and subversion of reality has advanced enough already to cause that - but rather that's just how it was already.

What Doom's environments were supposed to be was mostly inferred from the level names. Hangar doesn't look remotely like a hangar, Nuclear Plant doesn't look much like a nuclear plant, etc etc etc.

Some people (not just you) talk about Doom 2 as if it somehow abandoned Doom's sense of realism. I never got what was supposed to be remotely realistic about Doom in the first place - not that this was a bad thing, because the abstract environments (thanks to the technological limitations of the time) were half of the appeal for me.

Doom 2's aesthetic was exactly what I hoped for: something which kinda-sorta looked like it could be on Earth, but with the same twisted take on reality as the first game had. I didn't want the same game all over again, from a thematic point of view.

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DoomUK said:

Some people (not just you) talk about Doom 2 as if it somehow abandoned Doom's sense of realism. I never got what was supposed to be remotely realistic about Doom in the first place - not that this was a bad thing, because the abstract environments (thanks to the technological limitations of the time) were half of the appeal for me.


Dunno about other people, but with me it's less about realism (let's face it, Doom 1 didn't have much of it) and more about just the care put into things that aren't gameplay. Simply renaming three maps wouldn't hurt the gameplay but it would improve the game immensely for me. The same with fixing some of the more outrageously ugly texturing and whatever. I can live perfectly fine with "cities made of wood and rusty metal" because that fits into the theme of "hell's taking over". When something doesn't fit even that theme, and in fact doesn't look like it was made with any sort of theme in mind at all (again, this is less about shit like map09 since abstract is fine because hell, it's more about naming your hell map freaking "barrels of fun" instead of something thematically appropriate that would at least keep the pretense that you care), that's what I don't like.

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Antroid said:

naming your hell map freaking "barrels of fun" instead of something thematically appropriate

Ok, I'll give you that. Silly map names like "Barrels o' Fun" have been burned into my mind, though. Something prosaic like "Barrel Storage" would be more appropriate, I'll admit.

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DoomUK said:

Ok, I'll give you that. Silly map names like "Barrels o' Fun" have been burned into my mind, though. Something prosaic like "Barrel Storage" would be more appropriate, I'll admit.


Yep, I think, as silly as that sounds, that's probably my primary problem with doom 2. Of course such names indicate that the team cared less for what I value in any game (even Doom), but the other results of that, such as extreme abstractness, can be chalked up to the theme of hell and whatever. My other problem is probably the hell sky because I will never tire of saying how much I hate it compared to pretty much any other sky :)

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Maes said:

Thy Flesh Consumed was much more "Doom II-esque", in that it has a lot of metal, wood, and a very "nooks and crannies" design with a lot of platforms, doors, switches, fast lists/doors etc., if that's what you were after. Whether that's "superior" to E1 or E2 style, is debatable.

You left out the opening/closing bars. In fact, the first three Doom episodes didn't have any "bars" (narrower than 17x17 px), not even static. From E4 on, the popularity of them bars has just arosen. Probably because UD is actually "younger" than Doom 2, where the idea of having bars (right from MAP02) had just bred.

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Cell said:

where the idea of having bars (right from MAP02) had just bred.


Would be safe to say that McGee was the most influential of the id mappers?

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Eris Falling said:

Would be safe to say that McGee was the most influential of the id mappers?


McGee and Romero, McGee just tends to pump out more of the stuff we associate with PWADs like Orthogonal Architecture

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For all those talking about the level names made you lessened the experience of the story, here is one of my favourite doom related quote
"Story in a game is like a story is n a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important" - John Carmack

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