“Any advice for beginner Doom Mappers with no ideas for the full picture?”
I can vouch for the tried-and-true method of just jumping in and teaching oneself everything about Doom mapping, since it is a very accessible medium of creation – seriously, drawing simple lines and shapes is really all it takes… well, okay, maybe not.
However the community itself is rich in resources to help you get off the ground. There are editing tutorials all over the place:
- On Doomworld.com there’s an entire section of the forums dedicated to in-depth tutorials from beginner to advanced levels of Doom map design. You can also post questions there if you’re in doubt.
- Doombuilder.com also has its own video tutorials which are very short and succinct
- This one by Eevee is definitely worth checking out if you want a no-nonsense tutorial for starting your first map all on one page.
Of course there’s a lot beyond this – and you might want to make maps, and be able to, but be quite stuck for actual ideas. Again, the community is there to help.
- There are name generators and theme generators out there. Of course some of these are ineffably silly, but hey, sometimes a silly idea might stimulate you creatively in ways you’d not previously considered.
- OBLIGE is a level generator that can help you gain a general idea of how a Doom map layout can work. It is generally frowned upon to use these layouts “out of the box” though, so use them for inspiration, but don’t go generating a bunch of maps and then releasing them. 😛
- The Doomwiki is a great resource regarding specifics of the engine.
- There are innumerable community projects ongoing at any one time, especially on Doomworld, with specific restrictions like using a certain size of playable area, or specific enemy placement. Limitations breed creativity, so hopefully you’ll find one that stimulates and challenges you!
- Just doodle! Find some blank paper, whether it has lines/squares or not, and get sketching. Interesting things are bound to arise.
- Play a lot of Doom. Seriously. The maps the community makes are invaluable sources of inspiration. We’re a stupidly creative bunch.