Nightlife (Vinesauce Mapping Contest 2016)
Nightlife – My Quirky Vinesauce Doom Mapping Competition Entry
Let’s be honest, Nightlife just isn’t your normal Doom map. Hell, it’s not even your normal Dragonfly map!
Back when I worked on Skulldash I wanted to take the “Nightclub” bonus level’s concept and crank it up to eleven – A level which has visuals directly influenced by the music. I’d been waiting for an opportunity to make something of the sort, and when this competition rolled around I figured it’d be a sure-fire way to stand out from the crowd!
Step One: Choose Some Music!
I had to find a song which had enough interesting sounds in it to base the visuals on it. I opted in for something dancey or dubstep etc… just electronic music of a sort. After searching far and wide I settled on: the following:
Of course I had to look for something copyright free, or royalty free; so that it can be streamed without copyright strikes on platforms such as Twitch and Youtube; which is where Joel shows his Vinesauce content.
Step Two: Prepare The Visuals!
Now that I knew what song I intended to use I got to planning. I had to create some interesting visuals based on the music, so to make it as prevalent as possible I decided to make the skybox a massive lightshow, completely in time with the music itself. I dropped the music on repeat to learn it – while it was playing I was throwing down some sketches of what “scenes” I wanted my lights to have, and then created a few “light beam” graphics to use in the map based on the sketches.
I then created a skybox which has all of the lights on mid-textures in a zero brightness sector, each ‘light beam’ being tagged uniquely so I can then light them up and recolour them etc via ACS.
Step Three: Create The Lightshow!
Yep, it’s time to make an actual lightshow now! I did some maths, broke down the timing of the song based on 1 second = 35 tic math. I can’t remember the exact BPM of the song, but using a basic example, 120 beats per minute = 2 beats per second = 1 beat every 17.5 tics. Using math to calculate when in the song certain actions took place I was able to speed up the coding process. This was relatively crucial given the fairly tight deadline of this project!
The colouring was done with Sector_SetColor and the brightness was done with Light_Fade, fading the lights in and out, and using while-loops on the colours to make them slowly progress from colour to colour. While working on the script I created a few re-usable snippets of code that were able to adjust the colours of the lights or cause strobes, etc.
After many hours of writing code, doing math and repeatedly testing the lights / listening to the song, this was the result:
Step Four: Building A Level To Match The Music!
Well now we have our overpowering, epilepsy-warning-required skybox, it’s time to make an equally bright and exciting level!
I made Nightlife with a very different approach to what I’d normally do. I created a small array of different ‘neon textures’ and then played around with various ideas that I thought would make for a fun “neon playground” – Launch ramps blasting you into a battle arena, bouncepads up onto tall towers with see through neon bridges, a large area that “drops” to form a maze in the floor, etc. All of this was designed to serve as a “roofless level” so the player can enjoy the skybox while playing.
June 20th, 2017
- Custom Textures
- ACS Driven Lightshow
- GZDoom Builder Bugfix
- Adobe Fireworks
- Pencil & Paper
- A Calculator (Words cannot describe how useful this was <3)