The Joy Of Mapping 5: Winter Weekend
Channelling My Inner ‘Bob Ross’ for Joy Of Mapping 5
This is my first time participating with Jimmy & the crew, so to be given the opportunity to work on Joy Of Mapping 5’s hub map and first map is a huge honour for which I am immensely thankful. To show my thanks I decided to put in some serious hours during this weekend-long mapping session and tried something a little new – Automap Art.
I watched a little bit of Bob Ross, painting a beautiful winter scene and decided to let that inspire my map immensely! I drew, using linedefs only, a mountain with trees surrounding it, a clone of the Joy Of Mapping 5 logo, and a large cosy log cabin to the front of the scene. I set these lines up to be ‘initially visible’ and to also be drawn on the automap as a 1 sided linedef, allowing the lines to look as bold as possible when seen on the automap.
Once I felt my artistic efforts were complete I moved on to the task of making this ‘art’ function as an actual playable level. This proved a lot harder than I initially guessed it would be, since most of the line art was just that: lines. Trying to draw geometry over the top of the artwork would cause a few issues I previously hadn’t prepared for. I was getting sectors ‘randomly’ joining together, and I was suffering GLNode issues from several vertices being places on non-grid locations from when the lines I drew intersect each other.
I went in to the map with no idea how to build it or what I even wanted to build. I only knew the theme – winter/Christmas! Regardless of the time limitations and the initial lack of direction, I came out on top with a 3-key hunt in three clear sub-sections of the map which you can tackle in any order you want. I genuinely feel proud of the map given how quickly it was made!
When I was added to the team I was offered a place as a ‘staff member / tutor’, meaning I was one of the few newer mappers on the team could go to for support. I made a few suggestions, helped with scripting and more; it was great to see so many participating and equally nice to be part of the crew guiding them to new highs in their “mapping careers”.
But Wait, There’s More To Be Done!
Jimmy, someone of whom I’ve been working alongside a lot recently (A Boy & His Barrel, Skulldash & Abyssal Speed Mapping Sessions), was very thankful for my map and offered the chance to cooperatively build the hub map with him! He’d made a start, building an interesting “MyHouse.wad” type location, with a building’s floor plan based on an old home he used to live in. He sent the wad to me with little context, just noting that he wants the map to look better, and to have 4 episode locations added. I started off by adding a whole 2nd floor to the building using portals, and also added a roof to the building. This really bumped up the visual identity of the building; also, due to being a multi-floor building it adds a sense of “Wow, how did they do that in Doom?” to the map.
As this was the first thing people are going to see when they start playing Joy Of Mapping 5, Jimmy & I wanted to make sure everywhere was somewhat visually impressive and unique. Over the course of a few back-and-forth sessions between Jimmy & I, we added the four episode portals, four secret switches, two secret mini games and more!
The secret switches were hidden in four locations around the house, each of which opens a door on the upper floor of the house, granting access to the secret maps. Be warned, the secret maps are some of the hardest amongst the Joy Of Mapping 5’s 50+ maps, but with great authors such as Dobu Gabu Maru, you’re in for a treat nonetheless.
The mini games are a little bit trickier to find. They require the player to find coloured keycards, which are well hidden. The first of the two mini games to be developed takes place outside only, where the player has to survive a massive snowball fight against a horde of snow imps, all while some jolly winter-themed midi from Banjo Kazooie plays in the background! The second of the two mini games is an invasion-style battle. Collect the keycard, find the safe in the house and claim the goodies inside – This will lock you in for five waves of increasingly difficult battles vs the forces of hell, all within the house. After each wave the safe replenishes with new treats to help you fight off the opposition.
Working with the Joy Of Mapping 5 team as a Staff Member/Tutor was a fantastic experience, and gave me something over the Christmas period to work on and feel positive about. After been labelled a ‘madman’ numerous times while streaming my efforts on Twitch, it’s apparent that the automap art concept gets people talking and works as a fun and challenging way to map! I’ll be sure to work on Joy of Mapping 6 when that eventually happens – here’s hoping I can commit the same amount of time in such a small window!
December 23rd, 2017
- Hub Map
- E1M1 – “Winter Zombieland”
- Snowball Minigame
- Invasion Minigame
- Snowball Throw “Weapon” Sprites
- Mapping Support & Advice
- Seasonal Cheer! 🙂
- GZDoom Builder
- Adobe Fireworks