Original Doom Community Project Idea

EDIT: This community project is now titled: "Doom The Way id Did" project, or DTWiD for short courtesy of Bucket. Unless there is overwhelming support for this project we will be attempting to complete one single "hybrid" episode rather than remaking all 3 episodes of Doom. The idea is everyone who is interested in participating make a map from the episode of their choice and then we arrange them in an order from E1-E3. We can call it "Doom Lite". Feel like reliving Doom? But don't feel like playing the same 3 episodes of Doom levels? Don't have the wherewithall to play 3 episodes of Doom? Want the complete Doom experience in a compact package, but with new levels? Try Doom Lite! With three distinct episodes compressed into one nine level game! In the words of Creaphis, this could be "a good way to revisit Doom's three major themes without letting any of them get tedious."

If you want to participate in this project, please reply to this thread! Below is my original post detailing my original idea for this project. I have struck out the parts of this project proposal that are no longer relevant to its current concept. It would also behoove you to read the various posts throughout this thread as well (but maybe ignoring Creaphis' posts to avoid any confusion!)

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Yar, I'm back at it. Keep the tomatoes in your pants. uhh... or something.

So I'd like to bring up the idea of making a doom level from episodes 1-3 (and maybe 4) again. Make an id style level in the episode style of your choosing as close to the original as possible in look and feel. That means studying the original maps and then try to mimic the sector shapes and sizes and interconnectedness etc. I'd still like it to be a competition, but one forum member feels quite adamant in shooting that idea down. :( So I guess community project proposal it is.[/s] Below is the idea in detail.

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The idea would NOT be to try to improve on any aspect of an id map, including the semi-lazy alignment of textures that were common. Rather, the idea would be to try to *mimic* as close as possible id style maps in all the good and bad aspects of them so that it could be mistaken for an original id map. There are a lot of signature aspects to an id map that a close analysis of them will make apparent. For example, id used many interesting line angles in their maps. Many are almost 45 degrees, but aren't--which I think somehow has a great effect. Notice how often a line is at an odd angle or near 45 degrees or 22.5 degrees but not quite. This is something mappers can appreciate more than people who just play doom. Also, pay close attention to the size of the map and the size of the sectors/areas. This means considering the relative smallness of the levels--the smallness of the rooms, and the shapes of the rooms--and mimicking these aspects--ceiling heights, everything.

The other thing is id's uses of textures. Except for episode 1, doom levels in episode 2 and 3 often had odd mismatch and mixture of textures and themes that lent to their unique look and feel. I've never really encountered maps outside of the original doom that really had the id signature special "quality." After the original doom, with the advent of Doom 2, wads became big and expansive with lots of large rooms and large monsters and lost their peculiar character in favor of mass onslaught.

The one area where keeping with the original may want to be reconsidered is in regards to difficulty. I had originally said keep the original over abundance of ammo and powerups in Episode 1, and the minimal ammo in many of the episode 2 levels, so that even these aspects would resemble the original. But I think making the maps closer to a difficulty of today may be better. But this requires some creativity so that you aren't making it difficult by having mass onslaughts of monsters which would have the effect of totally defeating the purpose of this project which is to recreate the ambiance, gameplay and look of the originals. Having tons of monsters just wouldn't work!

You're not recreating an existing map, you are creating a new id style map to fit into an existing episode. So you would want to think where your map might fit in in the episode you are trying to mimic: maybe between e1m4 and e1m5? Did E2M7 have a sufficient sense of progress from earlier levels to come before Tower of Babel or is there room for another penultimate level? Could a level fit between e3m1 and e3m2? Maybe one more outdoor level before going into the more classical style maps that started with and followed e3m3 with the exception of e3m6? (so a map between e3m2 and e3m3) Remember, don't try to improve on any elements of the original aspects of DooM. Try to mimic them as closely as possible; the bad stuff and the good. The only caveat here is to consider where your level might fit in in the episode from which you are mimicking. So in that sense the level might have some unique and original elements unto itself just the way every doom level has a unique quality unto itself. Note: since the maps will be compiled, thinking about where the map will fit in isn't so important, but is something to think about in trying to come up with an original id styled map.

In conclusion, this will require considerable study of the original levels before starting. But it could be really fun. The more serious people take it--like a school assignment: analyze and scrutinize id levels--observing as much as possible about them, and then try to build your own--the cooler the results will be.

