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128x128 / Increased map sizes
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What's your thoughts of increasing the max level size in Wolf3D?
It's great, bigger maps mean more playing time, more opportunities, and more fun.
40%
 40%  [ 6 ]
I don't really care - the size doesn't really affect the full experience.
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
I think it leads too commonly to maps that are oversized and become boring.
26%
 26%  [ 4 ]
Voted : 15
Total Votes : 15

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:43 am
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I guess there's only a couple examples to go by to date, basically Leiche Soldat and some ECWolf maps (in the Tech Demo and its expansion pack). But what do you feel about Wolf3D maps that utilize a notably increased size limitation?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:59 pm
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forgot what I wrote before edit


Last edited by Chris on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:11 pm
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I think the best approach to doing a 128x128 map is to have the map move "forward" for a long duration rather than have it twist and turn like a 64x64 map would require.

The alternative would simply be having a massive area accessible to the player. If you try to do this with a 64x64 map, you'll run out of map space quickly. With a 128x128 map though, you still have a good deal of room to work with.

That's the two times I think that doing a 128x128 map makes a lot of sense. But most of the time, I think it's easy to design a map that simply doesn't know when to quit. I've done this myself, and it was in a 64x64 map. I'm afraid of what I'd spawn if I did more than two 128x128 maps. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:15 am
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It's all about how the canvas is used - basically what it always boils down to.

The only 128x128 mod I've played so far is Gary Ragland's Leiche Soldat (3 levels in). At first, the size of the hallways and just the general sense of space awes you a bit. It's impressive, but the fact that the mapping seems inspired by episode 1 (as Chris mentioned before his edit) actually hurts the mapset. Because I don't think mapping like that is meant for a 128x128 size map. This became noticeable during the 2nd level, where I got lost big-time. The hallways looked the same, and just like in episode 1 there were a lot of side rooms that led to nowhere. And after a while that became insanely frustrating. You need an element that keeps the level interesting, and I have doubts if vanilla mapping can keep that momentum going for that long. At least, not for me. Then again, I'm not that far into the game so I'm not writing it off or anything, and it might well be better later on.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:56 pm
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I picked option 2, as I don't really care about size. I've played several maps that felt huge but were tiny on the canvas in comparison (e.g. Gary, again, with Schabbs 2000) and then maps that felt huge and indeed were huge... Leiche Soldat, of course. Ron is right in the assertion of Episode 1/vanilla mapping not fitting the 128x128 slate. It's a lot of room where you need great skill to pull it off, and I must admit some parts of Leiche Soldat were a bit tiring but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.

I'm sure if Team Raycast or WSJ or somebody with both mapping skills as well as heavy coding prowess would make 128 x 128 maps it would feel like one mod per map or something. Just a huge horizon that you never seem to reach.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:47 am
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I've made a lot of maps, and a lot of very big, full maps but there's only been 1 mod, with an enourmous amount of features, where i genuinely say that I could've made bigger maps then 64x64 without losing the quality of the level.

I see it as a nice novelty. I could see it working for maps where you are on a motorbike, a tank, driving a car or flying in something. I certainly wouldn't have any interest in playing through a 60 level 128x128 mapset!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:41 am
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I think it's something people should experiment with more, but creators will need to think about the design differently than how it is done with most mods. I wouldn't necessarily say they would need to be objective based, but there would need to be a sense of progression to the levels. Back-and-forth as well as open-world designs on such a scale will only lead to confusing the player and getting them lost. Which is frustrating.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:30 pm
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I suppose a 128x128 map works best when the wall and object variety is far greater than you get for Wolf3D or Spear Of Destiny. How many more objects and wall types do you need? Hard to say exactly, but the design of the map - and how many maps there are - will usually provide you with a definite answer.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:36 am
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As a secret hunter, I prefer the normal sized maps just because they don't feel like they never end.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:31 pm
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128x128 isn't a bad thing. Some mappers just have it to make sure their 64x64 maps can be as massive as they want (they can have that room at the corner and make sure it doesn't have the glitch wall. Others use it to make new types of games. I don't see it working with the original game but for a TC, it works very well, and you could make build engine like scenarios and everything, with the right mindset and artwork/code Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:02 pm
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I agree; it has potential, but seems to be better suited for more advanced mods.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:05 pm
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ronwolf1705 wrote:
It's all about how the canvas is used - basically what it always boils down to.

