Toxic Complex (October - November 2018, Doom Builder)

Designer

Singleplayer Doom II map. Focus on vertical, interlocking layouts combined with classic Doom design. Download it here.

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Created in a couple weeks, Toxic Complex was my first real attempt at level design. Doom was a good choice due to its simplicity and wealth of design critique to study. Before I put my pen to graph paper I had a pretty good idea of what kind of setpieces and pacing I wanted, as well as a ton of ideas for encounters and architectural shapes. The rest grew as I built the map out. I threw out whiteboxed levels and made the next one leaner, carrying on the best ideas.​

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Doom leans into its then-new tech by having varying levels of height. A good Doom level has areas designed as flowing, interconnected environments. This proved to be the most fun challenge since Doom's lack of a Z-axis means areas have to feel connected without overlapping.

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My favourite moment in the map is when an earlier monster closet is revealed to be an elevator back to the beginning of the level, letting the player go to a new area that lets them platform over the pit they were just in. I think the result is something that maintains the philosophies of classic Doom while adding a modern style.

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