Secrets Within (My First Mapset)

I honestly didn't think they were that bad, I actually liked them.

The only thing I could recommend is just adding a bit more detail too your maps and making the Cyberdemons in MAP03 a bit more threatening, but really, I thought they were good.

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I see some potential, these are your first maps.
Basic tips:
The doortrak textures shouldn't raise with the door, you can set lower unpegged to those linedefs, it's easy and you get accostumed.
In level 2 it was easy for me to grab the blue skullkey and escape to the teleport running without getting hurt by the monster horde, you could try to create a more difficult way for getting out form that area, like forcing the player to press some switches in that cave to get the way out.
For better looking you can use support textures between different textures or lites in the case of techbases
try to prevent doors openning in the sky (map03), if the room isn't tall enough you can use lifts door like, or a shortish door. this is for realistic aesthetics only.
I hope this helps, take a look to the iwads maps design to learn the good and basic stuff. good luck!

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Nice first effort—I enjoy seeing how people approach mapping when they first start out. I'll start out by saying that it's pretty evident that you're new to mapping, judging from the size, shape of the room, and layout of enemies. Here are some pointers:

Put block monster lines around certain teleports. For the first map the specters frequently hop into one and crowd the player from the narrow walkway which can be frustrating as there's not much SG ammo to deal with them (I wouldn't put specters in the pit anyway since it's a damaging sector so falling down there is punishment enough). Also for the second map the archvile can sometimes walk backwards into the tele and due to the way the rooms are positioned, he'll walk backwards behind a nice flank of baddies with no cover in sight which can lead to a very frustrating fight if you go in to chase after him.

Think about which enemies the player will actually battle. For the big red pit in MAP02 and all of MAP03, it's entirely possible and actually easier to play these pacifist and just grab the key and go. Creating something that forces the player to stop and battle, like a climb back up for MAP02 or a lift that must be activated to get the key in MAP03 will ensure that your enemies remain threatening rather than obstacles meant to be skipped.

Try not to bunch ammo up together but instead spread it out, forcing the player to move around more to pick up the munitions (like in the previously mentioned MAP02 red room and MAP03).

What I did like out of the maps is that it you added personality to the rooms with detail and texturing (like the ASHWALL rubble in MAP01, although that should probably be 3-4 pixels high instead of 8 personally). That and you were trying to balance your maps it seems. If you keep at it, you could produce some interesting creations.

Oh, and if you want more people to play your maps, try to at least post a picture.

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For one's first mapping efforts, pretty good!

Most beginner's work suffers from being bland. Your maps however, except for maybe MAP03, were not bland. Even some interesting architecture could be found there. MAP01 starts promising and keeps it. Such very large and open halls like the one in your MAP02 tend to end up plain, ugly and boring, but I actually enjoyed the yours, because you've detailed/varied it just enough for a non-ugly look, and used the right monsters.

I like the balance of the first level - I exited with no shells and 52 bullets, so it was like if I was starting MAP02 with just basic inventory (+weapons). That's great. The other maps make you quite overstocked though. But in your particular maps I didn't find it a bad issue.

Gameplay is satisfying and culminates at MAP02. I have to say, I actually like how your monsters can travel through teleporter. That adds a bit of an extra dimension to the gameplay I'd say, and makes the gameplay less scripted, which is good. Fights in both MAP01 and 2 are enjoyable. MAP03 still is, but the map feels like a bit of a stepdown.

My suggestions would be:

  • Don't EVER make inescapable pits, ALWAYS make a way out (MAP03). Inescapable pits are generally considered annoying.
  • Learn how the "Lower Unpegged"/"Upper Unpegged" linedef flags work. They have various usages to make your map look better. For example, if you're making doors, you set "Lower Unpegged" flag to the side "tracks" of the door.
  • Don't fall from your standards. MAP01 was clearly best crafted, visually. MAP02 was good, but it seemed you've slacken off at times and just wanted to finish it quickly without much thought and effort. MAP03 is like the worst of MAP02, like if you let your creative enthusiasm run away with you and wanted to have a map finished soon. It's actually a good advice (which I didn't invent), to have your standards and don't go under them.
And be aware of bugs. In MAP01 you apparently have an unclosed sector. Notice the weird shadows on floor:
http://i.imgur.com/QClkZna.png
http://i.imgur.com/S0G42IP.png
It's a bug resulting from uncareful deletion of linedefs between sectors. You fix it by redrawing surrounding sectors (going to sector mode vertices mode and drawing all the sectors again over the old ones). To prevent these bugs, always "join" or "merge" sectors before you delete linedefs between them. Doombuilder has functions "Join" and "Merge" under the Sector tab when you're in Sector mode.