So, of course this means keeping with simple detailing and no uber fancy architecture - and not too many monsters. I think the results could be interesting. Few people may succeed in the most purist sense, but I think the maps will still have great nostalgic effect. And will it not be cause for fame for the person who actually manages unequivocally?!

One last thing. Would we want to make a compilation of the maps? Not sure how that would work. (which is why I wanted this to be a competition originally and not a community project.)

This also means no fast doors and lifts if you are making a map from episode 1-3.

And also, don't forget to use hanging corpses, pillars and things like that too according to how id used them!

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Hmm. This could be interesting if done well. It always bugs me to see episode 1 themed wads that throw in a bunch of e2 textures (usually the gothic-grating midtextures, wtf?!), and also when they put in a bunch of rooms that are obvious "homages" (substitute for the word of your choice) to well-known areas from the original e1 maps. Totally kills the potential "this is a map from e1 that I've never played before" mood. I wouldn't be too opposed to seeing, say, some cacodemons or lost souls in e1m7 or e1m8, though.

The e1 maps also used a lot of 72-tall sectors, windows into other areas of the map that you'd get to see later (often at different heights, to give more of an impression of 3D space), walls at angles that aren't quite 90 or 45 degrees, and sky ceilings (for 3D space impression again, and lighting contrast).

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This sounds like fun. It's definitely something I'd be interested in seeing. Perhaps we should start small though, say, just try and get e1 done and if that goes well move on to e2-e4. Just a thought though. I think it would be cool to get e4 in as well. Even though it wasn't part of the original, it was my favorite episode. =)
The results would be interesting IMO.

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I might contribute something or another. I am particularly fond of the style in the original maps as well, especially the peculiar texture placement.

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Death-Destiny said:

This sounds like fun. It's definitely something I'd be interested in seeing. Perhaps we should start small though, say, just try and get e1 done and if that goes well move on to e2-e4. Just a thought though. I think it would be cool to get e4 in as well. Even though it wasn't part of the original, it was my favorite episode. =)
The results would be interesting IMO.


Great, I agree. E1 is a good place to start.

esselfortium said:

The e1 maps also used a lot of 72-tall sectors, windows into other areas of the map that you'd get to see later (often at different heights, to give more of an impression of 3D space), walls at angles that aren't quite 90 or 45 degrees, and sky ceilings (for 3D space impression again, and lighting contrast).


Good observations. You don't mind if I add this to the original post do you?

esselfortium said:

Hmm. This could be interesting if done well. It always bugs me to see episode 1 themed wads that throw in a bunch of e2 textures (usually the gothic-grating midtextures, wtf?!), and also when they put in a bunch of rooms that are obvious "homages" (substitute for the word of your choice) to well-known areas from the original e1 maps. Totally kills the potential "this is a map from e1 that I've never played before" mood. I wouldn't be too opposed to seeing, say, some cacodemons or lost souls in e1m7 or e1m8, though.


Yes, I totally agree. This wad is a good case in point replete with mediocre homages and e2 textures (I recently made a post about it in another thread)

Fisk said:

I might contribute something or another. I am particularly fond of the style in the original maps as well, especially the peculiar texture placement.


I think you are the first person I've seen speak of this in a positive light.

Well, if there are no questions, then go to it!

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Sounds interesting. To be honest, my ideas and attempts at mapping are all horribly overworked. I really need to learn to map quickly and simply, so it would be good for me to try something like this. Though I know that this would require fairly careful stylization instead of pure speedmapping.

I'll hold off on this for now. I really can't join more than one project at a time until/unless I get better at this mapping thing.

Hellbent said:

I'd still like it to be a competition, but one forum member feels quite adamant in shooting that idea down. :(


Lol. Sorry. Well, if you can figure out how to judge this "competition" in a fair way that will entice people into trying to "win", then most of what I said earlier will be moot. But I just don't see a way. You can still have a compiled mapset whether it's a contest or not. Whether people claim map slots ahead of time or not doesn't really matter; they can be ordered for balance later.

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I actually already have an e2m1 remake in the works, and can finish it tomorrow if it was THAT urgent... it plays alot like the original but looks logically better and there are a few combative suprises in store for unsuspecting players....

Kinda like when a foot soldier in the first episode of the 1987 TMNT had this really fast energy attack, and than Michaelangelo blurted out "WHAT THE HECK!?!?"

