It may be some time before the hosts of Doom Radio start beating each other up over trivial matters like level design, but episode 16 of Program B sees an interesting topic fuel some fundamental disagreements. The discussion? Objectively wrong decisions in traditional level design, and whether there is merit to the assertion that some choices are simply wrong to make. I maintain that there are indeed right and wrong ways to go about maximizing enjoyment in level design (not to say that there is only one method), and that such choices are not entirely relative to the player’s preferences… but what about my peers? And what say you, dear listener?
The bulk of the talk is centered around design choices we’d like to see other designers avoid in their maps, whether these choices are objectively wrong or not, as in 99% of cases they are surely integral to ensuring that your map is less enjoyable to play. Key markers should indicate that the switch can only be flipped with the relevent key in hand, for instance; players should not be held up within a room so the designer can force the player to appreciate his encounter or visual design; barons are terrible monsters that should only be used in a handful of specific circumstances, and so on. Feel free to post your thoughts on this episode’s topic in the thread, and we might be finally forced to leave aside some room at the beginning of the next episode to discuss the responses. Formatting in action!
A review of Epic 2 is currently inbound, following the Doomworld Megawad Club’s own playthrough of the mapset in March.