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Doom Zone Design Challenge

User is offline   Sanek 

#1

I know that everybody's busy with current CBP and personal projects, but how about CBP with a challenge element thrown in?

I'd like to make a Doom-like map that'll be all about layout and that'll show'em that we can do a good map on their terms!

So here's the rules that compose the challenge:


* Limited tileset of only ~20 textures (except lighting and monitors) combined.

* Decorative sprites is not allowed.

* Using boxes for layout/design purposes is not allowed.

* Using doors is not allowed, unless it's closed by a keycard, one-way train or it's a secret area.

* No underwater areas or outdoor areas. Making outdoor areas as a sort of a unreachable background area or outside areas that's inclosed (like E1L3s outdoor areas) is allowed though.

* Cover as much of the extended grid of the editor as possible. That's the real challenge. I don't know if there's a chance to make it happen, but with saving lots of walls, sectors and sprites and having huge unreachable areas, at least there's a room for trying. These doom guys always brag about huge maps that they're making, so let's give'em the answer!



Speaking of design, since it'll be a Doom-inspired map, let's look at the original game's maps that kinda have the same Doom-ey feeling to it. E1L3-4-6 is the maps that IMO have that Doom vibe to it. But let's elaborate on that. Let's give this Doom-like map more atmosphere than these user WADs actually have! Imagine countless poorly-lit rooms and corridors with a blinding light that comes from a blue creamy sky of the unreachable sand-y areas. Combined with low ammo count, tough enemies like Enforcers and Battlelords waiting for you after every corner, this map will have the extremely tense atmosphere that you had only when you played Doom back then. Look at the screenshot to see what I mean.


Sure, I don't expect that everything will be as cool as I described to you. On one hand, we can make a fantastic piece of work, and you don't have to spend too much time on it, considering the lack of sprites, doors and so on. On the other hand, we may end up with a boring, dull map that have confusing layout, cookey-cutter areas (which we can literally copy all over map), take hours to complete and other guys'll be like - "and you spend your talent on this piece of crap?"

I need at least 3 men who'll accept the challenge. I'll make a hub area, with 3 areas being closed by 3 keycards. I also make the map's start area, just to set the template for everybody else. Perhaps there'll be a room for more people, to make routes for keycards and stuff.

I don't know if anybody's interested in such a project. I know that some of you thinking right now like "ugh, that's Sanek again and his dumb ideas". I khow that Duke3D mapping is more about "Build Porn" and authors' personal styles than everything else. But if you understand what I'm trying to make and have such ideas yourselves, please sign up and we'll make it. I'll start when at least 2 persons accept this challenge. If no one answers, I'll try to make it all by myself.

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User is offline   quakis 

#2

A community project with a key focus toward the layout and gameplay instead of visual design could be a welcome change of pace. Right now I'm swamped with enough projects to work on so the timing isn't great sadly, but I do have some thoughts you could elaborate on below:

View PostSanek, on 10 July 2020 - 02:01 PM, said:

* Limited tileset of only ~20 textures (except lighting and monitors) combined.
[...]
* Cover as much of the extended grid of the editor as possible.
[...]
These doom guys always brag about huge maps that they're making, so let's give'em the answer!

Is that a limited tileset for the entire scope of the map? If so I'm worried that won't mesh too well regarding the second point if you're aiming at scale for the sake of scale. Having a diverse tileset for a large level would help to distinguish each zone, break up the monotony and provide players a clear frame of reference.

You don't necessarily need to follow through with this but from my perspective based on the listed restrictions, rather than aim for a singular monstrosity I feel individual bite-sized levels might be an appealing alternative while following the same goals of the project. The tileset limitation in particular might be more suitable as a result. Focus remains geared toward layout and gameplay with opportunities to exploit particular styles of gameplay or gimmicks. Again, this is simply based on my own tastes as many of my favourite Doom releases follow this recipe.

View PostSanek, on 10 July 2020 - 02:01 PM, said:

* Decorative sprites is not allowed.

I'm curious, since Doom itself uses decorative sprites from hanging corpses to candlebras. PWADs also make clever utility from middle-textures to fake visual geometry similar to simple spritework. Out of interest, what's the reasoning here?

View PostSanek, on 10 July 2020 - 02:01 PM, said:

* Using boxes for layout/design purposes is not allowed.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the context based off your example screenshot, could you elaborate on what you're trying to restrict here?


Also a word of advice Sanek; Please cut down on the negative tone in your posts as it feels discouraging to have interest and saps out the potential positive energy for a project - especially should you be taking the role of project lead. Keep your chin up regardless of the outcome.
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User is offline   Sanek 

#3

Thanks for reply, quakis!


View Postquakis, on 12 July 2020 - 08:15 AM, said:

Is that a limited tileset for the entire scope of the map? If so I'm worried that won't mesh too well regarding the second point if you're aiming at scale for the sake of scale. Having a diverse tileset for a large level would help to distinguish each zone, break up the monotony and provide players a clear frame of reference.

Yes, the same tileset for entire map. I must say that I don't feel so hot about mega-sized map after really thinking about it, so...considering where things go, size of the map really doesn't matter...


View Postquakis, on 12 July 2020 - 08:15 AM, said:

You don't necessarily need to follow through with this but from my perspective based on the listed restrictions, rather than aim for a singular monstrosity I feel individual bite-sized levels might be an appealing alternative while following the same goals of the project.

It's a good idea, but I think that making a single map would be more interesting than making the barebones map pack. Besides, seeing the same tileset map after map will make the monotonous expierence, which won't be the case with a single map that have chance to stand out because of it's layout.