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Ok, so here's what I came up with. I'm still not sure if I understand the parameters correctly or not. All we're supposed to do is make a map the way Id would make it, correct? Well, Hellbent, you can look at this and tell me how far off I am from what you intended.

Id-style remake: http://files.filefront.com/DDIDMimicryE1zip/;10337563;/fileinfo.html

I agree with Creaphis that this should not be a competition because there isn't a very good objective way to judge it. Compilations are more fun anyway, IMO, because then we can put everyone's work together and have some mimicked Doom episodes. =)

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Ok this is really good!!!! It feels like E1M1 but bigger! With a few polishing of a few areas in terms of detail it'll be a winner!

I also don't think levels should be too big, but they SHOULD contain some surprises. CE2M1 is complete and requires Zdoom or GZdoom to play because of said surprises (which are few and far between - but there's a big, FAT one at the end) but otherwise would be vanilla compatible.

Now gotta find a way to upload to somewhere to give u a look-see... I tried right here on the database as a standalone release first but FireZilla says my IP is in use.... I don't know why.... ><

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I may try doing a later E3 map or two, or maybe E2M9.

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Hm. A project like this would probably need to be completely vanilla compatible. Even if it's intended for limit removing ports, that would already entice mappers into making scenes that are more visually complex than anything in the official wads.

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Heh, yeah. And technically, even Doom 1.9 actually has much higher rendering limits than the earlier exes that episodes 1-3 were designed for. In early versions of doom.exe, it was apparently possible to get HOM in the e1m8 star arena if you walked out far enough and looked back in. D:

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How do you plan on emulating the specific layout style? As I recall, Tom Hall made an effort to create realistic architecture while Sandy Peterson built his maps as a series of interesting confrontations. I'm not suggesting we copy each author's style map-for-map-- but there should be a mix, obviously.

If we're doing this, I'm definitely up for an E1 or boss level.

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Bucket said:

As I recall, Tom Hall made an effort to create realistic architecture while Sandy Peterson built his maps as a series of interesting confrontations.


I try to do both.

and it takes forever

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CodenniumRed said:

Well I had to upload CE2M1 to fileplanet since I couldn't get FireZilla to upload to the IDgames archives....

http://www.fileplanet.com/files/180000/187256.shtml

Unable to jump through the hoops required to download that file. :(

Death-Destiny: that is a nice map. It doesn't quite manage what my description was asking for, tho. many of those sector shapes aren't quite like the original id style. This would make a great secret level in that it bucks the trend. I think secret levels should always be somehow different in feel than the rest of an episode. I was kind of let down by e1m9 and e2m9. Your map as a distinct feel that is different than the original episode.

The other thing is, you're not supposed to make a remake of any of the existing maps, but a new map that could foreseeably fit in somewhere in an episode. Don't be discouraged by my comments--it's better than what I could do. For some reason it's very hard to make an original id style map. One thing one could do is go through all the things that are common to the original id episodes.

some things I can think of offhand and some things that you did in your map that id never did:

all episodes have smallish maps built in an efficient manner. They are often compact. Sector shapes are often simple and to the point (efficient in their design) Your sector shapes were a bit too advanced to pass as true id style.

Episode 1 maps often have proximity lifts. Often have small rooms that are dead ends. Have lots of stairways. Ceilings in stairways are often separated into about 4 stair chunks.
Again, we don't want to do things that id never did. So no doom2 linedef or sector types. A double wide door would be an example of something id never did. I think these kinds of liberties are great for secret levels, but for what I had in mind for this project, shouldn't be in the original maps.

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Is there some way we can find out which textures/flats/things were used in a specific episode? It might serve as a useful limitation.

I mean, obiously id didn't have E2/E3 textures in E1; they weren't made yet (as far as I know). Neither were skull keys or cacodemons. Likewise, I do believe there was some art created specifically for E4.

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Bucket said:

Is there some way we can find out which textures/flats/things were used in a specific episode? It might serve as a useful limitation.

I mean, obiously id didn't have E2/E3 textures in E1; they weren't made yet (as far as I know). Neither were skull keys or cacodemons. Likewise, I do believe there was some art created specifically for E4.


Yes, I agree. I think we should stick to such limitations when working on each episode. One of the reasons I like the idea of this project is I've always been very interested in how id included new stuff with each episode. So like you said, there are significantly less textures in episode 1 than 2 and 3. I think episode 2 and 3 shared the same textures. Along these lines, you would not use the hanging baron of hell texture except on an episode 2 or 3 level ending or on an episode 2 or 3 secret level. You would not use that texture in the regular levels from episode 2 or 3 because they did not appear then either. In fact, I think they only appear in the last level of episode 2. So, yeah, people would have to pay close attention to things like this.

