1. About These Tutorials

For awhile now I've been in a bad case of mapper's block (like writer's block).  I figure now would be a good time to pass on my knowledge of doom editing.  These tutorials, outside of chapter 1, are designed to be useful for any editor.  Chapter 1 will introduce select editors, which are popular at the time of this writing.  Common terms used throughout these tutorials should be defined there.

Although some advise to jump directly to the newer, more advanced, Hexen format style mapping, I prefer to start with Doom format.  Therefor these tutorials will start with Doom format mapping.  Some editors may default to using the Hexen format when using a config for modern source ports.  If that is the case, fall back to the standard Doom config, or if it is available Boom config.  Another important thing to note is I will being using Doom2 (with the Boom config), so if you plan on mapping for Heretic or another doom engine game, you will need to look up linedef/sector action numbers.

I would advise not to go through these tutorials one after the other.  Read one figure out what I am saying and then play with it for awhile.  I won't be able to explain every small detail in mapping and so what I'm going to do is try to teach it in a general way that can be applied to everything.

2. Doom

On december 10th, 1993, ID Software released the shareware of Doom.  The Doom shareware became incredibly popular estimated to be installed on millions of computers.  Although not the first, doom gave popularity of the now standard deathmatch mode of first person shooters.  The games Heretic and Hexen by Raven Software, and Strife by Rouge Entertainment also use the Doom engine, although modified.

Although the game was incredible for 1993, Doom is in reality quite a limited engine.  Modern source ports are frequently running into these limitations imposed mainly by the rendering.  Some ports have rewritten the rendering code to support 3d floors (room over room).  (See Legacy [] and Vavoom [].)  Other just support what is possible with out rewriting.  (ZDoom [] is a fine example.)

To this day Doom remains a popular game with an active moding community.   There are active ports dedicated to Doom multiplayer.  (See Skulltag [], Odamex [], and ZDaemon [].)  New editors are still appearing, the newer ones supporting the new features set by ports such as ZDoom.

3. Transparency Issue

Before going on to introducing the editors, I must explain the issue with cyan (a bright blue color).  Many lump editors ( XWE [] and SLumpEd []) use cyan to represent transparency.  Sometimes the palette is misrepresented with cyan in place a really dark blue (palette entry 247).  To my understanding few images in Doom use this palette entry and so editors used it for conversion to 256 color image formats, commonly GIF or BMP.  Doom does not contain cyan, and on that note Doom does not use BMP images. Doom uses its own internal format, it is perfectly able to display all 256 colors at once and still contain transparent areas.

Also flats can not contain transparency.  These use a different internal format.  Heretic and Hexen also use a similar format to this for their title pictures.

Back to TOC