The Killing Fields

The Shores of Hell is my favourite episode of the original Doom, and I know I'm not alone in this regards. However, the appeal of the episode is mainly due to the atmosphere created by the lighting and texturing. There's no denying that Knee Deep In The Dead is superior in most other ways.

Imagine, then, an alternate reality where episode 2 was designed by John Romero instead of Tom Hall and Sandy Petersen. How awesome would that have been? Sadly we'll never know, but The Killing Fields is my tribute to that which never was.

That said, I haven't rigorously stick to Romero's style. I've gone for a somewhat more epic feel in terms of proportions, and am paying closer attention to texture alignment and cutting off textures along their natural borders. There's also slightly more detail than in Romero's Doom 1 maps, though the episode should still be vanilla compatible.

The episode will feature a small number of new textures and flats, though these have all been carefully created and selected to feel as though they could have been a part of the original game.

Without further ado, here are a few screenshots:













(If anyone's wondering about the name, it's an in-joke; To The Shores of Hell and The Killing Fields are both names of war movies.)

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Which elements of John Romero's style are you incorporating into the maps?

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Unfortunately, Killing Fields just reminds me of Lost Episodes of Doom E1, by Chris Klie

Ironically, one of those shots even looks a bit like his E1M1

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The first three screens give me a nostalgia pang for Jaguar Doom

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Actually those remind me of Classic Episode, but with much less detail. Maybe it's the textures and E2 sky... Anyway, keep it up!

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Definitely looking like E2, good job (maybe except for the last screenshot).

PS: is that Hungry Horace in your avatar? Damn, I hadn't seen him in ages! :D

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Sometimes I crave "under"detailed maps, they feel very clean, open and true to Doom's intended lonely atmosphere. I'll give these a blast once you release a beta or the finished product, very nostalgic in appearance. (All Doomers are nostalgic, right?)

esselfortium said:

Which elements of John Romero's style are you incorporating into the maps?


Hopefully this means rooms with plenty of height variation and plenty of rounded areas too - The shots above seem pretty Romero-esque.

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heh there is an ugly lone red pixel on the E2 sky (look closely at the 3rd screenshot)

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Memfis said:

heh there is an ugly lone red pixel on the E2 sky (look closely at the 3rd screenshot)

I'm glad to hear someone else mention this, It's the stuck pixel of the Doom world. For some reason I noticed it even as a child.

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Thanks for the comments everyone! Since I co-designed E1M8 of the first Classic Episode, I guess you consider this an unofficial "Classic Episode 3" if you want :).

esselfortium said:

Which elements of John Romero's style are you incorporating into the maps?


I'm following all but one of the rules mentioned in the DTWID thread:

- Contrast between light and dark areas
- Recognisable landmarks
- Several secret areas per level
- Outside areas should always be accessible
- One or two areas per map will need to be revisited by the player
- Floor textures only change when the floor height changes
- Border textures used between different wall segments and doors
- Strict texture alignment

The one rule I'm not using is cramped areas, simply because I've come to prefer, more epic feeling spaces. There will be a few cramped spots, but not as many as in a typical Romero map.

Also, unlike DTWID I'm only attempting to mimic the "good" aspects of Romero's maps. For example, despite the last rule there are some pretty blatant texture misalignments in E1, which I'm not going to emulate in the Killing Fields.

In addition, I've added a few rules of my own:

- Contrast between flats and wall textures
- Plenty of height variation
- Oddly angled walls and few 90 degree corners
- Symmetry should be rare
- Non-keycard doors are only used for gameplay purposes
- Make sure to open up a couple of monster closets if the player is required to backtrack

I also have a couple of rules regarding the E2 theme:

- Texture usage should roughly match the level that's being replaced, e.g. STONEx in E2M1, and CEMENTx in E2M2
- Monsters and weapons should be introduced in the same level slot they were in E2 (with the possible exception of the plasma rifle)
- Levels should progressively become more and more hellish

Fernito said:

PS: is that Hungry Horace in your avatar? Damn, I hadn't seen him in ages! :D


Yes it is. One of the many 8-bit characters who's long overdue for a modern-day comeback, along with the likes of Sabreman and Dizzy :).

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Judging by the shots this does look good, I am sure the particular rules you're going by will make this a great episode.

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Looking good, NiGHTMARE. More classic goodness is always appreciated. :)

NiGHTMARE said:
The one rule I'm not using is cramped areas, simply because I've come to prefer, more epic feeling spaces. There will be a few cramped spots, but not as many as in a typical Romero map.

This is a nice idea, but at this point I'd like to point out that Doom monsters work best in close quarters. In large areas, such as the ones being displayed on your screenshots, the monsters will be easy to bypass, making them useless ( unless there are quite a lot of them at once ).

Wait and see, though. Good luck for this project. :)

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NiGHTMARE said:

- Monsters and weapons should be introduced in the same level slot they were in E2 (with the possible exception of the plasma rifle)

There's a plasma rifle in every level of vanilla E2.

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Except Tower of Babel of course :p

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Gez said:

There's a plasma rifle in every level of vanilla E2.


Exactly. I'll probably have the plasma rifle first appear in a secret in E2M4, and then as a non-secret in E2M5.

Come to think of it, I should probably also have a non-secret rocket launcher in E2M3, whereas in vanilla E2 you don't get a non-secret RL until E2M6.

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r_init: getpostnumberforname: post not found!

Edited by Justince

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I'm off on holiday to Miami for a couple of weeks, so I hope to get at least the first level complete on my notebook while chilling by the pool :).

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Looks cool. There could be some more (bigger) height variation in the floors.

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