The other thing about episode 1 is the few teleports used. One on level 5 and one on the secret level. And the way the teleport was made. A star, versus the teleport texture.

The one place I would like to maybe see a departure from id would be the secret levels and the end levels. neither of these were particularly impressive or memorable to me. Secret level of episode 3 was kinda cool, but the other three (episodes 1, 2 and 4) were blah--I'd say secret levels could be a little more unique from the standard id fare.

The other thing is--skull keys weren't used on the first two levels of episode 2. Gots to pay attention to all these details when making your map! A very challenging task, but would really be excellent to pull it off. Rocket launcher only appears by level three of episode 1, and in a rather tough to find secret. It's not until level 7 that you get the rocket launcher without finding a secret. Likewise, it's not until level 3 of episode 3 that you find a BFG in a secret. For some reason, id bucks this trend with a plasma gun in a secret on level 1 of episode 2, and not in a secret on levels 2 and 3. I find it interesting to point out such patterns. :P

Episode 1, RL first found in secret on level 3. Episode 2, RL first found in a secret in level 2. Episode 3, RL first found in a secret in level 1. See a pattern? :P

On skill 4, you also don't get a demon until level 3 of episode 1 or a Baron of Hell until levels 3 of episodes 2, and 3. Levels 1 and 2 of all the episodes were generally a bit smaller or simpler to beat than the rest of the levels. Levels 3 often were the real start of the episode and introduced all the monsters/weapons of that episode. Episode 2 is kind of the exception with a rather big level 2 and plasma gun, but you still don't get the baron until level 3.

What do you notice about the penultimate levels of each episode? (that is, the level that comes before the boss level) Is there anything that sort of makes them stand out from the rest? I'm not sure that there is, it's an open question. In episode 1, perhaps it is the RL to be found not in a secret. In episode 2, I really don't see anything that stands out. I think episode 3's penultimate level stands out because of its unique layout and all the switches you have to hit. It somehow stands out in my mind.

Any other patterns or restrictions that people can detect in the progression of each episode? I encourage people to really look at the shape, size and connectedness of id sectors. There's something about them that really lends to the signature style of id levels.

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Well said! I didn't realize many of those things myself, such as the switch from keycards to skull keys from Episode 2 level 2 to 3. But I agree that little things like that can add up to give the player the ultimate DooM 1 feel (pun intended) - without him even knowing why.

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Many traits of the original Doom shouldn't need to be replicated so exactly. For example, you mention how a plasma rifle can be found earlier in episode two than in episode three - maybe this shows that ID simply didn't devise intricate plans for balance and progression, in which case it makes little sense to copy their exact weapon placement.

I've lost interest in this project, to be honest. There are several ways of interpreting "in ID style." While you've chosen to map in ID's style by replicating an existing game as closely as possible, I would rather point out that designing in "ID's style" is to attempt to revolutionize gaming, not to repeat what's already been done. Wolf 3D and Doom were revolutions, not rehashings.

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Creaphis said:

I've lost interest in this project, to be honest. There are several ways of interpreting "in ID style." While you've chosen to map in ID's style by replicating an existing game as closely as possible, I would rather point out that designing in "ID's style" is to attempt to revolutionize gaming, not to repeat what's already been done. Wolf 3D and Doom were revolutions, not rehashings.

I agree with Creaphis (I've done that a lot recently. Creaphis is on a roll! =D) By mimicking Id that closely, there is no room for innovation or personal creativity. I doubt a project like this could even be accomplished correctly since a person's own style would constantly be creeping into the map. We already have Doom 1 episode's if we want to play that style, so there is really little to be gained if we cannot innovate in any way on their design.

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I disagree. Creativity can flourish within limitations.

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Bucket said:

I disagree. Creativity can flourish within limitations.


Agreed. However, this particular "limitation" simulates the rule of "no creativity." You are not allowed to innovate in any way whatsoever. You must mimic everything exactly and perfectly, the good and the bad. Anything ID did you must also do and the same for what they didn't do, if I understand correctly.

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So? If someone said "make a GothicDM-themed map with only GothicDM textures", people would be all over that shit. We'd have 32 maps of incredibly detailed tiny rooms in under a week.

