C3N09 sends this along on American McGee's mapping style:
American McGee is, no doubt, one of the important mappers for Doom II. He is the master of the first episode (first half) except MAP01. What is special about him is, he mapped while maintaining realistic looks within limits. As he said "The map has to look that it came from NASA or an engineering base", and his results came out quite good, half real and half game-ish.
If I wanted to map in his style, I wouldn't only think about the special "visuals", I would think about how I would have played it if I was younger. When I played Doom II a long time ago, I was feeling the horror. In MAP02, I always got scared going through the first tunnel, hearing the monsters active, but can't approach me. I stood for ages inside after clicking the first switch, afraid of what would come behind there. Once I went through, I got to the point where you must fall underground, and you know what I felt about it...
This also happened in MAP03, if I shoot, I hear the Imp awake by the window. It is so dark there, and the only thing I can see is the windows possessed by zombies. Going from there took me big courage to proceed. Let's not forget the spectres roaming around over the water, I would never fall there.
Same as MAP04-05 (06 is somewhat less dark after the first area).
Also, windows looking to dark areas made me scared, because it made me say "Do I have to go to there?"
Gameplay in most of his maps seems mostly linear, (except MAP05) but yet entertaining and wide. He focuses mainly on essential routes, only sometimes adding small optional areas unlike Peterson's big optional areas. Windows you can jump out of are also welcome. It is noticed that in some maps, a late area is linked with an early one after reaching that point. In MAP02, the floor between the 2 tunnels will be opened later. And in MAP06, another door is opened between the last and first areas giving the player the ability to get back easily.
Notice how he makes doors separate from the wall with 8 long lines. Notice how he uses in most places "switch" doors instead of normal doors, so the player can't get the door down manually plus monsters can't use them. Notice how he puts the light decoration into the walls. Notice how he makes a mini window for the key to show it to players (MAP02-05). Notice how he makes lifts far away to be activated by crossing a line for better access (similiar to Romero). Notice how he makes the switches separate from the wall the same as doors, even if it goes with the surrounding wall textures. Notice how detailed his maps are.
Though, after all I said above, maps 14 and 22 kinda ruins things from here, but these points are more focused on episode 1.
Hope I helped
Last edited by Hellbent on Feb 26 2012 at 19:35