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History of Custom Mapping?  "I'm looking for a comprehensive history of Duke 3D user maps."

User is online   Adamast0r 

#1

Doom's got Roots: The evolution of Doom level design by NotJabba, and Quake's got My linkThe Lingering Legacy of id Software’s Quake:A Glimpse Into Thirteen Years Of Darkness by Tronyn.

As for the King, I've only found review sites with a rating system that, usually, differ from each other. Therefore, I'm just curious as to the existence of a document similar to the ones mentioned above, or at least some kind of community based list of the "best" or most influential custom maps ever made for Duke 3D.
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User is online   MrFlibble 

#2

I have never come across one. It would certainly be a good thing to piece the history of Duke mapping together, but that task seems to require quite a lot of time and effort to execute properly.

I believe Build engine games differ from Doom at least because many, including Duke3D, came with a dedicated level editor out of the box. This appears to imply that possibly, a lot more users had the opportunity to play around with mapping compared to the first players of Doom but many of these efforts likely never found their way online.
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User is online   Adamast0r 

#3

View PostMrFlibble, on 10 June 2021 - 07:03 AM, said:

I have never come across one. It would certainly be a good thing to piece the history of Duke mapping together, but that task seems to require quite a lot of time and effort to execute properly.

I believe Build engine games differ from Doom at least because many, including Duke3D, came with a dedicated level editor out of the box. This appears to imply that possibly, a lot more users had the opportunity to play around with mapping compared to the first players of Doom but many of these efforts likely never found their way online.

I guess so. That must have had a huge influence in custom mapping, and maybe resulted in more "amateur" like efforts when compared to id's releases (although those had their fair share of amateur stuff as well).

I was just interested in finding that type of list. Something that highlighted important works and authors, different eras of theme, or aesthetics, the greatest technical achievments, etc.

I guess the closest we can get are, indeed, the review sites, which have gone to great lengths to ensure this legacy is know to veterans and newcomers alike.
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User is online   ck3D 

#4

^ On a lot of those websites, too, you can choose to sort all the maps by release date, which is especially interesting in the case of a platform like MSDN that's been around for now decades and always updated 'in real time'. There you can see not just the evolution in mapping and recognize certain movements trending during this or that era, but also of the criticism each map was getting at the time (which can be funny sometimes, context is important in art and its presentation and you can see that influence of the flavor of the month on reviews in some way or another, occasionally - especially in retrospect). Puritan's Come Get Some has been around for a while too now, and DN-R was another interesting place to frequent that died 10+ years ago and now exists as a sort of weird time capsule. Researching Duke 3D maps, it's not that uncommon to run into random old websites from the 90's that somehow never went down (think Geocities/Angelfire-style) and those are also some intriguing fossils. There's no intellectualized and centralized study for that stuff that I can think of right now, but the clues are quite easy to pick up if one wants to bother.

The closest thing akin to a more in-depth, 'academic' study of Duke 3D mapping these days would be MetHy's recent works on interviews with longtime Build enthusiasts, I'd say. That's a cool niche to exploit and I would love to see the initiative grow and expand. And then of course you have this website and forum where people obsess over and discuss user mapping and its history all the damn time (that takes keeping up with discussions vs. relying on articles, but at the end of the day it's even more informative).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 10 June 2021 - 09:03 AM

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User is online   Adamast0r 

#5

View Postck3D, on 10 June 2021 - 09:00 AM, said:

The closest thing akin to a more in-depth, 'academic' study of Duke 3D mapping these days would be MetHy's recent works on interviews with longtime Build enthusiasts, I'd say. That's a cool niche to exploit and I would love to see the initiative grow and expand. And then of course you have this website and forum where people obsess over and discuss user mapping and its history all the damn time (that takes keeping up with discussions vs. relying on articles, but at the end of the day it's even more informative).

That's great, ck3D. I think it really is one's best bet to try and gather some sense out of all the Landmarks, so to speak, of Duke 3D's custom maps that were, and are currently being, made. It just takes a little more e-arquelogy/ work to make a comprehensive list and keep up-to-date.
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User is online   ck3D 

#6

Totally; you know, in the end, regardless of the relative disorganization when it comes to long term, anyone with a specific interest, inquiry or general aspect of mapping they would like to discuss can easily start a thread on here, the community is generally receptive and enthusiastic about those discussions and at the end of the day, those lists sort of end up writing themselves. I see a lot of threads on here that could easily qualify as collaborative articles, just given that formal presentation. I would too love seeing more structure, up-to-date documentation, elaborate text-based content and perhaps more focus on the 'social' aspect of Duke 3D mapping throughout history as well (for the lack of a better term), but that's essentially a full-time enterprise to first establish and then keep running - the job of a magazine editor.

Honestly, just the current, high number of people still contributing to the community with their work and/or online support for free in 2021 is great in the first place and makes for the full half of the glass, so to speak; most of it really is hobbyists and artists who are already quite busy contributing their own way, to the point where one couldn't realistically ask them for much more right now (but it's great to fuel that vision still). If the transmission of information for posterity is a concern, I'm not too worried about the renewal of generations of mappers at all, especially since eDuke32/Mapster32 keeps simplifying everything overly technical all the while gaining traction since World Tour and Ion Fury, always making Duke 3D user mapping more visible and accessible, and we're in an era where people will make YouTube videos and social media posts out of everything, I feel like the relay is assured. I'm actually seeing more and more not just current projects, but also new Duke websites and YouTube videos/channels regularly pop up these days, so I'm sure the lack of organization is just a matter of time for a community that was always smaller than Doom's and thus needed more time to structure itself.

On a side note, I'm sure the Duke 3D Map & Dod Mod of the Month thread on here will pick up and spontaneously explore the history of mapping you seem interested in. It's still fresh and started out with one of the most popular series (Roch) which the longtime community members may or may not find a bit redundant to discuss at this point, but it's a good and easy start (and so not an unwise choice).

This post has been edited by ck3D: 10 June 2021 - 01:00 PM

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User is online   Adamast0r 

#7

View Postck3D, on 10 June 2021 - 12:57 PM, said:

Honestly, just the current, high number of people still contributing to the community with their work and/or online support for free in 2021 is great in the first place and makes for the full half of the glass, so to speak; most of it really is hobbyists and artists who are already quite busy contributing their own way, to the point where one couldn't realistically ask them for much more right now (but it's great to fuel that vision still).

I completely agree with you.The greatest virtue of this community is it's perseverence that resulted in such astounding longevity (both creative as well as temporal). There's a huge variety of quality stuff that has come out and, hopefully, will continue to do so by the look of things.

View Postck3D, on 10 June 2021 - 12:57 PM, said:

On a side note, I'm sure the Duke 3D Map & Dod Mod of the Month thread on here will pick up and spontaneously explore the history of mapping you seem interested in. It's still fresh and started out with one of the most popular series (Roch) which the longtime community members may or may not find a bit redundant to discuss at this point, but it's a good and easy start (and so not an unwise choice).

Thanks a lot, ck3D. Those are great suggestions and I'll try and keep an eye out for them.
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