While my unfortunate compatriots were forced to contend with less renowned designers in the community such as Alm, Veken and Natural Tvventy, I found myself with a mouth-watering challenge in the illustrious Jim Bagrow -- he of Realm of Chaos's maps 04, 14 and 16.
Truly the finest levels in the set.
It is widely understood that Realm of Chaos was the only mapset to showcase the brilliance of Jim's work, but what is less understood is the reason behind this lack of a portfolio, which was not as was deemed at the time due to a lack of will or gumption. The powers that ruled were simply not prepared to realise the radical nature of his mapping style for the general public, who doomed his Realm of Chaos to a paltry show of downloads for his unconventional excellence.
Now, however, during what can only be described as the community's worst artistic drought in map making history, his grand, ineffable talent can be recommitted to the screen via the hand of a suitable admirer.
You would be hard pressed to find a better opportunity to test your mapping mettle, and through Bagrow I have found that opprtunity. Thank you esselfortium and Seele00TextOnly for making this dream a reality.
- Beautiful, seamless layouts
The orthogonal nature of Bagrow's design suggests a more typical approach in layouts rife with loopless ends and blocky offshoots, but this belies a deeper, inner beauty. The areas in his maps appear strung together in a loose and non-overlapping manner, relying intelligently on the player's sense of wonderment in progression and adventure to steal him to the next area and oggle at its unique establishment. Backtracking is an element employed strategically as a means to satisfy a known objective, and mazes, the choice in layout so dear to Bagrow's heart, is used principally to startle and pressure the player. The results are effective immediately, and devestating to boot.
- Dynamic, energetic effects
Everything flashes and glows in orchestrated fashion. Critics have called this a cheap attempt to liven the map at the expense of sensible visuals, but they know nothing.
- Convention breaking standards in design
Damaging liquids are frequently safe to walk on in Bagrow's maps, forcing the player to second guess what he knows about the world of Doom. What is real? Can it be trusted? Will this door open upon my command, or will I have to find a switch to open it? Will it even open at all? These are just some of the questions you will find yourself asking in a map that's sure to beat the boundaries of what passes for grand design in today's confused but lucrative art form.
Bagrow is the leading level designer in evocative, heart stopping gameplay, and these are the hallmarks of his genius.