The only 128x128 mod I've played so far is Gary Ragland's Leiche Soldat (3 levels in). At first, the size of the hallways and just the general sense of space awes you a bit. It's impressive, but the fact that the mapping seems inspired by episode 1 (as Chris mentioned before his edit) actually hurts the mapset. Because I don't think mapping like that is meant for a 128x128 size map. This became noticeable during the 2nd level, where I got lost big-time. The hallways looked the same, and just like in episode 1 there were a lot of side rooms that led to nowhere. And after a while that became insanely frustrating. You need an element that keeps the level interesting, and I have doubts if vanilla mapping can keep that momentum going for that long. At least, not for me. Then again, I'm not that far into the game so I'm not writing it off or anything, and it might well be better later on.


I think it can, but there are certain things you need to do in a 128x128 map and there are certain things you shouldn't do. I am about 10 levels into Leiche Soldat (haven't finished it yet) and I really admire what Gary was trying to do, but the mod has some rough edges in my opinion that needed smoothed over.

Here's my list so far of do's and don't for 128x128 mapping.

Do's
-----
-Use 4 keys
-Keep the action consistent throughout the maps. There should not be large desered swaths unless its intentional for some reason.
-Keep textures varied
-Keep scaling the same as a 64x64 level. For instance, a dining room shouldn't seem out of scale like so many do in LS
-Keep decoration consistent. Corridors and rooms should be no less decorated than in a 64x64 level

Don't
-------
Use oversized rooms for the sake of it; Extra large rooms should serve a purpose
Have too many "paths to nowhere" ala Episode 1 of original Wolf3D. This style doesn't work well with 128x128 maps. LS maps that don't use this approach are much better. Having multiple routes to a destination is a good thing, but you don't want to have a lot of "dead ends" that don't contain important items like keys, the elevator, or a significant secret.
Require excessive backtracking through action-less areas searching for keys or locked doors. While promoting exploration in this way can be good for 64x64 maps, doing it in 128x128 maps, if not done correctly, can be a detriment.

Is there anything else anybody would add?
Chris
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:01 pm
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Though I commend Gary for taking the unique approach that he did, and being the first to release a mapset with 128x128ish maps, I've always felt that Leiche Soldat could have been just as interesting if the maps were squashed back to 64x64, and that something like you've described in your list (a.k.a. Schabbs2000 style but more of it) would certainly be my preference as well. That is not to take away from some other mapsets that have huge rooms, as I thought it worked quite well in the WolfBel series.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:53 pm
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I definitely commend Gary as well, not only because mapping 128x128 is an enormous task, but it's also unexplored territory. And with that, you're bound to be the first to also uncover the downsides of the increased map size. I had the same problem with the maps in Operation Serpent; there's just something lacking in order to keep you focused and interested for the entirety of the level, the way 64x64 maps usually can.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:55 pm
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Forgot to vote when this was first around, now I voted "great". We shouldn't be assuming that a 128x128 map is going to be a typical Wolfenstein map but 4x bigger. It's an opportunity for sprawling, seamless adventures. You could have an outdoor map connecting a castle, a bunker system, a railway station and a small village, to be explored in any order. Or a central room holding teleporters to four parts of the castle, each with a different theme. Or have the player move seamlessly through sewers, to a town, to an underground passage, to enemy camp, to army headquarters. Even in a pure vanilla setting, it gives an unprecedented freedom of design. Honestly, all we need for good 128x128 maps is a good mapper, and at this point I think every mapper who's still around is experienced enough to make it work.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 3:00 pm
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I agree with Serpens here. He brings up some excellent points, and I hope I'm not ignorant to them myself if I ever try out the 128x128 map thing. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:42 pm
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Some additions.