View Postquakis, on 12 July 2020 - 08:15 AM, said:

I'm curious, since Doom itself uses decorative sprites from hanging corpses to candlebras. PWADs also make clever utility from middle-textures to fake visual geometry similar to simple spritework. Out of interest, what's the reasoning here?

The main reason for this limitation is because of Duke's huge (compared to Dooms and like) tileset, which allows players to make sprite-based things like chairs etc. Besides, when you look at the original Doom maps, there's very little sprites lying around, and for the most part they don't have a huge impact on the level itself.


View Postquakis, on 12 July 2020 - 08:15 AM, said:

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the context based off your example screenshot, could you elaborate on what you're trying to restrict here?

I mean crates, boxes, squares that you can fill the area with.


View Postquakis, on 12 July 2020 - 08:15 AM, said:

Also a word of advice Sanek; Please cut down on the negative tone in your posts as it feels discouraging to have interest and saps out the potential positive energy for a project - especially should you be taking the role of project lead. Keep your chin up regardless of the outcome.


I have such tone because I had countless tries to gather people for one project or another and not getting anywhere. Idk, maybe my ideas is not shared by anybody or my personality turns people off.

Anyway, it looks like nobody's interested in this collaboration atm. I'll try to make the hub area and my part of the map anyway, hoping that somebody else shows up. Unless I'll become more involved with my personal map, I'll just keep going the concept.
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User is online   Ninety-Six 

#4

I wish I could help (between my zero experience and current computer troubles that prevent me from learning), but for whatever it's worth I'm interested in playing it.

This post has been edited by Ninety-Six: 12 July 2020 - 02:13 PM

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User is offline   quakis 

#5

Thanks for elaborating Sanek, that clears pretty much everything I had in mind.

View PostSanek, on 12 July 2020 - 01:55 PM, said:

Besides, seeing the same tileset map after map will make the monotonous expierence

Potentially, but I have faith the mappers in this community could do amazing things with only 20 textures. I'm reminded of 50Shades, a Doom community project I contributed toward. We only had 4 textures to work with, but I'd say everyone did well enough to set their levels apart by their layout and gameplay alone (if you don't mind the slaughter style in its later half of course). But I'll respect your decision here and say no more on the matter.
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#6

Honestly, some of these should be the norm.

Decorative sprites (including fake doors) rarely have any meaning in maps unless you can do something with them or when they really belong to the map's main narrative. Boxes can make up stuff, but it should look very good, original and should have a meaning. Most usermaps use box layouts but they almost always look bad.

Keycards should serve as a purpose to separate the different parts of the maps (ie. indoors and outdoors, or areas with different monster types or different texturing or different narrative of something), not to drag the playtime unnecessarily long. Buttons shouldn't serve as keycards, they should open doors that are nearby. The way Stephen Cole handled this in Shadow Warrior was appalling, and should be avoided at all costs.

Texture set should be limited, like in the original maps. Texturing should make maps more recognisable, the more stuff you throw in, the less result you get. The same goes for monster variety. Said million times, but I still say: let's look at the original maps, how they placed the monsters, particularly Blum.

Backtracking should be limited, and so do non-linearity. A perfect balance can be seen in No Rest for the Living: you always go forwards, always know where to go next, but you revisit previous areas from different angles. When there is backtracking, there should be a secret route to your next room.

Honestly I'm not a big fan of CBPs, especially when it has weird rules like "build your part in 20 minutes". Mapping should be a work of art and talents (there are some here) should think twice what they add to their maps. Levelord said a good map needs 2 months of work with the current tools. I actually concur with him.
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#7

What I don't understand in your restriction is the ban of outdoors except for unreachable areas. No, fuck no. Unreachable areas are the biggest BS in Duke mapping. You can include any outdoors, but only if you can reach that place.

Also the segments shouldn't be too big. Typical Doom mapping error is to extend a type of place too long (played Ancient Aliens, I know what I'm talking about). Big maps are fine, but those should change their tone, narrative (inside a bigger narrative) a few times, don't let the player to die in tedium.
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User is offline   ck3D 

#8

Did you keep working on this hub, Sanek?

I think this is a good initiative, hopefully people will pick up on it and start displaying interest. I think the reason why they haven't so far is because there's so little to see and the rules are still being elaborated and questioned, but it shouldn't sink. It could be a good idea to address the points above, and maybe for now to keep working on the map as you see it, and leave it open to whoever wants to add to it to work with you as the progress goes. I'm sure a lot of people are scared to commit but wouldn't mind peppering a few areas here and there given the opportunity. Maybe you could regularly document your progress on the map with screenshots of the latest additions (à la Zaxtor), at no self-imposed pace to keep things organic, and depending on how inspired the people on here can be from those previews they could ask to participate and leave their mark or reinterpret existing stuff. That would be quite a modern way to conduct a CBP, pretty much in real time treating this thread like some type of social media feed. Could make for something different too, I don't know - just a random idea.

For instance I know I wouldn't be against participating to the map at all, but the timing would have to be perfectly right for me able to do so - say, sometime later during the process, I'm seeing new screenshots pop up that inspire me and I happen to have taken a few days off, then I could ask for the map and/or build for it on the side something that wouldn't be too ambitious for me. A lot less restrictive than the usual process with rigid signing up and whatnot. I'm just sitting here and now thinking it could be refreshing of a format to play with the rules of interaction too, so that this project has better chances at taking off instead of laying dormant.

This post has been edited by ck3D: 26 July 2020 - 03:56 AM

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