First off, Iíd love to join a project where we re-do our first maps. Iím officially in. I think it would be cool to include the actual first maps in the folder, so people can see what they were like.
Second, Iíd be thrilled to let pcorf re-do my first map, too. Iíve been a pcorf fan since the first Death Tormention I played. On that basis, Iíd be fascinated to see what he might do with that thing.
My experience with early levels is somewhat similar to pcorfís. Every map Iíve actually finished has been released somewhere. My first, No Pity, was released to the AOL MacDoom libraries and, in its own blundering, ugly way, it lived up to its name. I also submitted this map to Clint Sago, who was putting together The Macintosh Team to produce what became the Realm of Chaos megawad. The map earned me a spot on the team Ė IIRC, I was the last one selected, a replacement for Two-Gun Mojo, who decided not to join. Thus, the second map I finished became Map 27 of RoC and the third became Map09, which I still consider among my best, even though it has an unforgivable design error forcing the player to find a secret door to complete the level.
I did a lot of stupid shit like that in the old days. Anything I could think of to frustrate and anger the player. Even today, I have to resist the impulse . . .
To be honest, I am fairly happy with my early maps. Indeed, to this day, I am happy, overall, with Realm of Chaos. All of the designers were, like me, complete noobs. These were our first maps! Itís funny sometimes to read comments at idgames comparing the megawad unfavorably to the Memento Mori pair, especially since people seem to think RoC was released in 1999. It wasnít. Version 1.0 was released on Halloween night, 1996, if memory serves. It was the final bugfix that came out in í99. We had a couple extremely young designers Ė Slava Pestov, now a Linux coder, was 13, and Antoni Chan was 15. IMO, their maps hold up very well. By contrast, we viewed the Memento Mori mappers as seasoned experts. Perhaps Capellan can weigh in on that one. Iíve enjoyed many of his maps over the years, and I just played the first three levels of Memento Mori 2 which, to say the least, are in a different category from the RoC maps, although Map03 had very weird progression and I had to use NoClip to finish.
When I look back on my old maps for RoC, my main disappointment is the number of times I violated Romeroís Rule about only changing floor texture when you change floor height. This was especially bad in Map27, where I did freakiní ridiculous changes between wood and the wet slime, all on the same height floor. Looks dreadful.
Nuff said. I donít have my first map anywhere that it can be downloaded, though if someone wants to see it, I can email it to them. Itís crazy and sometimes unfair and often stupid, but itís not super-easy. And it does have significant height variations. I was already planning to re-do it anyway, just like I want to re-do my RoC maps, so this is a heaven-sent opportunity.