I'm not sure if I'll be contributing to this project or not, but it got me thinking about Evilution maps I like, and that led me to analyzing John Wakelin's mapping style.
Wakelin only has one map in Evilution, MAP02: Human BBQ, and it is, at least in terms of what's in the archive, his only single player map. He did a number of DM wads, so I grabbed those and started looking into different design trends.
- First off, his first two offerings, lurker.wad and dblcross.wad are both heavy on rounded rooms connected by corridors. They're...not very good. This trend is all but gone in his later maps, which are much boxier, but also better interconnected.
- He seems to have mapped entirely off the grid for his early maps, including Human BBQ. Only doors, switches, some supports, and certain flats have any consistent widths to them. There's some attempt to align textures, but not much. It looks like auto-align may have been used in some areas.
- Despite being drawn without the grid, lines are still straight.
- Sector heights are typically multiples of eight. Light levels in early maps are random multiples of 10, but Human BBQ is using multiples of 16.
- Thing analysis is hard since he only made one SP map. His later DM wads do have monsters, but it's pretty clear they're not the focus of the wads. Human BBQ does have lots of extra weapons for DM, since that was obviously his preferred game type.
- SUPPORT3 is often aligned on supports so that it "wraps around" them rather than using more traditional alignment.
- Speaking of supports, the central building of Human BBQ and ow_ow.wad's courtyards have supports that don't touch the ground. It's a pretty unique piece of architecture and adds a "3D" feel to the buildings that they wouldn't have with normal supports, plus you don't get stuck on them in DM.
- Plenty of texture variation between areas. Brick textures seem to be his favorites, I think GSTONE1 appeared in every map and BRICK7 is common. He also seems to like the repetitive square gray textures, GRAY4 and ICKWALL2. The GRASS2 flat sees a lot of use.
- None of tnt.wad's custom textures are used in Human BBQ, it's all stock Doom 2.
- In some places, instead of using more traditional transitions like supports, dissimilar materials are connected by having a small "lip" of the material that's ending in front of the new one. There are some areas that don't bother with transitions at all.
- Levels tend to involve jumping gaps. In the DM wads, almost all of them require strafe running.
- Doors are only used to lock off areas, as monster closets, or to hide secrets in Human BBQ. Lifts are used infrequently in his maps.
- Two of Human BBQ's locked doors are S1 fast, so you get the "object" activation message instead of door. The exit door is a standard slow DR. The secret blue door is also a slow DR.
- Human BBQ makes use of a few simple rendering tricks, like self-referencing deep water and a door using a midtexture.
- Secrets in Human BBQ are marked with a one pixel vertical offset, including the secret blue door.
- A few maps have a gimmick feature: Human BBQ has its barbeque, ow_ow has a fake BFG (which is actually a door concealing the real BFG), gallows.wad has a gallow and hanging corpse. Other than these, there's not much in the way of gimmicky things or sector furniture in his maps. I guess the "hollow" walls in lurker.wad would also count - those don't appear in any later map.
Last edited by Dragonsbrethren on Apr 4 2014 at 08:58