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What makes a room a room?
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serpens
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 6:16 am
   Subject: What makes a room a room?
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When thinking about Wolfenstein 3D mapping nowadays, I cannot escape the question of what exactly makes a room a room. How do you define, describe a room? This conundrum has been taking its toll on my mind for months now. Logically speaking, there are a few characteristics that a room should have and I'm going to discuss each of them below.

1. Its borders should be clearly delineated by architectural features, i.e. walls. But is it only walls? What about an area surrounded partially by walls and partially by static objects, or even solely by static objects? Is a static object maze in fact a room within a room?

2. It should have a single floor code. That's in theory at least, but in practice you have plenty of examples of areas that have the same floorcode yet could easily be considered separate rooms, like man room/secret room combination, or two areas separated by static objects like columns. The boundary appears to be highly blurred here.

3. A door. I just think a room should have a door, you know? In fact, if I had to single out one quality defining a room, it would be this one. However, there are some dilemmas to consider even here. Do pushwalls or holowalls count as doors? Does a single-tile wide-and-long passage count as a door? Furthermore, you could conceivably create an entire map without using any doors. What happens then? Do we say the map has no doors at all? Surely that's nonsense?

I am going to stand ground on my opinion that a door makes a room a room, but it's all up for discussion. What do you people think?

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 2:58 pm
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I remember learning that a room could be defined by 3x3 area. I think an elevator counts as a room even it is just one area with elevator walls around it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 3:53 am
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serpens wrote:
I am going to stand ground on my opinion that a door makes a room a room, but it's all up for discussion. What do you people think?

Well, the toilets in public washrooms have doors yet they're called "stalls" instead of "toilet room" and the entire collection of toilets and the sink area etc. is called a "washroom", household ones might have a shower with a door which is normally not called a "shower room" but combined to form a "bathroom" or "restroom", and where you put your clothes and toys/junk is normally called a "closet" instead of "clothes room" and is combined with it's adjacent area to form a "bedroom". Those are the terms people use here at least, maybe it works differently with other cultures/languages. You could say cupboards and cars also have doors but I've never heard someone call a car a room. I guess none of this really relates to wolf3d though. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:09 am
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Chris wrote:
You could say cupboards and cars also have doors but I've never heard someone call a car a room. I guess none of this really relates to wolf3d though. Laughing


I used to call a car that once. Room room! Car
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 5:44 am
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But Chris, surely you know that my preferences in toilet design do not involve any doors, therefore I cannot accept this eternal pearl of your wisdom.

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 7:53 pm
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For me, a room is an area with a specific floor code that is restricted by doors. Of course, there are exceptions. There can be rooms within hallways (E1M1 starting location) that can share the same floor code, but still the idea of them being closed off by doors. I think a room can be a room without doors if the design is done a certain way. For example, if you were making a level with wood walls and wanted to give off a Nazi office vibe, you could omit doors in some areas to replicate cubicles, which are sort of like mini rooms. Anything else isn't really a room unless it's supposed to be. The original game is filled with rooms, hallways, corridors, dining halls, etc. The Catacomb games even went as far as naming all the areas of the map to give them specific purposes. So, I think a lot of this is done with Wolf mapping, even if this gets lost in translation between map designer and level player if there's no way of knowing what's what without using imagination.

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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 11:46 pm
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I'm going to be annoying by saying that I think the definition of a room in this context is purely semantic and as a result unimportant; there's no reason to worry about it when either making or playing maps Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:43 am
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A room without a bed is not a room
sam122

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:01 pm
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I believe you're trying for a bedroom. Unless you think that beds should also be in the study, dining room, living room, and bathroom. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:57 am
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Tricob wrote:
I believe you're trying for a bedroom. Unless you think that beds should also be in the study, dining room, living room, and bathroom. Smile


Sounds like a blissful house. Comfortable naps on demand.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:12 pm
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Just joined - Though I was building for Wolf in 93 I've never been in touch with the Wolf net community until today,
so please consider me a noob 4 now.

Attended Boston Architectural in '73 - studied evolution in construction style and utility as influenced by culture,
developed a keen appreciation of tudor nouveau and decco; - Stemming from an anthropological background.

'Door' does not define. 'Entry' which can be any opening that a body can easily passthrough qualifies as 'door way'.
'Room' is defined by utility. Not all rooms have any one specific utility, as in a concourse, atrium ' mall' can be
considered 'rooms'.

When I built for Wolf I tried to make every space having some specific utility - it just makes sense. All of the spaces
in every building have some definite use - even 'dead-space' is considered storage or a connecting pass-through at least.

Here's the general list that I used for nearly every level of the 10 that I built - (except for the 'secret' level which I
defined as the 'Treasure Vaults')

Office
Officers Quarters
Guards Quarters
Bath Room (just a sink in Wolf)
Mess Hall
Officers Mess
Meeting Hall
Check-Point (a Desk with an SS in an entry way to some important area) like:
Key Room (always heavily guarded)
Kitchen (usually connected to Mess and Meeting)
Kennels
Prison Cells
Storage
Treasure Room
Elevator Start Position (always hated getting on an elevator and arriving at the next level in some
room instead of in the elevator)

Structural elements Pillars, (in Wolf) are the only structural elements you can have, but they can be
used with effect like flanking doors, doorways, and in large rooms spaced pillars make perfect sense.

Thanks very much to the founder of this thread - and to those who responded -> For the feed ! 8 )
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