doom vs quake

i’m sure in ’96 there was a lot of talk about this kind of thing, but i thought i’d talk about it from a mapping perspective and what it means for the community after having worked on a doom map for a month or so now.

one of the first things you notice when you go from quake mapping to doom mapping is how easy it is.

putting together a couple of box rooms and a hallway to connect them will take you about 10 seconds.  this simple task can take almost twice as long in quake and increases exponentially the more detail you have.

there was an area in the doom map where i was never really satisfied with the look.  it was a long corridor with nothing but torches that led to a square room with a vis blocker in the middle of it.

it had probably taken me only 15 minutes to make the general shape of it, and then detail it and finally i just decided to erase the whole thing, replacing it with a larger, single room that allowed for more space to work in better details. (i turned it into a library; it was originally a nondescript wood area).

of course, it’s not all better.  the doom engine 2.5d limitation really puts a crimp into my mapping style.  i love maps suspended in the air and my recent trend has been moving toward such styles especially with the most recent ne_tower.

otoh, the fact that everything is flat (even thought they can be different heights) means that when you look at it in the editor, it’s very clear what everything is.  sure, quake editors have vis groups or regions or some way of isolating the area you are working on, but that’s exactly what it is– isolation.  i find it’s easier to get a sense of place when working on a doom map because you can look at the map as a whole as opposed to working on individual areas one at a time.

finally, there’s compiling.  true, there is compiling in doom, but it’s so fast now, that it’s essentially non-existent.  contrast to quake where it can still be several hours before your map is ready to be played.

in the end, i found i was never really frustrated when working on the doom map.  it was fun and fast and it looks pretty good.

i think these limitations play a lot into why there are more maps for doom these days.  there are clearer boundaries as to what you can do.

quake, on the other hand is seemingly boundless.  offering you a full 3d environment, as well as easy access to the game rules (progs.dat), it feels as though anything is possible.  until you get to the compiling stage.

quake has it’s own rules to follow, they just aren’t strictly enforced.

it also seems as if quake mappers feel they must create ‘magnum opuses’ all the time.  it probably has to do with the time investment with creating a quake map.  no one wants to spend the mapping time unless it’s going to be the best thing that ever happened to quake.  i think it’s unfortunate that trends like czg’s Terra pack with it’s focus more on just making fun maps didn’t catch on more.

i myself feel this way as well.  i am always hesitant to make a map unless i feel it has the potential to be ‘incredible’.  i may put my next quake project on hold and see if i can just make a fun map.


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