Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

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Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby insightguy » Thu May 17, 2018 9:38 pm

Just something I thought up due to the simple fact that there are some habits out there that just kill a map, mod or a combination of both, I just wanted a small repository of general nitpics

Spoiler:


EDITED FROM COMMENTS

For mappers
  • Make sure there's enough firepower for someone to finish the level even if their aim is far from perfect and they don't find any of the secrets. [Edited by Matt]
  • Ensure the player cannot reach an impossible place or get stuck in geometry through crouching or jumping. This is best practice and preferred over simply disabling crouch or jump because relying on those things leaves you with all sorts of little barriers that break suspension of disbelief ("okay so I can run faster than a cheetah and punch a guy (who weighs about as much as me) across a room, but I can't climb over this 3' rock to take this perfectly sensible-looking shortcut to the goal")
    [Edited by Matt]
  • If you want to do a death restart, use ResetInventory in MAPINFO as to not break things.
  • Use Named Scripts if you must use ACS [Edited by Matt]
  • A single properly texture-aligned wall is worth a hundred little bits of sector geometry detailing. [Added by Matt]
  • Use low lighting and soft pulsating strobes. Engage claustrophobia. Plop down a corpse before an ambushy door. [Added by leileilol]
  • Choose your music and ambience accordingly! [Added by Reactor]
  • Have fun and enjoy what you're doing. [Added by TerminusEst13]


for modders
  • Ensure that anything that drops ammo in vanilla still drops ammo in your mod such that it would be usable in an analogous situation. [Edited by Matt]
  • Make sure that actors can fit in places they are typically found in. [Added by Matt]
  • "timing your clicks for a faster fire-rate" is annoying for a lot of people, add an option to either allow the weapon to fire again at the next click or holding down the button refires the gun [Edited by Matt]
  • Ensure that replacement weapons can, at least with some imagination, still fulfill the needs addressed by the original weapon (If you give me a single-shot rifle on a chaingun spawn it'd better hit hard enough to obviate any need to painlock trash mobs) [Edited by Matt]
  • If you typically use one kind of button to do something else (e.g., Reload throw knives), add it to a custom options menu for your mod even if it's technically not a new custom key, and label it accordingly. [Edited by Matt]
  • To the extent that it is reasonable to code the effect in ZScript, MAPINFO, etc., don't use ACS [Edited by Matt]
  • Don't spawn actors if you don't have to. Learn ZScript, not the crazy hacks we had to do before ZScript. [Edited by Matt]
  • Have fun and enjoy what you're doing. [Added by TerminusEst13]

feel free to add or criticize
Last edited by insightguy on Mon May 21, 2018 10:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby wildweasel » Thu May 17, 2018 10:38 pm

A lot of this is pretty subjective, especially the refire thing.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby TerminusEst13 » Fri May 18, 2018 3:56 am

- Have fun and enjoy what you're doing. :)
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby insightguy » Fri May 18, 2018 4:24 am

wildweasel wrote:A lot of this is pretty subjective, especially the refire thing.

Yeah, I'll probably remove that. This is more a list of suggestions rather than demands

TerminusEst13 wrote:- Have fun and enjoy what you're doing. :)

Fun? In Doom? Please, next you'll be telling me that you can just update your mods whenever you want! :P
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby Mikk- » Fri May 18, 2018 10:49 am

Numbered scripts in maps? psh - It's 100x more convenient to use named scripts which are much more descriptive than using arbitrary numbers.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby ramon.dexter » Sat May 19, 2018 1:23 am

Disable jumping? Why? Make a reason...
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby leileilol » Sat May 19, 2018 7:31 am

Use low lighting and soft pulsating strobes. Engage claustrophobia. Plop down a corpse before an ambushy door. That's the commandment of a doom mooder mapper
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby insightguy » Sun May 20, 2018 10:33 am

ramon.dexter wrote:Disable jumping? Why? Make a reason...

Some maps are made in such a way that jumping will break them, some people forget to disable it in their maps.

leileilol wrote:Use low lighting and soft pulsating strobes.