There's potential in this project.

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Bucket said:

So? If someone said "make a GothicDM-themed map with only GothicDM textures", people would be all over that shit. We'd have 32 maps of incredibly detailed tiny rooms in under a week.

There's potential in this project.

Definitely.

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Bucket said:

So? If someone said "make a GothicDM-themed map with only GothicDM textures", people would be all over that shit. We'd have 32 maps of incredibly detailed tiny rooms in under a week.

There's potential in this project.

That rule only limits the choice of texture, but not the exact shape of the rooms you can make, thing choice, thing placement, the way to use linedef actions, the texturing associated with the said triggers, the types of architecture, the organization of said architecture, the layout, etc., etc.

I'm with you that this project has potential, but I don't understand how to get around this limitation. I'd be all for it if someone could put together a map that is perfect in this respect that could be used as an example for us to follow, an example other than the original Doom that were supposed to be copying.

BTW, don't lie to me Essel... the most recent 32in24 is currently at 32in744 and is still a Beta. =P JK... just ignore me. XP

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Bucket said:

So? If someone said "make a GothicDM-themed map with only GothicDM textures", people would be all over that shit. We'd have 32 maps of incredibly detailed tiny rooms in under a week.


Do you think we still live in the year 2000 or something?

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I've read through the posts here and I appreciate the feedback. I have been mulling over this project and have been wondering if its too stale to mimic id so closely versus incorporating some 'revolutionizing' new elements into the id style--since that really is what id is about (about revolutionizing and pushing the boundaries of the first person shooter)

I'm really not attached to the rules I've laid out, but I did feel compelled to get across my relationship to what an id map is. I think Creaphis makes a good observation that I am finding patterns in id maps that id perhaps did not intend--but for me it's those kinds of patterns that make the game richer. Perhaps those patterns I pointed out are "coincidences" and the fact that episode 2 plasma on level 1 is not an exception to that pattern, but rather illustrates there is no pattern. But at least I'd like to encourage people to consider these kinds of elements of level progression. Really my main intent was to have maps that just really mimic the id style rather than being their own style--but it might prove to be too difficult a thing to try. I know I have a very hard time doing it (honestly--I don't think I can succeed to the level I'd like.) I am open to suggestions on how to approach this project so that people don't find it too stale or uninteresting.

It would be nice to offer an example wad that would be very id like without being an id level. Honestly I don't know of any and I'm not sure I could pull one off. Maybe I could manage a section of a map as an example. I think all the stuff about patterns and weapon occurences is not as important as sector shapes. I think its the shapes/sizes and texture use that are the most important things to pay attention to. I just think its interesting to analyze the various aspects of id doom levels, and felt it might have some bearing on trying to mimic id style maps and in considering where in the episode your map might fit.

thanks everyone for the interest and feedback. Hopefully we can come to some kind of consensus!

Edit: this is a bit of a rant-- a little dissertation in defense of the weapon occurrence patterns and why episode 2 is an exception to a pattern (rather than serving to nullify the pattern hypothesis): In the first episode, the real interesting weapon was the rocket launcher--so it makes sense id wanted to keep this weapon a bit rare--it's very powerful and has a certain mystique (it rapid fires rockets for crying out loud and has splash damage) compared to the conventional hitscan weapons. Now you figure people after playing the shareware to death finally pony up for the full version--they want to see some new weapons!! So maybe id's thought was--okay, let's not hold out--bam, you get plasma fairly easily on the first three levels so as to not frustrate people who want to see a new weapon. Then comes episode 3 and it's back to the biggest weapon of the episode having that mystique that the RL had in episode one. Thus the BFG doesn't show up until level 3 (and in a secret) and then again on level 4 (also in a secret)

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I think a main idea to explore with id maps is the fact that there was very little micromanagement of room detail. Instead of considering the logical structure of a room (lights, furniture), more thought was put into the placement of the room itself and how it related to other rooms. Design was approached with a very broad brush.

Ralphis said:

Do you think we still live in the year 2000 or something?

As opposed to living in 1993? I'm not sure how to address that question.

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I was addressing your implication that people still want to make huge wads that look like GothicDM. For the most part that fell out of style quite a while ago.

Then again, I've also seen you in threads still speaking as though dwango5 map01 is still the most played map on the multiplayer engines so I guess I can forgive you.

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