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Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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Barry
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:05 am
   Subject: Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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What's your opinion on the importance of skill level when it comes to guard placement when making maps?

This is something I never used to take very seriously but am doing so in Wolfenstein Forever. The reason is that most people are probably not going to be playing on "Can I Play Daddy" or "Don't Hurt Me" and if they do, the guards do less damage on those skill levels than they do on the higher levels so even if all the guards come at them, it will still be easier. I tend to see skill level as a way of making a map easier for lower skilled players as opposed to more difficult for higher skilled players. "Default" to me is skill level 3. How big of a deal do you think this is and if you don't do it, is it justifiable or is it lazy mapmaking?

Nevertheless, I am taking this factor a lot more seriously in Wolf Forever.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:10 pm
   Subject: Re: Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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I tend to make most of my guards level 1, but the ones I add higher than that might be a stronger guard (so that the higher difficulties don't have a large number more guards, but they have a higher proportion of more difficult ones).
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:18 pm
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I try to have several guards put in for every skill level of the map. Those guards don't appear in every room, but there's usually at least ten total for each difficulty.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:36 pm
   Subject: Re: Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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AlumiuN wrote:
I tend to make most of my guards level 1, but the ones I add higher than that might be a stronger guard (so that the higher difficulties don't have a large number more guards, but they have a higher proportion of more difficult ones).


This is pretty much how I am doing it these days.

Keeping my core guards Level 1 will ensure that there aren't large areas of the level that are unguarded if the player does choose "Can I play Daddy" or "Don't Hurt Me", and that the player will encounter certain scenarios no matter what difficulty they play on. After that, I am adding higher level guards to supplement on the more difficult skill levels, focused in important areas like key or elevator rooms or central corridors.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:20 am
   Subject: Re: Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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The vanilla ID way works for me: around 2-2.5x more enemies on hardest vs. easiest.
Generally I like it when all skill levels are fun, Bring Em On is strategically challenging, and Death Incarnate is almost impossible.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:53 pm
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I tend to split the difficulty levels about evenly, so the difficulty escalates drastically as you ascend from Don't Hurt Me through Bring 'Em On and Death Incarnate. Generally in every encounter I have a couple of guards in the most important locations as skill 1 guards and then use skill 3 and 4 guards to flesh out the fight. I suppose this probably isn't the most creative way to handle difficulty levels but nobody has ever complained (maybe they all play on Death Incarnate?).

I really can't wait for a level editor that support's ECWolf's UWMF format, because then I'll be able to pick and choose exactly what skill levels every guard appears on and place multiple guards in the same tile, so the same tile might have a guard on skill 1, an officer on skill 3, and an SS on skill 4. This being only one of many cool things UWMF can do, and it's a damn shame I'm still stuck with the old binary format because ECWolf can already do this--all that's missing is an editor that can make maps in the new format.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:37 pm
   Subject: Re: Importance of skill level in mapmaking?
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Executor wrote:
I really can't wait for a level editor that support's ECWolf's UWMF format, because then I'll be able to pick and choose exactly what skill levels every guard appears on and place multiple guards in the same tile, so the same tile might have a guard on skill 1, an officer on skill 3, and an SS on skill 4. This being only one of many cool things UWMF can do, and it's a damn shame I'm still stuck with the old binary format because ECWolf can already do this--all that's missing is an editor that can make maps in the new format.


My editor was going to support stuff like this anyway, send me the spec and I'll get an extractor working (although I make no promises about how soon the editor will be out).
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:46 pm
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AlumiuN wrote:
Executor wrote:
I really can't wait for a level editor that support's ECWolf's UWMF format, because then I'll be able to pick and choose exactly what skill levels every guard appears on and place multiple guards in the same tile, so the same tile might have a guard on skill 1, an officer on skill 3, and an SS on skill 4. This being only one of many cool things UWMF can do, and it's a damn shame I'm still stuck with the old binary format because ECWolf can already do this--all that's missing is an editor that can make maps in the new format.


My editor was going to support stuff like this anyway, send me the spec and I'll get an extractor working (although I make no promises about how soon the editor will be out).


I don't have the spec but Blzut3 does and I just sent him an IM. I have to warn you though that it's structurally vastly different from the original map format--IIRC it's defined in ASCII text and resembles UDMF for Doom in many aspects.

Also does your editor maintain the typical 7x7/8x8/9x9, 16 color limit for tiles? That just needs to go away because it makes ECWolf projects with hundreds upon hundreds of textures a huge pain to create WDC/HWE definitions for. Ideally I'd like to be able to pull textures and sprites straight from an ECWolf pk3 file instead of creating tile images.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:57 pm
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AlumiuN wrote:
My editor was going to support stuff like this anyway, send me the spec and I'll get an extractor working (although I make no promises about how soon the editor will be out).

http://maniacsvault.net/ecwolf/wiki/Universal_Wolfenstein_Map_Format This page plus the linked Google Doc at the bottom should get you started.

One thing worth noting is that in the development version of ECWolf the thing types and trigger actions are changing to strings (with thing types being the class name and triggers using the function name). I recommend that you support the development version's way and not 1.3.3.

This thread may also be helpful.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:19 pm
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Executor wrote:
I don't have the spec but Blzut3 does and I just sent him an IM. I have to warn you though that it's structurally vastly different from the original map format--IIRC it's defined in ASCII text and resembles UDMF for Doom in many aspects.

Also does your editor maintain the typical 7x7/8x8/9x9, 16 color limit for tiles? That just needs to go away because it makes ECWolf projects with hundreds upon hundreds of textures a huge pain to create WDC/HWE definitions for. Ideally I'd like to be able to pull textures and sprites straight from an ECWolf pk3 file instead of creating tile images.


That's fine, and currently it maintains the standard layout of tiles in a single image, however they're 32-bit (transparency should work) and only required to be square and of uniform size, so I could probably have an option to import them from a pk3 file (which might be some more additional work, but probably not too hard).

Blzut3 wrote:
http://maniacsvault.net/ecwolf/wiki/Universal_Wolfenstein_Map_Format This page plus the linked Google Doc at the bottom should get you started.

One thing worth noting is that in the development version of ECWolf the thing types and trigger actions are changing to strings (with thing types being the class name and triggers using the function name). I recommend that you support the development version's way and not 1.3.3.

This thread may also be helpful.


Those are helpful, thanks. A lot of these features actually line up quite nicely with the features I was adding for my own format (binary, but vastly extended, and built similarly to the PNG spec to allow user extension easily).
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:01 pm
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I am currently balancing Atomprojekt with a 50/20/30 rule, meaning 50% of the total enemies are easy, 20% are medium, and 30% are hard. This is so that the player will have a considerably easier experience on 'Bring Em' On' compared to 'Death Incarnate'. These levels average around 200 enemies per level (some have well over that) so it's not like having only 50% of the total on easy will mean an action-free level.

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