(Z)MAPINFO for older notable WADs

Tue Aug 10, 2021 8:10 pm

Inspired by Nightfright's wonderful ZDoom Mapinfo Pack, I started looking for other such packs that added level names to older WADs (particularly the Top 100). For some WADs the packs were still active, for a few that don't seem to have an available copy anymore, and for most I could find no reference to anyone attempting them. So I started to make my own Mapinfo files; 4 months of curfew gave me a lot of free time in the evenings, and suddenly I find myself with a good 20 of them and counting. I was initially just making these for myself, but it would make more sense to share them with the community. Before I do though I have some questions and would appreciate suggestion/clarification on a few points:

1. Do people think there is much interest in this, having the "real" names on the automap and intermission rather than it defaulting to Doom's "Hangar" and "Entryway"? (the success of Nightfright's pack makes me think there is)

2. How do people think about additional changes being made? Nothing crazy, and nothing that I'm making up myself. Things like adding par times for AV, or the Demonfear story blurbs for each level as EXITTEXT in-game. Would you think that's nice or a colossal waste of time? What about making modifications to a later revision of a WAD to bring back something that was taken out (eg 2002 A Doom Odyssey, putting the cut level back as an E4M0, and/or putting back all the custom skies from V2 into the 10th Anniversary)

3. This is the one that I'd especially like clarification on. What do I need to look for in the "legal" section of a WAD to make sure I'm not breaking the authors' statements? I'm guessing a simple Mapinfo is always safe since I'm not making any modifications to the WAD itself and am not packaging any part of it. But what about putting back a cut level or a later-removed graphic lump? Most WADs' legalese says "You MAY distribute this file, provided you include this text file, with no
modifications" which I always read as no modifications to this text file, have I been completely missing the point for 27 years?
Related to the examples in #2, 2002's txt says "Authors MAY use the contents of this file as a base for modification or reuse" so I'd be just fine. But AV's says "Authors may NOT use these levels as a base to build additional levels"; I'm not using it as a base, I am taking it as-is, without any modification to the map, and it requires another version of AV to run. Is that ok, not-ok, or in some weirdo grey area?

Re: (Z)MAPINFO for older notable WADs

Wed Aug 11, 2021 12:38 am

Just writing a MAPINFO that does not take any content from the mod it's supposed to work with won't be a problem. The only thing you are essentially taking is the level names, but that's not really different from documenting these mods on doomwiki, for example.

Re: (Z)MAPINFO for older notable WADs

Fri Aug 13, 2021 9:41 pm

Thanks Graf. I guess the best thing to do then is just stick to MAPINFO and avoid other modifications, just to be safe.