Also for the next time, state for which sourceport your maps are. These maps work only in ZDoom. Posting a few screenshots would be nice too, I recommend you to create an account at http://imgur.com/ to be able to upload and share pictures.

Once again, your start to mapping is very promising, just keep up the good work. :)

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Thank you guys so much for your feedback so far.

"nicolas monti"
try to prevent doors openning in the sky (map03)


Did not see that, Thanks for pointing that out!

"dobugabumaru"
Try not to bunch ammo up together but instead spread it out


You're right i might just spread it around a but.

"scifista42"
Don't fall from your standards. MAP01 was clearly best crafted, visually. MAP02 was good, but it seemed you've slacken off at times and just wanted to finish it quickly without much thought and effort. MAP03 is like the worst of MAP02, like if you let your creative enthusiasm run away with you and wanted to have a map finished soon. It's actually a good advice (which I didn't invent), to have your standards and don't go under them.


Very True! maybe it's because i'm just horrible at making arena type levels, i should really and that's why it had a drop in quality.

The "I Wanna Release this as soon as possible" mentality was also a huge factor in the dip in quality.

------------------------------------------------------------
I'll release a revised version of this wad with all thse suggestions in mind.

again thank you guys.

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Solid first set. Things I liked:

-The AV fight with a teleport instead of cover to hide in. In fact I think I'm going to steal this idea ;)
-The visual layout of the "rocky" areas: ashwall stuff in MAP01, and the red walls in MAP02, mainly. They were low on detail but still effective enough at feeling cavey.
-Rubble in MAP01 with the Hell Knight. Again, could have been more detailed but it gets the job done and is vastly more interesting than just a plain room.
-Chaingunner alcoves in MAP02.
-Music choice.

Things I didn't like so much:
-Cyberdemon cluster boss fight = circle-strafe for a few minutes while holding down LMB. Not hard just tedious. As one idea, having a more treacherous and windy path (with exits to get out of the pit) would have been much harder and interesting.
-Everything was just a bit short and simple, but as it's your first map set, it's understandable.
-Weird HOM on MAP02, on the mini-stairs coming out of the lava. Some other visual errors.

Scifista42's advice about not going below your standards is excellent and something I will have to keep in mind as I start on my first "serious" map.

edit: any reason for making it a ZDoom map? Not that I care since I use GZDoom normally, I'm just curious.

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Here's the revised version

changes:
- Sectors have been closed
- Ammo has been spread around
- Map 2 now requires you to lower a lift to get the key
- Map 3's layout is more treacherous, circle strafing is tricky.
- Map 3 is now a bit more rocky looking
- only two Cyberdemons on HMP and ITYTD
- The lava area in Map 2 now has a lift instead of stairs.

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?gom1g3drgb0p024

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Sectors have been closed
Looks good to me.

Ammo has been spread around
Also good.

Map 2 now requires you to lower a lift to get the key
Don't know that this does anything in terms of gameplay.
dobugabumaru's point about the key is that the area is wide enough that a player can just run in, get the key, and run out, without killing anything around there. The way this lift is implemented just means the player has to run around for another few seconds. It's better, but it doesn't really fix the problem.

Map 3's layout is more treacherous, circle strafing is tricky.
Pretty good. The optimal strategy now seems like it's standing in the widest area and dodging back and forth, which is still not that hard but more risky than constant circling on the old map. It also makes the runaround waiting for the Barons to die more dangerous.

Map 3 is now a bit more rocky looking
Good enough I think, it fits the detail of the rest of the level.

only two Cyberdemons on HMP and ITYTD
Fair trade for the path changes.

The lava area in Map 2 now has a lift instead of stairs.
Don't know that this was needed, I think the HOM was probably from missing textures. But whatever, it works fine.

Sadly the Arch-vile didn't teleport on me this time around which made that fight a bit easier, oh well.

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I've played the updated version and for me the little changes helped a lot, because things like unpegged door sides are sort of stigma (I've seen unpegged doors in kama-sutra though, needless to say that mapset rocks).
map03 look visually improved, I think you have a strong criteria when combining textures and flats, I mean your maps look fine.
two things that are entirely optional (these are your maps and you do whatever you want)
1 - in map02 I'd put a switch on the other side of the cave to lower the blue skullkey sector, just for adding combat.
2 - I've seen players complaining about the lack of exit signs in many threads, in map02 and map03 the sky teleport is obvious but in map01 the teleport pad is not that obvious, you could add an exit sign if you want, making a sector of 8x32 units and making a label.
It was nice replaying this and finding detail I overlooked the first time.
good stuff, keep mapping!

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