Isin't this more doom 64 than classic doom? Either way, good for the feeling of dread
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby Reactor » Sun May 20, 2018 8:35 pm

Disable jumping may not be a dumb idea at all, if the layout and the environment is able to support the different conditions. Remember the game Skyroads? Difficult as fuck, but so entertaining! Each level has a specific grav-o-meter setting, which greatly effects jumpin' around those blocks. Set the grav-o-meter low, and you can jump higher than a house. Set the grav-o-meter too high, and you can't jump at all! It was a very tough level to finish, but it did offer some nice variety.

Some other maps can be also damn great, if you actually enable higher jumping, like on the Moon. I remember I had so much fun in Half-life during the Xen levels in that low gravity environment...
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby Matt » Mon May 21, 2018 7:14 pm

For mappers
  • Ensure that maps have a shotgun or chaingun spawn if you want to give the player a shotgun or chaingun and not rely on shotgunners or chaingunners.
    Make sure there's enough firepower for someone to finish the level even if their aim is far from perfect and they don't find any of the secrets.
  • Make sure that actors can fit in places they are in. [this seems to go without saying for a mapper]
  • Ensure to enable or disable jumping if need be, jumping is assumed to be allowed by default.
    Ensure the player cannot reach an impossible place or get stuck in geometry through crouching or jumping. This is best practice and preferred over simply disabling crouch or jump because relying on those things leaves you with all sorts of little barriers that break suspension of disbelief ("okay so I can run faster than a cheetah and punch a guy (who weighs about as much as me) across a room, but I can't climb over this 3' rock to take this perfectly sensible-looking shortcut to the goal")
  • If you want to do a death restart, use ResetInventory in MAPINFO as to not break things.
  • Use NumberedNamed Scripts if you must use ACS
  • A single properly texture-aligned wall is worth a hundred little bits of sector geometry detailing.


for modders
  • Ensure that shotguners and chaingunners replacements drop shotguns and chainguns respectively anything that drops ammo in vanilla still drops ammo in your mod such that it would be usable in an analogous situation.
  • Make sure that actors can fit in places they are typically found in.
  • "timing your clicks for a faster fire-rate" is annoying for a lot of people, add an option to either allow the weapon to fire again at the next click or holding down the button refires the gun
  • Ensure that replacement weapons can, at least with some imagination, still fulfill the role of needs addressed by the original weapon (Don't If you give me a single-shot rifle on a chaingun spawn it'd better hit hard enough to obviate any need to painlock trash mobs)
  • Change the text in options if you made any button do something different from the original name (if reload throws knives, then tell me in the options) If you typically use one kind of button to do something else (e.g., Reload throw knives), add it to a custom options menu for your mod even if it's technically not a new custom key, and label it accordingly.
  • Use Named Scripts if you must To the extent that it is reasonable to code the effect in ZScript, MAPINFO, etc., don't use ACS
  • Don't spawn actors if you don't have to. Learn ZScript, not the crazy hacks we had to do before ZScript.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby insightguy » Mon May 21, 2018 8:39 pm

Matt wrote:Stuff

Now this is the kind of criticism I'm looking for! Thanks!
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby Reactor » Mon May 21, 2018 8:42 pm

I would also like to add that choose your music and ambience accordingly! May sound self-explainatory, but many games suffer from not having an relevant music or ambience for that particular scenario they are used in. I know, this is only nitpicking, as music & sounds don't affect the actual gameplay very much, but they do add a lot to the atmosphere.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby insightguy » Mon May 21, 2018 10:59 pm

Updated the OP accordingly.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby m8f » Sun May 27, 2018 3:55 am

I'd like to add a couple of points. It is more for modders, but applies to mappers as well:
- explicitly state if your work can be modified and redistributed or not. This will prevent confusion and unnecessary permission requests.
- if you can, allow modifying and redistributing your work, at least some parts. This helps your project to live longer, allows maintenance fixes, and may save time for other people who won't have to do the same things again.
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Re: Commandments of a doom mooder/mapper

Postby NeuralStunner » Sun May 27, 2018 8:56 pm

Something I heard a long time ago is "make something you'd enjoy playing." (This is probably why I almost never make Doom maps. :v ) Or to rephrase:
TerminusEst13 wrote:- Have fun and enjoy what you're doing. :)


If I were going to set any outright rule, it would be "do your research". Play some good maps, play some mediocre maps, play some bad maps. Read some guides if you need more direction. Overall, experience is going to be the best teacher. Basically, assume the first few (or several) things you make are not going to be amazing, but you can get there if you keep at it.
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