Do:
-If you use 'multiple paths to get where you need to go' situations or optional areas altogether, set up floor codes so that aside from a few deaf enemies, enemies on all paths are alerted regardless of which path is actually used, and enemies in most optional areas are alerted.
-Keep rooms of the paths 'connected' so that alerted enemies on other paths can reach the player.
-Keep keys relatively 'evenly spaced' throughout the duration of the level - they act like 'checkpoints'
-Have moments of surprise, where unexpected things happen (traps, etc.).

Don't:
-Design a level in a way that it feels like a drag. Keep things flowing and varied. This is harder to do in 128x128, but I'd think it is possible.
-Make a key not be required to finish the level.
-Use short, repetitive, or otherwise overused music tracks.
-Use too much symmetry (best example Floor 12 of Leiche Soldat).
-Try to fill the entire map just because you can.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:21 pm
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If people want an example of good level design on a 128x128 canvas, Wrath Of Earth (the Wolf-like game I have championed for many years) has 128x128 maps, and even slower movement and gameplay, but (for the most part) the maps are a good example of how to do it. In particular, the first four levels are fantastic.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:40 am
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MrWolfForever wrote:

Don't:
...
-Make a key not be required to finish the level.
...
-Try to fill the entire map just because you can.
I think these two rules could easily contradict each other. I say, if a map works perfectly without using all the keys, then don't use all the keys. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:13 am
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Tricob wrote:
MrWolfForever wrote:

Don't:
...
-Make a key not be required to finish the level.
...
-Try to fill the entire map just because you can.
I think these two rules could easily contradict each other. I say, if a map works perfectly without using all the keys, then don't use all the keys. Smile


I believe he was saying not to do what Floor 8 of Leiche Soldat did. The map would have been a lot better had both sides been required.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:36 pm
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Barry wrote:
The map would have been a lot better had both sides been required.

I disagree, I thought the way Floor 8 was laid out was pretty creative. The amount of treasure boxes was ridiculous though. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:55 pm
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Chris wrote:
Barry wrote:
The map would have been a lot better had both sides been required.

I disagree, I thought the way Floor 8 was laid out was pretty creative. The amount of treasure boxes was ridiculous though. Laughing


I guess you are right, and that comment was more of a personal preference thing than what actually makes a good map. If I was designing that level, I would have made both sides required, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the best option.

I really liked the start and the atmosphere of Floor 8 of LS so I wasn't criticizing the level as a whole.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:32 pm
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The more I think about it, here's what would be my philosophy about 128x128 map sizes:

The way I view it, and the way I think more about it, the goal (even with four keys) is not to simply use the increased map area in order to fill out the entire 128x128, and make behemoths. (There could be one or two exceptions in a mod where you go all out, that being said.) Rather, 128x128 offers a lot more possibilities as to what shapes a level can be and how far it can be stretched vertically or horizontally. You don't have to limit either vertical or horizontal 'expansion' to never be more than 64 units at a time. You can make a particular cross section of the map be 128 wide (or a vertical cross section be 128 tall) without it being a map that fills out the entire 128x128. I would, as guidance, not let a map (other than perhaps one or two in a mod) significantly except 10,000 in total mapped out 'area'. (Keep in mind, 64x64 is a max of 4,096 and 128x128 is a max of 16,384, so that guideline is about halfway between. As a rule of thumb, no more than 60-70% of the total map space should be filled out on a regular basis.)

However, that 10,000 doesn't have to be contained into any specific square or rectangular dimension, which offers more possibilities. Any cross section of the map could be a full 128 wide (or tall) without the entire map exceeding 10,000 in area. You could do something like make a 70x70 area in the top left and another in the bottom right of the map (that makes a total area of 9,800). I could keep giving examples; there's infinite ways to do it; but the point I am trying to make is that I think the primary advantage of having a 128x128 map space is not to be able to make a gigantic wall to wall 128x128 (16,384 area) behemoth, but rather the number of ways you could make a moderately larger map (again my recommended max would be around 10,000 area total used in the entire map) and also not be forced to keep it in a square or rectangle. That's where I think the potential of having the higher map space to work with really lies.

And even at 10,000 area, all the do/don't items listed here for a 128x128 map would still apply IMO.

I guess you could call this my current 'thesis' for the advantages of 128x128 map spaces and how to use them correctly.

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